EY ranked seventh in 2018 Social Mobility Employer Index UK

EY ranked seventh in 2018 Social Mobility Employer Index UK

There is a "mood for change" among UK business and the Big Four firm is right behind it

Big Four firm EY have been named one of the UK’s top employers for its social mobility efforts.

The firm have received official recognition for taking action around social mobility in the workplace. These rankings are formed by the Social Mobility Foundation (the Foundation) in partnership with the City of London Corporation.

Its parental advice campaign, which helps parents understand the changing world of work so they can help children make decisions about their futures, received special recognition.

Winning seventh place out of 50, EY is now part of the Social Mobility Employer Index UK which recognises businesses’ efforts in recruiting and progressing talent from all backgrounds.

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.”

The ranking assesses seven different areas. These include the capacity of work the business does with young people as well as their recruitment and selection processes.

How people from lower income backgrounds progress within organisations is another way that the Index assesses businesses.

The Foundation reported that this year over 100 employers across 18 different sectors entered the Index. This amounted to over one million employees in across the businesses.

Banks, law firms, government departments, engineering firms, retail businesses, and technology companies were all present among those who entered.

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 parental advice campaign, which EY launched during exam season last year, was particularly commended because, through the release of research and a series of workshops, it provides advice to parents about how the working world is changing and how they can advise their children on their futures.

Workshops took place in Manchester, Birmingham, Reading, and London. The campaign, which was noted by the Cabinet Office, reached over 32m people around the country.

Steve Varley, EY UK chairman, said: “The experience of working with a global firm like EY can last a lifetime and we want to help extend that opportunity to as many people as possible.

“In particular, we are mindful of the many, many talented students in schools and colleges across the country with exceptional promise that are missing out on the chance to fulfil their potential, based on their socio-economic background. We want to help change that.”

The Big Four firm continue to use their power to explore ways of creating more routes into the accounting profession that will suit a wider range of individuals and circumstances.

This includes offering 60 new digital degree apprenticeships this year, in which students can complete a Bachelors in Science at the same time as working and earning a salary, without taking on the debt of traditional university.

The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, former Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, concluded: “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.”

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