Social Mobiliy Foundation logo

Social Mobility Employer Index

Assess and monitor your organisation’s progress on social mobility.

The 2021 Social Mobility Employer Index is now closed for submissions. Key findings will be published in the autumn.


Ensuring there are equal opportunities for people from all socioeconomic backgrounds to succeed in life will take continuous work from all employers, and it must be a collaborative effort. Through the data it collects and the individualised feedback provided to businesses who apply, the Employer Index helps get us closer to achieving that.”

 –  Hollie Crompton, Social Mobility Lead, PwC

Now in its fifth year, the Employer Index has become the leading authority on employer-led social mobility.

The Index is an important bench-marking initiative that ranks Britain’s employers for the first time on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds and it showcases progress towards improving social mobility.

Research has consistently shown that people from more affluent backgrounds take a disproportionate number of the best jobs and that employers tend to disproportionately employ graduates who went to private schools and elite universities.

The aim of the Index is to encourage firms to share their initiatives and progress in becoming more inclusive employers and to reveal which sectors and companies are taking the issue of social mobility most seriously. Whilst Covid-19 has undoubtedly caused setbacks for many, among the hardest hit will be young people from low-income backgrounds. The effects on social mobility could be catastrophic, meaning it is vital that employers prioritise socio-economic diversity going forward.

The 2020 Index highlighted that some sectors of the economy – law, public sector and financial services – as a whole have made some positive strides to improve social mobility in the workplace, but overall progress is too slow. The SMF is calling on those sectors which have benefited most from the Covid-19 pandemic, especially major tech, gaming, or pharmaceutical companies, to make a public commitment to social mobility in 2021.

The key findings report for the 2020 Index is available to read here.


For more information, please see the FAQs below.

The Top 75 Social Mobility Employer Index rankings (click to enlarge)

Top 75 Social Mobility Employer Index rankings 2020


Why take part?
Benchmark and audit your social mobility work 

Every employer who enters receives a personalised report. Many organisations have found it useful in forming their social mobility strategy or monitoring the progress of their existing work.

Clients care about social mobility

86% of entrants say workforce socioeconomic diversity matters to clients

Be a trailblazer for diversity and social mobility

If you join, others will follow and take action. 

Find the UK’s best talent

Taking part in the Index is a great way to find out if your recruitment approach is getting you the best available talent . We help you reward potential, not polish.


How do I submit to the Index?

The Index is free of charge to enter. Organisations are asked to complete an online survey covering 7 sections. Organisations are not required to answer all questions or all sections in order to enter and to receive their individual feedback report. The 2021 Index is now closed for submissions.


Can organisations enter anonymously?

Yes, you can make an anonymous submission to the Index and we will only publish the Top 75 organisations. If you chose to enter anonymously but make it into the Top 75, we will contact to ask you if you would like to be published.

What is the Employee Survey?

The employee survey provides a cultural context to the data in submissions. Organisations can send the survey of 8 questions to their employees and we will analyse the results and share this with you with a comparison to the average from other entrants.

Questions are focused on whether employees feel that their workplaces are inclusive of all social backgrounds and we ask employees to anonymously self-identify their class background so that organisations can compare responses across different class groups.

It is not a requirement of submitting to the Index to also take part in the Employee Survey, however we do reward organisations for their involvement in this in the overall scoring.

Can I view a Word version of the Index questions?

Yes, once you have registered your interest in submitting to the Index, you will be able to download a word version of the questions from the online survey.

Is there guidance available on completing the Index?

Yes, organisations can download guidance notes from the online survey after signing up here.  

If you have questions that are not covered in the guidance notes, please email

2021 submissions

The 2021 Social Mobility Employer Index is now closed for submissions.