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In an open system of social stratification, it’s important to have companies that are championing social mobility. The UK recently released the world’s first ever social mobility employer index and it’s doing incredible things. The index looks at which UK employers are the most open to assessing and progressing talent from a variety of backgrounds and demonstrate an intent for continuous inclusivity.

In terms of UK employment, the index also reveals which sectors and companies were the strongest cheerleaders of social mobility and who was taking it seriously. The following are some of the top UK employers to make that list:

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Founded in 1981, Grant Thornton is one of the world’s largest networks of independent consulting and accounting firms that focuses on building trust and integrity in markets. They seek to encourage sustainable growth within organizations by fostering environments where businesses and people flourish. Providing advice to more than 40,000 dynamic companies across the public and private sector, they are led by 185 partners and 4,500 people in the UK alone.


Serving a global network of professional firms that provide tax, auditing and advisory services, KPMG was founded in 1987 and takes pride in an inclusive culture where people are their greatest asset. Winners of the inaugural Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity, they strive every day to weave social mobility into the fabric of their firm.

Skanska UK PLC

This 130-year-old construction engineering company has long believed in making a positive social contribution to the UK. One of the world’s leading project development groups, Skanska brings people and technology together as part of their quest to make construction a safer and more collaborative business. This is one of the UK employers where social mobility is of utmost importance and inclusivity is stressed daily.

Standard Life PLC

Boasting 9,000 happy employees, Standard Life is one of the top 10 (out of 50) on the social mobility employer index—and it’s easy to see why. Founded in 1825, the world class investment firm is driven by a commitment to sustainability and creating a responsible and inclusive corporate culture. They consider themselves a “living wage” employer and deeply believe in advancing their people towards future success.

Deloitte UK

Recognized as one of the most socially aware UK employers on the index, Deloitte UK is all about making a positive impact on the world by offering inspiring work for everyone from students to seasoned professionals. The financial firm prides itself on being an incredible place for their employees to learn, work and grow. They offer a variety of resources for people in every facet of life from apprenticeships to learning and development programs.


Only about one in five companies surveyed on UK employment stated they had set social mobility targets (about 17%) so there is still a long way to go. Research has shown that those from affluent backgrounds consistently get higher paying jobs, but they may not always be the best fit for the position. Businesses that recognize the need for social mobility will truly come out on top when they can promote skilled employees in diverse company cultures to be the top talents in their field.