EMPLOYER

INDEX

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2022

The leading authority on employer-led social mobility

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The workplace is as important as the classroom in creating social mobility

That's why we created the Social Mobility Employer Index: an annual benchmarking and assessment tool for employers. The Index shows how employers perform on eight areas of employer-led social mobility.

Employers can enter the Index anonymously and don’t have to answer every question or fill in every section. All entrants to the Index will get a bespoke feedback report, helping them to improve social mobility in their organisation.

The Employer Index Report details the data and insights gained from analysing Index entries. It provides an overview of social mobility in workplaces that are already committed to improving on socioeconomic diversity.

The report also features best practice and practical steps that your employer can take to improve social mobility in the short, medium and long-term.

2023 Employer Index Report

2023 EMPLOYER INDEX

Data Summary

143

organisations entered the Index in 2023.

3

organisations are still offering unpaid internships.

46

organisations no longer look at grades during their recruitment process.

102

organisations collect three or four socioeconomic data points on current employees.

37

organisations publish socioeconomic data.

18

organisations are measuring their class pay gap.

2023 Employer Index

Top 75 Employers

Please note that some positions are tied

The Employer Index Report

Each year, we detail how entrants are performing in key aspects of employer-led social mobility. The report features best practice and practical steps all employers can take to improve social mobility.

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Enter the Social Mobility Employer Index to level-up your workplace

Index entrants are rigorously assessed on the steps they are taking to ensure that their workplace is open to talent from all social backgrounds. Employers do not have to enter all sections and have the option to remain anonymous.

There are eight areas of assessment:

1

Schools outreach and work with young people

How effectively are employers targeting young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds? Is the outreach providing accessible routes into a young person’s career of choice? Employers perform well if they offer well-targeted and well-evaluated programmes that are accessible to all.

2

Attraction and university outreach

To what extent are employers ensuring their attraction activities reach young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds? Employers do well if they make an active effort to diversify their attraction methods across their school leaver, apprentice and graduate programmes.

3

Recruitment and selection

Do employers reward potential over ‘polish’? Are employers removing barriers that prevent those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds progressing to selection and rewarding current ability? Employers perform well if they remove barriers that prevent individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds progressing to selection, and reward current ability and future potential over past academic performance.

4

Routes into the employer

Is the organisation taking the steps to create well-structured routes into employment? Employers who perform well target all entry routes to people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, hire based on potential and pay fairly for the routes into their organisations.

5

Data collection

Are employers collecting and analysing data to understand the socioeconomic profile of their workforce? What are employers doing with the insights that they collect to improve their socioeconomic diversity?  Employers who perform well collect data and rigorously analyse it, using the insights it gives them to improve their socioeconomic diversity.

6

Pay, progression and retention

Are employers providing an environment in which those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds can flourish? Are employers ensuring that employees are supported in their role and receive progression opportunities? Employers who perform well will have explored the impact of socioeconomic background on pay, progression and retention in their organisation and implemented support to employees from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to allow them to thrive.

7

Culture and internal advocacy

What strategies are organisations utilising to create an environment that is inclusive of all socioeconomic backgrounds? Does the employer have senior buy-in for their social mobility strategy? Employers who perform well will have undertaken a robust exercise to understand the experiences of people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, will have senior buy in for social mobility strategies and will have set targets to improve their socioeconomic diversity.

8

External advocacy

What external advocacy work are organisations doing to improve social mobility? Are employers engaging their supply chain and peers to do more on social mobility?  Those who perform well are the employers who leverage their influence to encourage external stakeholders to act on social mobility.

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How the Social Mobility Employer Index works

How the Index supports employers

Every entrant receives a bespoke feedback report based on their entry detailing how they are performing and offering advice on how they can improve. Employers typically use the report to develop their diversity and inclusion work or to support the creation of a stand alone social mobility strategy.

Our team guides entrants through the Index submission process and are available for questions throughout the year.

Employers can enter the Index anonymously and do not have to submit to each section to secure a feedback report, allowing organisations to evaluate how they are currently performing against the activity they are doing while gaining valuable feedback on the areas they are not.

How to join the Index

Employers answer questions and provide data across eight areas using our online form.

There is an entry fee of £1,200 (+VAT). The fee helps our charity to improve and deliver the Index in a sustainable way. Charities and small employers (49 employees or fewer) are exempt.

As we have a high number of entrants in the legal, banking, financial services, insurance and professional services sectors we are offering optional additional sectoral insights for an additional fee of £300 (£1,500 +VAT in total).

If you are interested in joining the 2024 Employer Index, please register your interest below. Specific entry information including the survey questions and employer guidance will be sent to you via email once you register your interest.

About the Employer Index Report

The Employer Index Report is our annual analysis of the data collected from all employers who entered the Index. We provide a national picture of employer-led social mobility in workplaces that already prioritise the issue.

Further context

The 2024 Social Mobility Employer Index will be our eighth year running the Index. The Index has transformed how employers understand and deliver on socioeconomic diversity: improving the recruitment, retention, and progression of employees from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Employer Index Cycle

01

Winter

Employer Index Report published

02

Spring

Index opens for entries

03

Summer

Entries assessed by the Social Mobility Foundation

04

Autumn

Scoring, benchmarking and analysis

Ready to take action on social mobility?

Get everything you need to enter the 2025 Employer Index.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay my entry fee?

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You’ll be asked to commit to paying as part of the entry process. Organisations can pay via card payment, or we can send you an invoice when the entry window closes. Payment should be made within 30 days of the invoice date. Unless your organisation is exempt, you must pay the entry fee to receive your personalised feedback report and be included in the benchmarking process.

What if I find the entry fee prohibitive?

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I want to enter but don't feel my organisation is ready. What should I do?

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We know that all employers are at different stages of their social mobility journey. We allow organisations to enter the Index anonymously. This means that you will not be included in any external communications, but you will still receive the same level of support, as well as the valuable individual feedback report. We also allow you to skip questions and whole sections if you do not have information or data for those areas. While this will affect your score, we will still offer you advice on the sections you don’t answer, helping you to improve what your organisation is doing.

Is it suitable for small organisations and charities?

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Yes. While some questions might not be as relevant, you will still receive a personalised feedback report with best practice.

How much does it cost to enter the Index?

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There is an entry fee of £1,200 (+VAT). This contribution to our charity will help us develop and deliver the Index in a sustainable way. Charities and small employers (49 employees or fewer) are exempt. As we have a high number of entrants in the legal and financial and professional services sectors, we are offering optional additional sectoral insights for an additional fee of £300 (£1,500 +VAT in total). These additional sectoral insights can be bought regardless of the sector you're in and whether you enter the Index.

Do I have to enter every year?

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Some employers use the Index as a one-off benchmarking tool, though it is of maximum value when employers enter annually as it shows you where you are improving and helps you to respond to the evolving socioeconomic context. Each year we review our advice and guidance in line with best practice.

Register for updates

Find out more about the Employer Index and how to enter.

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