Social mobility is about making sure that someone’s background doesn’t determine their future. Earlier this month we ran a social mobility workshop for our Foundations for Responsible Business members, so we’ve put together five top tips for improving social mobility.
- Your data
Without data, it’s hard to know what interventions you need and what activities have an impact. Use the Social Mobility Commission’s 4 Key Questions to collect socio-economic background data, at your recruitment stage and then annually to monitor progression and retention. Make sure you tell people why you’re collecting this data, how you’ll use it and what you’re going to do with the results. Once you’ve got your data, analyse it against levels of seniority to examine your progression gap.
- Your outreach
Raise career choice awareness and offer opportunities to schools and colleges in underserved communities. To help widen your talent pool, you might want to work in partnership with an expert organisation – the Social Mobility Commission’s list of organisations could help you find one.
- Your recruitment
Make sure your recruitment processes don’t have any biases so that people from diverse backgrounds can progress through the process. You should use inclusive language in your job descriptions and adverts, and instead of having qualification barriers, focus on transferable skills.
- Your culture
An inclusive culture will help the progression and retention of a diverse employee pool – informal networks give people from privileged backgrounds an advantage, so it’s important to formalise your progression journey. To get everyone on board, create a shared vision of socio-economic diversity and inclusion across your organisation. You could do this by encouraging people to share their stories to normalise the social mobility conversation.
- Your leadership
Make sure senior members of your business lead are involved in discussions about the importance of social mobility. They should be open to hearing from younger employees about social mobility issues and suggestions for improvement. Having senior managers mentor employees from disadvantaged backgrounds early in their careers will help with progression.
If you get started with these top tips, you’ll be in a good position to improve social mobility! And if you want more help on social mobility, diversity and inclusion, you can connect with experts by joining our Foundations for Responsible Business programme.`