Following KPMG’s strong performance in the inaugural ranking of UK’s top-performing businesses for social mobility, Melanie Richards, Vice Chair of KPMG in the UK, calls social mobility the critical social issue of our time.
Melanie Richards siad:
Social mobility is no longer just a matter of fairness but an economic necessity. The publication of this new ranking couldn’t be timelier. We know that the UK is one of the least socially mobile countries in the OECD.
KPMG has taken a leading role on social mobility for some time – walking the walk not just talking the talk. At the end of last year, the firm became the first UK business to publish comprehensive data on the socio-economic makeup of its workforce. The move was a key component in KPMG’s strong showing in today’s Index,
What gets measured, gets managed. By tracking and publishing this data, KPMG’s aim is to ensure the firm is held to account and that the leadership takes positive and decisive action on these issues rather than simply paying them lip service.
For KPMG, this is another key milestone after the firm won a Queen’s Award earlier this year for its work on promoting opportunity through social mobility.
Melanie Richards continued:
We are all delighted to see KPMG achieve second place in the Index. It is recognition of the work our people do across the UK, often quietly and behind the scenes, to ensure our profession is more open and accessible to everyone
However it is far from a case of ‘job done’. We will redouble our efforts so more people from diverse backgrounds feel our firm and businesses like ours are places they can reach their full potential, no matter where they started out
David Johnston, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, added:
All the Top 50 firms in the Social Mobility Employer Index should be applauded for the progress they are making towards ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to get in and get on – regardless of their background. They should be congratulated both for having prioritised social mobility and for being prepared to have their processes and practices independently scrutinised
KPMG’s top five tips for businesses looking to improve the socio-economic makeup of their workforce are:
- Making the business case
At KPMG social mobility isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ – it’s an integral part of our talent strategy. By widening access to the profession, we know we can attract and recruit the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds, helping us solve our clients’ complex challenges.
- Educating staff about what social mobility is, why it matters and how they can contribute
You need a swell of support from all levels of the business to create change, all the way from your leadership through to new starters. Only by clearly outlining the case for social mobility from the outset will you be able to take them on this exciting journey with you.
- Learning from the experts
At KPMG we’ve sought out external experts to inform our social mobility strategy – for example, we consulted with experts at the Bridge Group and the Institute of Education on the right mix of socio-economic background questions for our new applicants and workforce.
- Developing data driven strategies
At the end of 2016 we became the first UK business to publish comprehensive data on the socio-economic background of our workforce. This data provides an evidence base for change and we can use it as a baseline to measure our future progress. Going public with this data will also ensure the firm is held to account on its social mobility work.
- Collaboration is key
Tackling social mobility isn’t something government or any one business can achieve on its own. That’s why KPMG has worked hard to drive collaboration and cross sector learning from our advocacy of the Living Wage to being a driving force behind the development of Access Accountancy.