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News release

Grant Thornton commended for action to improve social mobility

Grant Thornton UK LLP has been recognised by the second annual Social Mobility Employer Index for positive action to improve social mobility in the workplace, ranking number two in the 2018 index of top UK employers.

Over the last few years, the firm has proactively pursued a market leading approach to tackling social mobility.  In 2013 Grant Thornton was the first professional services firm to drop academic entry requirements at graduate and school leaver entry level (amongst other measures) to level access to our business.  The firm has since redesigned its trainee application form to remove any weightings around extra-curricular activities and work experience and has completely redefined its target schools and universities. Underpinning this is a high level of coaching and support to all those going through the recruitment process.

Earlier this year, the firm’s work on this agenda was also rewarded the Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility and has developed an award winning flexible approach to family pay for those taking longer periods of leave and in recognition that every family is different.

Malcolm Gomersall, Head of People and Client Experience at Grant Thornton, said:

“We have proactively pursued a market leading approach to social mobility as we know that to attract diversity we first need to embrace different ideas and approaches to the way we work, and challenge ourselves to step up and create an inclusive culture.  As a firm, we continue to build a culture of inquiry through developing the coaching skills of our people managers. 

“We are encouraging our people to respect diversity of views and develop a growth, rather than a fixed mind-set. As part of our inclusion strategy, we are looking at how we can address both systemic and cultural barriers so that we encourage the progression of a diverse range of people.

“Our purpose is to shape a vibrant economy where no one is left behind and ensuring opportunities are equally accessible to everyone regardless of background is core to our strategy. Through actively sharing our story to the wider market, we have proudly seen some of the initiatives we have driven be embraced by larger organisations and have set the standard for what great looks like in this space.  As founding signatories of Access Accountancy, an industry-wide social mobility initiative, we’re delighted to see many others from that collaboration on the list today.”

Grant Thornton’s 2020 pledge for inclusion outlines some key principles to help further create a culture of inclusion:

  • Understand and address the systemic and cultural barriers to progression in our culture that are creating disparity and action specific changes to address these barriers
  • Educate our people to support inclusive decision making with a programme of learning
  • Continue to shape our culture of Shared Enterprise where everyone is encouraged to share ideas and responsibility to grow equally, with respect for all diversity of thinking
  • Encourage agile and flexible working to help our people choose when, where and how they work to meet the needs of their clients and teams, enabling better balance in their lives and to build a culture where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”