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Working with members to improve social mobility

Improving social mobility is one of the priorities of the ABI’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and we will be working with our members through the Talent and Diversity Network on a range of actions. These include:

  • Participating in the Kickstart Scheme
  • Taking part in the Social Mobility Employer Index, and
  • Working with the new Social Mobility Taskforce

The latest ABI Talent and Diversity Data Report also shows that firms first need to improve and increase the data that they are gathering in order to better understand the background of their employees and inform the action plans that they put in place.

Kickstart Scheme

This is a Government led scheme that provides funding to employers for creating job placements for those aged 16-24. Organisations can join independently and can provide one or more placements, or they can participate through a Gateway Provider to offer placements. The ABI will be participating in 2021 and encouraging members to offer placements too. Further details about the Kickstart Scheme can be found on GOV.UK.


Social Mobility Employer Index

The Social Mobility Employer Index, developed by the Social Mobility Foundation, is a benchmarking tool that enables organisations to assess and monitor their progress on social mobility. It ranks Britain’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds and it showcases progress towards improving social mobility. The ABI is participating for the first time this year. A number of ABI members are participating too, and we are encouraging all members to use this free tool in order to inform the actions they need to take.  


Social Mobility Taskforce

This Taskforce aims to improve social mobility in professional and financial services and its work is informed by a report published in 2020 by the City of London and Bridge Group. The report draws on data from eight major employers in the financial services sector – found that employees from less privileged backgrounds take 25% longer to progress, despite no evidence of poorer performance. The research also found that almost nine in ten senior roles in financial services are held by people from higher socio-economic backgrounds, compared with a third of the UK working population as a whole.

The main aims of the taskforce are to:

  1. Lead an industry consultation on how government, regulators and sector bodies can incentivise firms to take action to improve socio-economic diversity
  2. Create a membership body for financial services, where employers can benchmark against each other and share best practice on delivering socio-economic diversity at senior levels
  3. Produce a productivity analysis, to build the business case for increasing socio-economic diversity at senior levels in financial and professional services.

Yvonne Braun, Executive Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion, is representing the ABI on this Taskforce and Stef Kenyon, Head of Campaigns and Marketing represents the ABI on the accompanying Working Group.