24 November 2021

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon is pleased to be recognised as a Top 75 UK employer in the Social Mobility Foundation Index 2021.

The firm is committed to advancing social mobility and taking action to improve social mobility in both the local community and workplace.

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity that makes practical improvements in social mobility for young people from low-income backgrounds through its Aspiring Professional Programme, Social Mobility Employer Index and advocacy and campaigning. 

The Index was launched in 2017 and has grown to become the leading authority on employer-led social mobility. It assesses and ranks UK employers on the actions they take to ensure they are open to talent from all social backgrounds.

The Index comprises two elements: questions directed at employers and an employee survey. Employers are evaluated across seven areas: working with young people; routes into the employer; the attraction of people; recruitment and selection; data collection; progression, culture and experienced hires and; advocacy. The employee survey adds qualitative insights and contextualises the data provided in the employer submissions. Employers are then benchmarked against others.

Burges Salmon has been ranked 56 in the 2021 SMF Index for the commendable work it does to tackle social mobility, to help people from lower socio-economic backgrounds succeed professionally. The firm continued to improve social mobility throughout the pandemic, adapting its award-winning ‘Working with Schools’ programme to support less-advantaged students. This included providing financial funding, deploying volunteers, hosting online sessions, creating new virtual content, establishing new collaborations and donating books and IT equipment.

The firm also takes pride in continuing to offer apprenticeship opportunities, use contextual recruitment practices and have a strong focus on an inclusive workplace.

Rt Hon. Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, comments: “The pandemic has exposed the new geography of disadvantage in Britain and, through disruption in the classroom, exam hall and workplace, created serious barriers to young people’s opportunities. If older people have been on the health frontline of the pandemic it is the young who seem doomed to suffer the biggest economic and social consequences.

Employer-led social mobility will be vital in bridging the divide and delivering the levelling up agenda. All of the employers represented in the Index are showing that it is possible to create a society where it is not background or birth but aptitude and ability that dictate progress in life. They are proving it is possible to build back better. If we are to rescue the fraying promise of a meritocratic society, then more employers must join them and government must follow suit in taking targeted action to address social mobility.”

Head of Corporate Responsibility at Burges Salmon, Kirsty Green-Mann, adds: "We are delighted to have been recognised as a Top 75 UK employer in the Social Mobility Foundation Index 2021. Social mobility is integral to the firm and we believe people from all backgrounds should have the chance to succeed by developing the skills they need for their futures – whether this be through work experience, career guidance, or financial funding."

Key contact

Cheryl Parkhouse

Cheryl Parkhouse Senior Associate

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