London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, yet many people face significant barriers to getting a job or progressing their careers in the City, because of their background. In a bid to create a city that is inclusive and open to everyone, The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s Power of Inclusion 2020 series will be focusing on social mobility, exploring some of the structural barriers and internal beliefs that can stop people progressing.
Social mobility matters. Professional jobs such as those offered by the City are key to upwards social mobility; however, despite numerous initiatives, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds remain more likely to be unemployed, find it harder to get a ‘good’ job, and get paid less than their better-off peers.
Those from working class backgrounds are 80% less likely to make it into professional jobs. People from working class backgrounds earn 24% less a year than those from professional backgrounds. Just 34% of people from working class backgrounds work in professional occupations, compared to 60% of those from professional backgrounds.
We at The Lord Mayor’s Appeal believe social mobility is more important than ever as we face together the social and economic impact of Covid-19. We know that those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are likely to be hardest hit. Therefore addressing the challenges and opportunities of social mobility needs to be a priority for businesses to support their current employees and create brighter futures for those adversely impacted. We are committed to working with businesses to push the agenda forward in a way that is relevant and meaningful.
Our popular Power of Inclusion events provide practical tips and tools, real life success stories, and an opportunity to collaborate on moving the dial forwards on diversity and inclusion. Our aim this year is to demystify social mobility and inspire organisations across the City to act and make a commitment to addressing social mobility across their business. We want to show how social mobility initiatives can transform business hiring practices and create happier and more productive workplaces.
We will introduce social mobility: what is it and why is it important, and how diverse workplaces are better workplaces. We look at how we can de-bias recruitment systems and ensure hiring the best talent out there, hiring as many ‘scrappers’ as ‘silver spoons.’ There will be a session on making workplace cultures more inclusive for those from socially mobile backgrounds and how this can increase staff retention, and a workshop exploring diversity at the top of companies and how we can lead by example. The final two events will look at networks and mentoring, and how the right support can transform people’s career paths, finishing up with measurement and how we can track that we are on the right path.
The Power of Inclusion forum and workshop series breaks down barriers to inclusion by empowering organisations to create inclusive workplace cultures. By sharing learning and best practice to tackle the challenges of diverse representation, it is making a huge impact on the professional culture of the City, creating fully inclusive workplaces and equal opportunities for all.
Due to social distancing measures we are taking our first events of 2020 online. As well as keeping our speakers and attendees safe, this offers the opportunity for those who may ordinarily be unable to attend for any reason a more flexible and inclusive way of taking part. We hope to extend our reach through online events and enable more people from your business and other regional areas to attend.