Last Thursday, members of the Young MCA’s South West committee organised a virtual workshop on Social Mobility. The workshop was led by Polly Clarke, Technology Consultant and Social Mobility Champion from member firm PwC.
The session started with an eye-opening introduction into the idea of changing your social position. We also looked at the history of Social Mobility, how far we have come and how far we have to go. Explanations of key terminology and principles allowed those new to the concept to establish a basic understanding and inspired listeners to think about how they and their companies approach Social Mobility.
Representatives from PwC and Arcadis then talked through their Social Mobility initiatives, programmes and case studies, with Anthony Bruton from charity, Career Ready, providing additional insight into how it builds networks with employers and volunteers to give young people the support and experiences they need to kick-start their careers. Our speakers described how PwC aligns its national, firm-wide strategy to local initiatives and how active communication and collaboration helps enable those from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their full potential. They also explained how easy to access and structured volunteering opportunities encourage increased employee engagement. In Arcadis’ search to expand their Social Mobility initiatives, they partnered with Career Ready. Through this charity, employees are able to offer their time to mentor young people, which offers an excellent opportunity to provide career engagement, industry insights and masterclasses to young people who may face barriers in education and employment.
It became very clear during the open question and answer session that many of our young consultants are very passionate about Social Mobility. The attendees were keen to gain further insight to take away, with speakers being inundated with queries about potential initiatives for smaller firms, how to approach establishing a Social Mobility network and advice for firms which are focusing on diversity and inclusion.
The event and speakers provided the attendees with practical tips and options available to companies whilst highlighting the challenges young people are facing. With our young consultants invested in positive change and more and more companies establishing their own Social Mobility strategies and partnering with charities such as Career Ready, they are providing opportunities and support networks to allow young, disadvantaged people to fulfil their potential.
Words by Ashleigh Ward, BMT