Social Mobility: The (often) Forgotten Aspect of D&I

When many of us consider implementing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we mainly focus on improving the representation of ethnic minority groups or creating gender-balanced teams.

But it’s very rare that social mobility is high on our agenda.

This is often due to the lack of understanding of the barriers and class perceptions that are needed to make a change – so we’ve put together the main facts you need to know about Social Mobility as part of your diversity and inclusion strategy. 

What is Social Mobility?

Wikipedia describes Social Mobility as the “movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between social strata in a society. It is a change in social status relative to one’s current social location within a given society.” 

Essentially, it is the break in the link between a person’s occupation and that of their parents. 

Why does that affect Diversity and Inclusion?

Although noones background should determine their future, the current structures in the UK often mean that the background of an individual often does dictate their access to education, internships, and job opportunities – therefore minimizing social mobility. 

By excluding socioeconomic background from our diversity and inclusion conversations and strategies, we’re ignoring the issues of rejections based on a “cultural fit”, for example, by determining someones social status due to their education.

These are some of barriers we’re trying to break down with our blind hiring platform,, that allows candidates to choose the characteristics they wish to share with a potential employer. 


According to a recent government report on Social Mobility, only 34% of professional employees come from a working-class background, earning on average 17% less when entering professional occupation than their middle-class colleagues.

Furthermore, almost 50% of adults from lower socioeconomic backgrounds have received no training since leaving school, as employer-funded training is more likely to be given to those from privileged backgrounds. 

What can you do to improve representation in your organisation?

As with every other aspect of a diverse workforce, having a team from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds promotes innovation, staff retention and productivity. Here are some ways you can start improving the socioeconomic diversity of your organisation. 

Culture of Openness

I’s important to showcase role models within your organisations, and encourage an open culture to discuss each others journeys. This could start with leaders in your organisation, which would then make the whole workforce more comfortable with discussing this.

Grassroots Hiring

Partnering with schools / colleges outside of your usual talent pool to provide opportunities or internships is a great way to find diverse talent and build your employer brand. 

Internal Progression

Your paths to internal progression should be as clear as possible, and accessible to all. This might require all applicants to reach certain KPIs or attend certain internal training sessions, therefore reducing the barriers of ‘cultural fit’ and academic requirements to progress.

For more information and support about how to improve socioeconomic diversity in your workplace, you can contact