Leading UK law firm Shoosmiths has been named one of the UK’s leading employers for improving social mobility.
Now in its fifth year, the Social Mobility Employer Index is the definitive benchmark of organisations committed to improving social mobility in the workplace. The Index contains the Top 75 employers and Shoosmiths was ranked 42nd.
Employers are assessed across seven key areas. These include their work with young people, routes into the company, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy.
Simon Boss, CEO of Shoosmiths, said: “Businesses have a huge part to play in the levelling up agenda, and this Index shows what can be possible if organisations commit to supporting young people from all backgrounds.
“Last year we developed a new Social Mobility Action Plan in partnership with Rt Hon Justine Greening and the Social Mobility Pledge, to play our part in advancing social mobility across the UK. This built upon actions which have been in place at the firm for many years.
I’m encouraged by what we as a firm have achieved since then – from hosting numerous client roundtables on social mobility to share best practice, to also being a part of the panel to launch the Levelling Up Goals. These have been created through a coalition of businesses, NHS Trusts, Councils and universities working together through the Social Mobility Pledge.
“The challenges that come with social mobility aren’t new but it is incumbent on businesses to fix them and in partnership with our clients, and our communities – this will be an ongoing focus for our firm.”
Rt Hon. Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “The pandemic has exposed the new geography of disadvantage in Britain and, through disruption in the classroom, exam hall and workplace, created serious barriers to young people’s opportunities. If older people have been on the health frontline of the pandemic it is the young who seem doomed to suffer the biggest economic and social consequences.
“Employer-led social mobility will be vital in bridging the divide and delivering the levelling up agenda. All of the employers represented in the Index are showing that it is possible to create a society where it is not background or birth but aptitude and ability that dictate progress in life. They are proving it is possible to build back better. If we are to rescue the fraying promise of a meritocratic society, then more employers must join them and government must follow suit in taking targeted action to address social mobility”.
Sarah Atkinson, CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “Congratulations to all the businesses who submitted this year – especially the 38 firms who have participated in all five years of the Index. It is encouraging that the extremely challenging circumstances of the pandemic has not deterred these firms from prioritising social mobility. It is right that they have done so.
“Government cannot go it alone when levelling up; indeed, the Index shows businesses and organisations are leading the way instead. Opportunity creation for the next generation, especially those from less well-off backgrounds, must be prioritised in the years ahead. As ever, we stand ready to support employers of all sizes in their social mobility journey.”
Read more about our Social Mobility Action Plan, and overall approach to social mobility, here.