social mobility

23 employers enter the top list for the first time – including MI6

85% feel their clients care about the social class mix of their workforce

Majority of employers of 1.1 million people now ask new staff questions about their social class

The Top 75 UK employers in 2019 who have taken the most action on social mobility in the workplace are announced today. They include banks, engineering firms, law firms, government departments, retailers –  and MI6, the first time one of Britain’s intelligence agencies has entered the list.

The Index is the creation of the Social Mobility Foundation and ranks the UK’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds. It highlights the employers doing the most to change the way they find, recruit and progress talented employees from different social class backgrounds.

Employers who employ over 1.1 million people in the UK across 18 different sectors took part in this year’s Index, answering around 100 questions across 7 key areas.

The full 75 are listed below. The highest ranked employer by key areas include:

Overall – PwC

IT & Telecomms - Capgemini

Banking – J.P. Morgan

Media - BBC

Engineering – Arup

Property/real estate – JLL

Government dept – Ministry of Justice

Publishing – Penguin Random House

Insurance - Aviva

Retail – Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Law – Baker McKenzie

Utilities – Severn Trent

Findings from the Index include:

  • 85% of respondents to a question about client priorities said they feel their clients want them to be diverse in terms of socio-economic background, very close to those saying race (96%) and gender (99%)*
  • A majority of employers ask their new employees whether or not their parents went to university (51%) or the type of school they attended (53%).
  • Nearly 40% ask whether or not you were eligible for Free School Meals, whilst almost 20% ask the postcode you grew up in and 17% the occupation of your parents.
  • Over 30% of employers now remove the name, university and/or school grades of candidates when reviewing applications 

Research has consistently shown that people from more affluent backgrounds take a disproportionate number of the best jobs and that employers tend to disproportionately employ graduates who went to private schools and a small number of universities.

The Social Mobility Employer Index is a voluntary and free of charge survey that assesses employers on how much they are trying to change this across seven areas.

This year’s Index shows the growth of employers who care about being diverse in terms of social class as well as being diverse in other areas such as gender and race/ethnicity. It finds a wide-ranging set of changes are taking place in how employers work with young people, design their recruitment/selection processes, the data they collect and their strategies for retaining employees from different backgrounds.

Other key findings include: 

  • 42% of employers monitor their recruitment process to see where those from lower socio-economic backgrounds fall down
  • Nearly 40% of employers have assessed whether their organisation’s culture is welcoming to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds
  • 1 in 4 put the grades of the candidates applying to them in the context of the academic performance of the school or college the applicant attended
  • 28% have social mobility targets

But there is still more progress required:

  • Oxford and Cambridge are still visited by Index entrants more than 72 universities combined (although this has fallen from 2017 when they were visited more than 110 universities combined).
  • Whilst 45% of applications to all Index employers come from the 24 Russell Group universities, 62% of hires do; at law firms, 84% of hires do. These figures are largely unchanged in 3 years despite employers making fewer visits to Russell Group universities overall
  • Only 22% of 2019 entrants publish their socio-economic background data compared to 27% in 2018
  • Over 80% of employers do not monitor progression within their organisation by socio-economic background
  • Only 36% encourage firms in their supply chains to take action on social mobility

David Johnston OBE, Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to see more and more employers every year taking part in our Social Mobility Employer Index. The quality of submissions this year meant we have increased the size of our Top list from 50 to 75 and it shows the very wide range of organisations trying to make progress on social mobility. Whilst no employer would say they have cracked their social mobility challenge, all of the employers in the Top list – along with those that didn’t quite make it – should be congratulated for the efforts they’re making to ensure their organisation is open to talent from all class backgrounds.”

Advertisement

The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, said:

"Social mobility is becoming a cause for more and more of our country's top employers. When politics is weak, society needs to be strong - so it is welcome a growing number of employers are stepping up to the plate.  They recognise the need to open their doors to a wider pool of talent both to address growing public concerns about unfairness and to reap the business benefits from having more diverse workforces. The onus is now on all of our country's top employers to do the same."

The Top 75 Social Mobility Employer Index 2019 rankings

1

PwC

2

KPMG UK LLP

3

Severn Trent

4

JLL

5

Baker McKenzie

6

Deloitte

7

Ministry of Justice

8

Grant Thornton

9

Linklaters LLP

10

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

11

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

12

Civil Service Fast Stream and Early Talent

13

Aviva PLC

14

Mazars

15

Capgemini UK

16

DWF

17

J. P. Morgan

18

DLA Piper

19

Herbert Smith Freehills

20

Santander UK

21

Standard Life Aberdeen

22

Department for Education

23

Financial Conduct Authority

24

Fujitsu

25

Penguin Random House UK

26

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

27

Freeths LLP

28

Brodies LLP

29

Department for Work & Pensions

30

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

31

FDM Group

32

Allen & Overy

33

CMS

34

Accenture

35

Ministry of Defence

36

Mears Group plc

37

Clifford Chance LLP

38

BBC

39

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

40

Slaughter and May

41

British Land

42

Department for International Trade

43

HM Treasury

44

O2

45

The Co-op

46

Teach First

47

RPC

48

Shoosmiths LLP

49

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

50

HM Revenue & Customs

51

Mayer Brown

52

Pinsent Masons LLP

53

ARUP

54

The Home Office

55

British Army

56

City of London Corporation

57

Dentons

58

MediaComUK

59

HFW

60

Hogan Lovells International LLP

61

Cabinet Office

62

Crown Prosecution Service

63

Burges Salmon LLP

64

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

65

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

66

Barts Health NHS Trust

67

Legal & General

68

M&GPrudential

69

Simmons & Simmons

70

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

71

HarperCollins Publishers UK

72

Transport for London

73

Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

74

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

75

Barclays


*Some entrants did not answer the question about client priorities. If they are included in the overall figures, 63% of all Index organisations said socio-economic background compared to 71% saying race and 74% saying gender

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

The FE News Channel gives you the latest breaking news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation.

Providing trustworthy and positive news and views since 2003, we publish exclusive peer to peer articles from our feature writers, as well as user content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, webinars, video interviews and news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page