UK law firm Shoosmiths has today been ranked 38th in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2020, the leading authority on employer best practice, demonstrating our commitment to social mobility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now in its fourth year, the Employer Index is the definitive benchmark of organisations committed to improving social mobility in the workplace. 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. The Index contains the Top 75 employers.
Employers have a huge part to play in the levelling up agenda, and the Index demonstrates what is possible if organisations commit to supporting young people from all backgrounds. The Index was created by the Social Mobility Foundation in 2017 and ranks UK’s employers on the action they take to ensure they are open to and progressing talent from all backgrounds. It highlights the employers who are doing the most to change how they find, recruit, and advance talented employees from different social class backgrounds.
This year saw 119 employers from 17 sectors, who collectively employ almost one million people in the UK, answer around 100 questions. In addition to the employers’ responses, over 14,000 employees also took part in a voluntary employee survey.
Simon Boss, chief executive at Shoosmiths, said: “Social mobility has always been important to Shoosmiths, but in the past few years we’ve really focused on stepping up our efforts. So, to move from 63rd in the Index in 2018, to 48th in 2019, and to 38th this year, is a helpful indicator to us that we’re moving in the right direction.
“As well as continuing to respond to feedback from the Index across all of its areas of focus – how we attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, and advocacy – last month we launched a new Social Mobility Action Plan for advancing social mobility across the UK. This was developed in partnership with Rt Hon Justine Greening and the Social Mobility Pledge; there’s lots to do, but we’re motivated to do it.
“The challenges aren’t new, but we’re also acutely aware of the additional challenges we now face in 2020 and beyond. It feels like we’re at a real tipping point for social mobility, so increased action by Shoosmiths – in partnership with our clients, and our communities – will be an ongoing focus.”
Sarah Atkinson, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “I am delighted that Shoosmiths committed to entering the Index this year despite the challenges they have faced in the wake of the pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to see business play their part in the levelling up agenda.”
The Rt. Hon. Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, added: “As the COVID-19 crisis continues and the UK descends into a sharp recession, more will need to be done to avoid a job catastrophe, for young people particularly. Already 60% of the jobs that have been lost since the pandemic began have been among 18-24 year olds. I urge those sectors of our economy that are not represented in this year’s Index to participate in 2021 and commit to joining the ranks of those employers who are already making such a difference to young people’s life chances.”
Read more about our Social Mobility Action Plan, here.