Our Employer Partners Shift The Social Mobility Dial

The Social Mobility Employer Index for 2020 was recently revealed — with some MyKindaFuture partners making the top 75 employers. To see the dial moved so significantly despite the challenges this year is nothing short of incredible.

The index calls attention to the employers working the hardest to shift the way they discover, obtain, and nurture employees from different social strata. It was formed in 2017 and has since inspired firms to increase accessibility to individuals from varying socioeconomic circumstances.

Composed of two elements, the Social Mobility Employer Index has asked both employers and employees questions spanning seven areas since 2018. Such areas include routes to the employer, on-boarding and pre-boarding practices, and scope for career progression.

The index’s findings for 2020 indicates employers have made headway in offering mentoring to young people this year; 12,635 were reached directly. This is an impressive increase from last year’s figure, which sat at 11,258.

However, we’ve seen drops in both formal work experience and school outreach from Covid-19.

Within the Employer Index findings law remains the most represented sector, with 30% of the 75 listed employers being law firms. As a result of the Prime scheme, graduates from all over the UK have been able to access opportunities within the law sector that would’ve previously been impossible without being London-based or from Russell Group universities.

We spoke to two of our partners about how it feels to be included in the index and have this essential work recognised.

Reg Kheraj, Inclusion and Diversity Advisor at BCLP, said,

‘I guess the first thing I would say is that I definitely don’t think we have hit our goals yet – and are quite a long way from doing so. That said, the ranking is a welcome acknowledgement of the work that our many volunteers put into our social outreach programmes.”

Tim Smith, Partner & BCLP Social Inclusivity & Ethnicity Group Champion said:

“This year more than ever, it is vital that organizations remain true to their commitments to improving social mobility in the workplace and ensuring access to opportunity for everyone regardless of social background and socio-economic factors. Whilst the medium- and long-term impacts of the pandemic are yet to be seen there is already concerning evidence which points to an increase in class inequality, a negative impact on youth employment, and a widening career aspiration gap in the minds of young people. BCLP has a track record of leading from the front and taking a strong, visible and authentic stance on broadening access to the legal profession, particularly to those from socially challenging or lower socio-economic backgrounds. We are committed to recruiting, retaining and nurturing a diverse group of people, creating an environment where they are able to thrive and fulfil their potential regardless of background or diversity characteristic. Our ranking this year is a pleasing recognition of the hard work and commitment of so many individuals across Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner to improving social mobility both within and outside of the legal profession.”

Freya Walker, Student Recruitment Attraction and Operations Manager at KPMG Business Services, said:

“Placing 3rd” in the Social Mobility Employer Index (SMEI) is testament to all of the work that the business has done to become more accessible and inclusive, putting social mobility at the heart of our outreach and community engagement. Setting targets on Inclusion, Diversity & Social Equality has been a key part of our journey and ensuring they are ambitious is important.  However, achieving a target is just part of the picture, and meeting one target means you can set the next one.”

On their goals for the future –

“Our work on Social Mobility is part of our Inclusion, Diversity & Social Equality strategy which takes a holistic look across the employee life cycle ensuring IDSE is embedded into our people processes. In 2018 we launched our Fairer Futures campaign to help us take action. It’s our campaign to improve inclusion, diversity and social equality, both for our people and the communities we serve. At KPMG, we recognise that we need Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality to be successful and so offer a variety of work experience programmes to attract a diverse pool of people to our industry and to provide employability skills.”