the upReach View, Jade Azim, Programme Coordinator:
Today’s report by the Social Mobility Commission on the ‘Class Ceiling’ in top professions provides a stark picture of how far the UK has still to go in alleviating inequality even once working class candidates have made it through the door. upReach exists to ensure working class candidates are provided with essential skill sets, and will work with our alumni in their further development once in the workplace. But more must be done in terms of culture change to ensure mobility is possible and networks and ‘polish’ do not restrict the aspirations of talented individuals.
This requires from the government, employers their partnerships and collaboration with organisations such as upReach an interventionist approach in not only reforming recruitment processes to advance fairness and reduce unconscious bias, but also in monitoring the status and progress of its employees once they have been hired. Organisations such as ours can do this with established and supported Alumni Networks, but these networks can be assisted by advancements made by employers and government initiatives to make monitoring easier, including the clarification of socio-economic indicators that we can feed into.
Culture change can be achieved so that talented employees from all backgrounds can acquire mobility in the workplace, but it requires the full commitment and participation of employers and the government to our mission.