Cross-industry toolkit

For employers



Support all staff to access opportunities to develop.

Social mobility is not just about who gets in, it’s also about who gets on. Have a defined list of skills required for each promotion – and build flexibility into job specifications. You can watch the video for more top tips or read our guidance below.


Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.

Analyse data to understand how progression rates and receipt of bonuses and rewards may be affected by socio-economic background; examine how decisions about this are made.

Create a clear definition of talent in each section of the organisation, and an explicit narrative about what
experiences and behaviours should not contribute to progression.

Create clear processes and policies for work allocation
and performance management.

Ensure training opportunities are evenly taken up by those from all backgrounds.


Activities at each level are related, but distinguished by scale, detail or commitment.

Undertake more advanced analyses to understand staff profiles and intersectionality in more detail, for example:

  • correlations between different diversity characteristics – e.g. socio-economic background, gender and ethnicity – and relative performance, pay and progression
  • regressions of different diversity characteristics – e.g. school attainment, university attended, gender and ethnicity – on progression rates throughout the organisation
  • qualitative research to understand issues in more detail


Create opportunities for employees to engage with the narrative on socio-economic diversity, for example:

  • internal events, webinars and podcasts
  • physical and online forums for employees to share views and experiences where appropriate

Share evidence and practice from across the sector.


Engage with your supply chain in advancing socio-economic diversity, with contractual obligations where appropriate (e.g. about unpaid internships and data collection).

Explore how and in what ways client perceptions and expectations affect who gets ahead.


Ensure that those taking non-graduate routes receive comparable opportunities for progression and reward as those taking graduate routes.

Ensure middle managers visibly support the offer of training, development and progression opportunities for low-skilled workers.

Provide clear information about training activities so that employees can request access to these themselves.


Implement rigorous processes for succession planning to:

  • avoid rushed hiring processes to replace leavers (which risks compromising consideration of diversity)
  • reduce the effectiveness of individuals threatening to leave to gain advantage (which is more common among more dominant groups)