Grant Thornton recognised as leading social mobility employer

Carl Williams

BUSINESS advisory group Grant Thornton has been acknowledged as one of Britain’s best employers for inclusivity by the Social Mobility Employer Index, a respected national authority which ranks efforts companies to ensure they are hiring and progressing talent from all backgrounds.

The firm, which has offices in the Liver Building is led in the region by Carl Williams, he said: “We are passionate about creating an environment where everyone can thrive.

“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. We want to change this and our approach is informed and driven by data, which we use to identify and remove barriers to progression.”

The Social Mobility Employer Index assesses employers across seven key areas, including their work with young people, routes into the organisation, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy. Grant Thornton was awarded second place in the country, recognising work that started five years when it prioritised a more inclusive approach to talent.

Karen Campbell-Williams, a partner based in Manchester who leads at board level on social mobility for Grant Thornton, said: “We are on a mission to identify and remove barriers to entry and progression, not just at our firm, but across the professional services industry and in the wider community. 

“We’re proud of the progress we’ve recently made in both data collection and reporting. This strong data gives us well-targeted outreach with schools that have above average levels of Free School Meals and/or low levels of attainment and with our outreach in social mobility cold spots, through our work with ICAEW Rise.

“However, there’s more work to be done.  The most recent (2019) State of the Nation report from the Social Mobility Commission found the UK’s better off are still 80% more likely to make it into professional jobs than those from working-class backgrounds. In the context of a global pandemic and economic recession, it’s more important than ever that we continue to play our part in improving opportunity for everyone.”