Allen & Overy
Increasing socio-economic diversity in professional services firms starts with the applicant pipeline.
Potential applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds often deselect themselves before considering careers in these sectors. They make assumptions about the types of people who work in them; and a lack of clear role models allows these negative stereotypes to persist.
Allen & Overy’s Smart Start programme aims to change these perceptions by granting more young people access to the inside of a law firm, providing a glimpse into the life of an entry level lawyer and the range of different roles and people who work there. For one week each year, Year 12 students from schools and colleges across the UK take part in workshops to build their aspirations, develop their skills, meet senior staff and clients, and learn tips on interview technique, CV writing and presenting themselves effectively.
Allen & Overy is also working with social mobility charity upReach to provide career guidance and support to young people who have been on the Smart Start programme, to help level the playing field with peers who may already be aware of work experience schemes, internships and other opportunities. The firm is now seeing applications from, and offering training contracts to, participants in the programme.
Latest news and blogs
Apprenticeships & social mobility: you can help apprenticeships reach their social mobility potential
The Social Mobility Commission’s new toolkit: ‘Apprenticeships that works for all’ has been launched today (14 October). This blog explores the current apprenticeship landscape and sets out why we developed this toolkit. View the toolkit We hosted a virtual toolkit launch event on Thursday 14 October, where a panel of experts explore key challenges around […]
Comedian Rob Beckett has spoken up about the class divide in comedy and his heroes "imagining what a working-class person’s life is."
Rob reflects many working class people’s experiences entering the creative world, including being unable to work for free.
We know the creative industries are heavily skewed towards hiring and progressing people from more privileged backgrounds. But it is vital they stay in tune with and reflect their audiences.
Our Creative industries toolkit is designed to help the industry be more #CreativeAndDiverse. Take a look 👇Find out more