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Herbert Smith Freehills has been ranked amongst the top 20 UK employers in the 2019 Social Mobility Employer Index.

Organisations are independently ranked by the Social Mobility Foundation on the actions they take to access and progress talent from all socio-economic backgrounds.  Each is assessed against criteria relating to how they work with young people, how they recruit and how individuals from lower income backgrounds are given opportunities.

Herbert Smith Freehills has ranked 19th in this year's Social Mobility Employer Index, maintaining the firm's position as a top 20 employer for social mobility in each of the past three years. The rank was achieved after 125 employers from 18 sectors - who collectively employ over 1.1 million individuals - responded to the Social Mobility Foundation's rigorous questions.

The firm was recognised for the breadth and reach of its social mobility programmes, including how:

  • more than 380 students have been supported and more than 190 students mentored via work experience and employability programmes across the firm's offices in London and Belfast. These include PRIME, the Networked Scholarship Scheme and partnerships with The Princes Trust, the Social Mobility Business Partnership and City Solicitors' Horizons
  • access and opportunities has been provided for diverse talent through the Discuss programme, delivered with the graduate diversity specialists, Rare, using their contextual data recruitment system
  • a relationship with Aspiring Solicitors, the coaching and mentoring specialists, has been developed to increase diversity within the legal profession, and collaboration with clients on a range social mobility programmes and initiatives has increased.

The Index was created by the Social Mobility Foundation and it aims to encourage employers to share their initiatives and progress towards becoming more inclusive employers. It also  gives an insight into which sectors and companies are taking the issue of social mobility most seriously.

Executive Partner, UK and EMEA, Ian Cox said:
"We are incredibly proud to have been recognised as a leading employer for social mobility once again. At Herbert Smith Freehills we believe that everyone, regardless of their social or economic background, should have the opportunity to succeed and reach their potential. While there is still more work to do, this is a strategic priority for us and, pleasingly, we are beginning to see real changes."

David Johnston OBE, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to see more and more employers every year taking part in our Social Mobility Employer Index. The quality of submissions this year meant we have increased the size of our Top list from 50 to 75 and it shows the very wide range of organisations trying to make progress on social mobility. Whilst no employer would say they have cracked their social mobility challenge, all of the employers in the Top list – along with those that didn’t quite make it – should be congratulated for the efforts they’re making to ensure their organisation is open to talent from all class backgrounds.”

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Mike Petrook, Communications Manager