As Chief Executive and Founder of Making the Leap I know that there are a lot of companies and institutions doing excellent work to advance social mobility in the UK.
With the UK facing an uncertain future post-Referendum, I’m calling on companies and organisations to do more to open up opportunities and career journeys for young people from less well-off backgrounds.
This week we’re launching the UK’s first Social Mobility Awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of businesses and organisations across the UK in advancing social mobility.
Whether your business or organisation enters the Awards or not there are a number of simple steps that can support social mobility in the UK.
5 simple steps to support social mobility in the UK
1. A social mobility strategy. Now it doesn’t matter whether this is a policy, a strategy or a plan, in your organisation, it’s the existence of one that matters. Taking the time to consider what you want to do around social mobility and committing that to a document, immediately elevates social mobility from something that would be nice to do, to a business imperative.
2. A social mobility champion. It sends out a powerful message that you are taking social mobility seriously if you have a high-level sponsor of the above strategy. This person needs to be at board level or c-suite and they have to be a proud and visible advocate internally for your social mobility efforts.
3. Invest in socially disadvantaged young people. Whether you have targeted recruitment programmes or are out in the community supporting projects, it doesn’t matter; do the things that work for your business – but do something!
4. Set targets. The maxim what gets measured gets done rings very true here. Part of embedding social mobility within your organisation’s practices is making yourself accountable and setting out to achieve something.
5. Celebrate your success. Some companies have already been doing great work in social mobility, whist others are just starting on their journey. Whatever the case, when you‘ve achieved something find a way to shout about it. The more you do so, the more others in your sector and area will not want to be left behind and they will have to do something too. One excellent way to celebrate success is to enter the UK Social Mobility Awards. We look forward to your entry.
Tunde Banjoko OBE
Chief Executive and Founder, Making The Leap