Social Mobility Events


22 March 2022

Employers social mobility masterclass: progression

How does someone successfully climb the career ladder in your workplace?  If you’re a junior employee struggling to progress to the next level or your career seems to be moving slower than those around you, the barriers to career progression – particularly for employees in low pay or from a low socioeconomic background – can feel insurmountable. Few organisations have an ironclad strategy for supporting their employees to learn new skills and reach the next stage in their careers. 

In our first Employers Masterclass of 2022, we’ll be offering guidance on how you – as an employer – can support your employees to progress within your organisation. 

Talent and potential exists at all levels within your business. Without a clear strategy to identify promising people and help them develop the skills needed to advance, you may struggle to get the best out of your employees, and it will be harder for the most talented to reach more senior roles in your workforce.  In this session, we’ll provide advice, information and examples of how you can develop a progression framework that works for your business, by:

  • Understanding and addressing the barriers to progression 
  • Developing clear and fair progression pathways
  • Offering training, and supporting employees to learn and develop new skills 

Developing a clear progression strategy and communicating it to your employees can help your business to build more engaged, inclusive and productive teams that add value to your organisation. For employees who may have struggled to progress, it can turn ‘just a job’ into a promising career in your industry.


Employers masterclass: career progression details

Edward Donkor, SMC Employer Engagement Lead, will begin with a presentation outlining SMC guidance on how employers can help  employees from low socioeconomic backgrounds overcome the barriers to progression they face.

For this session, we are delighted to be joined by Donna Catley, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland and Charlotte Chirwa, Social Mobility Lead, Department for Work and Pensions, who will each share their experiences of how clear and accessible progression routes have supported employees to progress.

Compass Group’s people agenda is based on social equality. Supporting colleagues to progress is a fundamental part of the strategy, and Donna will share how Compass has created clear career pathways for frontline employees, helping them understand the progression routes and opportunities to upskill or reskill on their Compass journey.

Charlotte will discuss how DWP has implemented workplace initiatives to progress equal access to development and progression, and used out-reach projects to attract a diverse range of talent, driving forward socio-economic diversity across all levels.

Donna and Charlotte will then answer questions from the audience.

We look forward to seeing you there. Register now to secure your place, and be sure to take a look at our social mobility toolkit for employers for more information and guidance.

Event details

Event date: 22 March 2022

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Social mobility and senior roles: why is it important?


We were delighted to contribute to this article from d&i Leaders (Diversity and Inclusion Leaders), looking at why it’s important for social mobility that people don’t just ‘get in’ to organisations, but are also supported to ‘get on’ and progress in their careers.

Senior leaders from different socio-economic backgrounds have so much to offer organisations, and it’s great to see more and more people recognising the impact that diverse leadership can have.

Not sure where to start? Check out our toolkits for actionable steps to create an organisation where everyone can thrive, regardless of their background.

Find out more