Linklaters named Top 50 employer for social mobility

Linklaters has today been ranked as one of the Top 50 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2018.

The top 50 UK employers that have taken the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace are announced today in what is believed to be the world’s only Social Mobility Employer Index.

The Index is the creation of the Social Mobility Foundation and is published in partnership with sponsor The City of London Corporation. It ranks the UK’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds. This year it finds having a workforce that is diverse in terms of social background is fast becoming as important to employers as being diverse in terms of gender and race.
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 across seven areas, including the work they do with young people, their recruitment and selection processes and how people from lower income backgrounds progress within their organisations.

Over 100 employers from 18 sectors, which collectively employ over one million people, entered the 2018 Index. Entrants included banks, law firms, Government departments, engineering firms, retail firms and technology companies.

Over 11,000 people also took part in a voluntary employee survey.

Linklaters has been ranked 11th in the Index for the commendable work it has taken to tackle this and enable those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to succeed. Measures taken by the company to improve social mobility include the removal of rolling applications and opening up Winter, Spring and Summer Vacation Schemes to everyone from penultimate year undergraduate and postgraduate students and beyond.

Linklaters’ success in the Index will be announced today at a launch event at the City of London Corporation.


Nathalie Hobbs, Linklaters Executive Champion for Social Mobility, said:

"I am thrilled that, for the second year in a row, our efforts to increase the social diversity of the firm have been recognised in this way, but we acknowledge that there is still more to do. Over the next year I look forward to continuing the great work in the UK as well as defining our global approach.”

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

“We have been very impressed by the efforts employers are making to ensure their organisation is open to talent from all backgrounds. We can really see organisations taking a whole host of actions to try and ensure that they have a diverse workforce in terms of socio-economic background as well as in terms of gender and race; they in turn are benefitting from accessing a much wider talent pool than they have traditionally recruited from. All entrants should be praised for broadening their approach.”
Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said:
“Improving the UK’s social mobility record requires action by employers and the Index is creating a real momentum. Many leading businesses are showing real ambition in their approach to tackling the UK’s social mobility problem and it is important that firms continue to prioritise this area to help remove the barriers holding back the best and brightest in our society. 
“Giving young people experience of the work environment and helping them gain skills can boost their career prospects and open up a wide pool of talent for businesses. Everyone has the right to a good career regardless of background and we must remove hurdles for young people who have the talent, but may lack the network of guidance, support and connections to get ahead. They are the future workforce which will make sure that the UK prospers in the long term.”
Sir Nick Clegg, Chairman of Social Mobility Foundation, said:

"I'm delighted that so many organisations chose to participate in the Social Mobility Index this year. Improving social mobility across society is a collective endeavour - with Government, schools, colleges, universities, families and businesses all pulling in the same direction.
This year's Index shows that there is a growing appetite for employers to play their part - I warmly congratulate all those who did so, and I hope they will be joined by more employers in next year's Index."
The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, former Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, added:

"There is a mood for change in the nation. As the Index shows, social mobility is becoming a cause for more and more of our country's top employers.  It is welcome that they are stepping up to the plate.  They are making these changes both because they see the social need to do so and because they recognise the business benefit that greater diversity can bring.”