Leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the ‘Promoting Opportunity’ category, in recognition of the firm’s actions to help improve social mobility in the workplace.
Grant Thornton introduced a number of new measures in 2013 to help widen access and inclusion. The firm reviewed their entire approach to trainee recruitment through a social mobility lens and, alongside being the first professional services firm to drop academic barriers to entry, made a number of changes to the way in which it assesses entry level talent; including introducing an online interviewing platform and providing coaching pre and post interview stage. The firm is also a founding signatory of Access Accountancy, a movement which aims to broaden access to the profession.
Commenting on the award, Sacha Romanovitch, CEO, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “Creating a futureproof, diverse and inclusive workforce is good for business and is an ongoing priority for the future of a vibrant economy where people, business and communities can thrive.
“We are committed to making sure that the opportunities within our firm are equally accessible for everyone, regardless of background, and that our firm is more representative of all levels of society.
“We are thrilled that our efforts and long-standing commitment to improving social mobility, both within the firm and across the accountancy profession, continues to be recognised and hope our success inspires other organisations to follow in our footsteps.”
Malcolm Gomersall, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Grant Thornton UK LLP, added: “We started our social mobility journey over five years ago and our focus has always been on levelling the playing field and providing young people with opportunities that they may not have always had.
“We know that having a wider more diverse pool of talent leads to improved organisational performance, a better outcome for clients and a more productive economy. Increasing social mobility is a practical way for business to make a difference and do well by doing good, while boosting diversity in their workforce. Social mobility is just one part of our wider inclusion agenda and we continue to look for ways to widen both the diversity of our trainees and firm as a whole.”
In 2017, Grant Thornton was also ranked top in the inaugural Social Mobility Employer Index – a joint initiative between the Social Mobility Foundation and the Social Mobility Commission which attracted submissions from 98 UK employers.
The firm was also awarded Social Mobility Business Compact ‘Champion’ status by government in 2014, one of only 12 firms, for demonstrating leadership and exemplary practice in the field of social mobility.