The firm ranks 48 and makes the list of 75 top-performing social mobility employers
Osborne Clarke's ongoing commitment to improving social mobility is paying off, as the firm has jumped 33 places to rank 48th out of the top 75 organisations leading the way on social mobility. This is a substantial increase on the firm's 2020 performance in the Social Mobility Employer Index when it narrowly missed the top 75 and ranked 81.
Designed by the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF), a charity that aims to make practical improvements in social mobility for young people from low-income backgrounds, the Social Mobility Employer Index was launched in 2017 and has grown to become the leading authority on employer-led social mobility with 200+ employers participating this year.
Employers are benchmarked against one another across seven key areas including: the results for their work with young people, routes into the employer, the attraction of staff, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression of staff and experienced hires and advocacy.
Bola Gibson, Head of Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility at Osborne Clare, credits this achievement to clear leadership commitment and colleague appetite to see the firm achieve its aspirations.:
"We've had a concerted push across the firm and real drive and commitment from our leaders. Our Social Diversity network committee have put a lot of passion and effort into delivering impactful programmes across the board, and these are starting to produce real outcomes for our business, our people and our communities. Recognition from the SMF tells us we're doing the right things to deliver on our strategy. We'll continue to challenge ourselves to deliver meaningful change across all our six strands of diversity. "
Osborne Clarke has a long-standing commitment to advancing social diversity in the legal sector. Earlier this this year, the firm went one step further and launched the #OCSocialDiversity Employee Network, an internal network to work with external social mobility organisations to increase access to the legal profession. The network equally works to help increase social diversity within the Firm and to promote role models from social diverse backgrounds.
Following its launch, and as a sign of the firm's commitment to improving long-term skills and employability, the Network supported the launch of Osborne Clarke's first holistic schools partnership programme called The Bridge, which aims to facilitate long-term access to the legal profession and law firms.
In early November, the firm hosted a group of young people on a virtual work experience programme modelled on its Social Mobility Business Partnership offering. Students from across the three schools involved in the Bridge programme joined in. This the fifth year of the programme, which has welcomed 45 work experience students to date.
Osborne Clarke's employee volunteers were recognised earlier this year for their outstanding commitment and dedication to upReach's Assessed Virtual Internship Programme, a social mobility initiative that supports graduates from less-advantaged backgrounds.
Most recently, Osborne Clarke was recognised as UK Law Firm of the Year at Law.com International's British Legal Awards. It was highlighted in a number of areas including its clear understanding of the importance of diversity and social mobility, and the actions it takes in these areas.