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Social Mobility - From Pledge to Practice

On 20 October Shoosmiths Social Mobility Action Plan was officially launched. The Action Plan has been developed in partnership with Rt Hon Justine Greening and the Social Mobility Pledge and specifically addresses how the firm can uniquely promote social mobility across the UK.

To mark the occasion Shoosmiths’ CEO Simon Boss was joined on a webinar by Rt Hon Justine Greening, and a panel of colleagues from Shoosmiths.


Overview

  • The purpose of the webinar is to launch our new Social Mobility Action Plan, which is a combination of Shoosmiths’ existing efforts, socio-economic research conducted by the Pledge team across our national network, and targeted actions for each location to improve social mobility.
  • The social mobility challenge in the UK is not new. Your start in life can affect your chances of fulfilling your potential – this is a challenge we need to overcome.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is causing huge disruption and will only make this challenge harder.
  • Shoosmiths’ plan will enable us to make a real difference in our communities.

Social Mobility Stories

  • Marie Mann, Associate, and Sharon Banga, Senior Associate (both Shoosmiths) spoke about their own journeys into law.
  • They commented on the work we can all still to do shift perceptions of who can be a lawyer.
  • Shifting these perceptions can be harder when there aren’t always role models available to young people.
  • Therein lies the challenge – opening minds to career possibilities.
  • Career possibilities in the legal sector include both business support and legal roles, so a law firm has a responsibility to enable and welcome talent across the whole of its business.
  • It is important to engage children as well as parents, and to speak to students when they are making key decisions that will affect their future.

In conversation with... Simon Boss, CEO, Shoosmiths, and Rt Hon Justine Greening, Co-Founder of The Social Mobility Pledge

  • Simon and Justine talked about the rationale for setting up the Social Mobility Pledge; the partnership with Shoosmiths; the work the Pledge team have done with other organisations; and some of the challenges we’re facing in social mobility in 2020.
  • COVID-19 has taken inequalities in the UK and made them worse – young people have been out of the education system for months. We have reached a tipping point – COVID-19 is making us all confront societal challenges and now is the time to make a decision to make a change / be part of the solution.
  • Change isn’t always easy, but the businesses that will do the best are the ones that embrace diversity and access the widest pool of talent – the expectations of business are changing, and younger generations want to see businesses stepping up to their role in society.
  • Younger generations are looking for an education system that equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, and companies that will genuinely share their values. Progression will also become an increasing focus.

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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