I am pleased to see that over 100 leading employers have recently pledged their support for a ten-point social mobility action plan led by Bright Network.
Bright Network, which aims to connect aspiring professionals with opportunities, launched its action plan after a survey of 2,000 university students produced some concerning results. It found that only half of participants felt that the graduate recruitment market is inclusive of talent from all backgrounds, and 77% believed that the pandemic has worsened inequalities for job-seeking graduates.
Social mobility has never been more important than it is now. As we recover from the economic effects of Covid-19, the fight against socio-economic inequality must take priority. Firms will need to become more innovative and creative in their strategies which can only be achieved with diversity of thought. It is therefore critical that access to employment and career development is based on merit, rather than being influenced by a person’s background.
The ten points of the action plan are as follows:
- Transparency around the factors affecting social mobility
- Education of staff involved in decision making
- Building networks to champion social mobility internally and externally
- Ensure positive role models are involved in early talent processes
- Targeted communication to underrepresented candidates through specialist events and initiatives
- Change how aptitude is measured to prevent those from lower socio-economic backgrounds from being put at a disadvantage
- Review application criteria to ensure there are no restrictive requirements
- Proactivity in making change without the fear of taking risks
- Change routes to access to diversity how talent is engaged with
- Use outreach programmes to engage with a wide range of prospective talent
As someone who has had first-hand experience of the challenges that those from lower socio-economic backgrounds can face, I would strongly advocate all of the above. Making a meaningful improvement to social mobility will require a shift in thinking and this means all areas that can influence recruitment and progression being addressed.
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we have prepared a free Social Mobility Toolkit to assist employers in breaking down these barriers. If you would like to discuss social mobility in your organisation, then please do get in touch.
The plan, developed by graduate employment platform Bright Network, was released after its research found three quarters of students (77%) believe the pandemic has worsened inequalities for job-seeking graduates.