Social mobility for us is about making a more equitable society where everyone has the same chance to succeed, and feels respected and included, irrespective of social background.
This is reflected in our social mobility guiding principle of “Getting in, Getting on, Belonging”, which is in line with our Grant Thornton motto of “doing what’s right ahead of what’s easy”.
An equitable society where everyone, no matter their background, can fully participate and prosper equally is not just morally important but also necessary for society, businesses, and all of us as individuals.
The benefits of a more equitable society are far-reaching: reduced poverty, improved health, longer lives, reduction in violence, improved education, gains in the economy, and far more.
But how is social mobility related to an equitable society? Ridged social levels and inequality go hand in hand; when social mobility increases, inequality falls. So, for us as individuals, as a business, and as members of our communities, it is very important to seek a present and a future where your chance to succeed in life and at work is based on your personal effort and results, and not background.
Our guiding principle for social mobility of "Getting in, Getting on, Belonging" contains the three elements we recognise as leading to inclusion.
Our current long-term strategy has six distinct areas: advocacy, attraction, recruitment, progression, community, and education & explanation. These goals are underpinned by internal and external visible leadership championing and advocating for social mobility initiatives.
Our recruitment team has worked to understand the impact of, and update, our own recruitment systems, and structures so everyone can access the opportunity of working with Grant Thornton. This has included:
Removing grade requirements for recruitment throughout the recruitment process applicants' grades are hidden from assessors, interviewers, etc. The school or university attended are also hidden.
Use of multiple stage assessments to assess an individual's potential rather than their past experiences, recognising that not everyone will have the opportunity or means to take part in work experience and other activities.
Regular data collection, monitoring and updating of the stages in our recruitment process to ensure no specific group is underperforming.
Offering work experience as part of the Access Accountancy scheme from the ICAEW, which is focused on those from lower socio-economic backgrounds who wouldn't normally get such experience at a professional firm.
The recruitment team's fantastic work was recognised at the 2022 SOMO Awards, with them winning Recruitment Programme of the Year.
Our plan going forward is to continue this work, with a focus on:
We seek to promote inclusion internally by ensuring everyone can progress at the same rate and to the same place, regardless of their background in the following ways:
Promoting specific training and information materials to People Managers and the Grant Thornton Inclusion Allies on the experiences of those from LSEB and the bias and barriers they can experience, along with how we can change our workplace and team cultures to fully embrace and include everyone.
Internal data analysis has been undertaken to understand how socio-economic background and protected characteristics for specific internal groups impact whether a colleague stays with Grant Thornton and their career progression.
Data analysis has allowed us to offer development and career support to specific colleagues.
This work, coupled with our work to support people "Getting In" to Grant Thornton and the wider accountancy profession, led to us receiving the 2022 SOMO Award for Organisation of the Year, and being ranked #2 in the 2022 SME Index.
However, we realise there is far more work to do so our strategy going forward is to build on this work, with a focus on:
We believe that belonging is a feeling of being a full and valued member of our Grant Thornton community. We aim to instil this feeling in our LSEB colleagues by building a community that recognises, respects, and supports everyone, encouraging everyone to bring their whole selves to work. Building a sense of community has included:
Educating our colleagues about what social mobility means in the workplace and what they can do to support themselves and others through presentations and discussions at department and team meetings.
Encouraging and sharing stories among colleagues via internal articles, our community network, and other avenues.
Running regular "tea breaks" for people to come together and talk. Each tea break has a topic related to social mobility, whether that is about economic cold spots, accent bias, budgeting, or media like TV, film, or poems about social mobility.
Our strategy promotes the continuation of this work, with a focus on:
We have ranked as a top employer in the Social Mobility Employer’s Index 2022.
Volunteers from our Birmingham and Manchester offices successfully delivered the Grant Thornton School Enterprise Programme workshop to 450 students.