When our starting point strongly determines where we end up, mobility is low so for example, if your parents held professional jobs then it’s highly likely that you will go into a professional job, whereas if your parents had lower paying jobs then you are likely to also go into a lower paid job.

But if people from all starting points and backgrounds have a good chance of achieving any outcome, then mobility is high. 

Why is social mobility important to us?

People from lower socio-economic backgrounds are under-represented in the financial and professional services. They’re usually discouraged from working for a financial services company because they don’t know anyone who works for such an organisation, or they don’t see anyone like them, don’t know what types of roles are available or simply feel it’s not for people like them. 

Yet the benefits of improving socio-economic, gender and ethnic diversity in the workplace are well recognised. 

Socio-economic background/social class can intersect with other inclusion and diversity issues so if you can tackle social mobility, you’ll cover other groups too as these are often the people at the wrong end of the pay gap or with low educational attainment. Data shows that colleagues from lower socio-economic backgrounds perform at least as well as their more advantaged peers, and mixed teams are more creative and resourceful than less mixed teams. There is a huge talent pool out there and why wouldn’t we want to make the most of this and bring in the best people, no matter where they come from or what their backgrounds are?

How is Vanquis Banking Group making a difference?

Education is a key driver of social mobility and yet there are hundreds and thousands of young people who leave school every year with low levels of numeracy and literacy, as well as limited career aspirations, destined to go into low-paying jobs.

We work with our voluntary partners and local schools in the locations where our colleagues are based to give children and young people the knowledge and skills they need to reach their potential and go on to access opportunities which will ensure their future social and financial inclusion.  This includes securing a fulfilling career, whether that’s with us or elsewhere. We want young people to know who we are as a business and what types of roles they could aspire to and to help them get ready for the world of work.

Our Social Mobility Affinity Group is helping to develop work experience, mentoring and apprenticeship programmes so that we can invite young people from disadvantaged areas into our business and provide support to them to help them on their career journey.

Also, by measuring the socio-economic backgrounds of our new and current employees, we can understand what’s needed to improve socio-economic diversity and inclusion across our organisation and how we then help people to progress.

Through our community foundation partnerships we provide support and funding to grass roots voluntary organisations who are working at the heart of their communities to address some of the complex and interconnected issues which also impact social mobility, in particular a young person’s engagement with education and employment.

We’re also signatories of the Social Mobility Pledge which is a coalition of 550 businesses globally employing over five million people, as well as more than 50 universities representing almost two million students. The pledge encourages organisations to become a force for good by putting social mobility at the heart of their purpose.

Our Social Mobility Affinity Group is developing work experience and apprenticeship programmes so that we can invite young people from disadvantaged areas into our business and provide support to them to help them on their career journey.

Cathy Prior, Social Impact Programme Manager

You can read about some of the organisations we work with below.