upReach welcomes Social Mobility Employer Index; calls for employers to make greater use of contextual data

Commenting on the launch of the Social Mobility Employer Index, which for the first time ranks employers on the actions they are taking to boost social mobility, John Craven, Chief Executive of upReach, the social mobility charity said:

“upReach welcomes this important benchmarking exercise and encourages those firms that didn’t participate to seek to achieve best practice in their sector.”

“However, progress in improving social mobility is still too slow, particularly in sectors such as law, where as few as 30% of graduates at some firms went to non-selective state schools that educate 88% of the population.”

“Employers need to do more to reduce bias in their selection processes. Research shows that those from less-advantaged backgrounds outperform those from private schools with the same A-Level grades when at university, yet employers still use A-Level grades as a main indicator of academic performance. We call on employers to follow the lead of universities in using socio-economic data to reduce grade requirements for those who faced disadvantage, such as attending the lowest performing state schools.”

“Disadvantaged students often don’t have the networks to gain work experience or gain an early insight into career pathways.”

“Employers need to encourage applications from those from less-advantaged backgrounds, to help them develop the skills to succeed, and to ensure their recruitment processes do not disadvantage those that apply.”

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