Cross-industry toolkit

For employers



Share practice, support peers and drive sector-wide change.


Recommendations for developing a socio-economic strategy.
Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale,
detail or commitment.

Be authentic and demonstrate commitment to boosting socio-economic diversity and inclusion by making public statements.

Publish aggregate diversity data on applicants, apprentices, staff members, freelancers, trustees and artists or work with other organisations or trade associations to pool anonymised data (see Appendix A for organisations who could assist on this).

Include a rationale for collecting this data and statement about your strategy.

Separate data by at least one layer horizontally (by broad function) and vertically (by broad seniority levels).

Make a public commitment to publishing data annually and reporting on trends.

Sign up for the Social Mobility Employer Index to assess and monitor your organisation’s progress on social mobility.

Make your Social Mobility Pledge.


Recommendations for optimising your approach.
Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale,
detail or commitment.

Publish granular diversity data on applicants, apprentices, staff members, freelancers and artists annually across all levels and functions, with explicit benchmarking for areas such as pay and progression (e.g. benchmark on % of staff members in senior level positions who are from a lower socio-economic background).

Create and publish a detailed plan to increase socio-economic diversity, measured against key metrics.

Set three-year targets – publish the planned actions and steps taken to realise them.


Actively engage with other organisations and trade associations to champion and celebrate peoples’ stories.

Network and have a presence at industry or sector-specific events designed to advocate, inform and drive positive change – and encourage peer learning.

Have an active voice in national campaigns to support socio-economic diversity – e.g. unpaid internships or university access.

Collaborate with other employers in activities such as early outreach, boosting diversity among work experience applicants – and research both the challenges and solutions.

Show an understanding that people do not experience disadvantages in isolation socio-economic background sits at the crux of intersecting barriers.


Show leadership regarding socio-economic diversity, for example, by:

  • speaking at national events
  • advocating for change in the media
  • contributing to national campaigns
  • bringing together peer employers, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders to engage in debate, and publicising outcomes
  • sharing and celebrating evidence of the positive impact that change brings to your organisation
  • Lead collaborative programmes with focused objectives, such as collating and benchmarking cross-sector data on socio-economic diversity, to generate a wider evidence base.

    Aspire to be the model of best practice. Be the change!

“It’s been great to see so many within the industry collaborate on the development of this toolkit. For the whole creative sector to remain vibrant, it is vital that we tap into the full potential of the whole population, not just a privileged few. The creative industries create the culture of the nation, which in turn necessitates full participation from the entire nation. As organisations adopt the actions set out within this toolkit to make socio-economic inclusion a reality, we will become an industry that is both rich in diverse viewpoints, experiences and stories as well as an industry that is built to last.”
Farrah Storr, Editor-in-Chief, ELLE UK and Social Mobility Commissioner