Social Mobility: Thriving in the Workplace

24 August 2023

In the face of a widespread talent crisis, what more can the industry do to ensure that people from lower socio-economic backgrounds have what they need in order to thrive at work?

As a sector there is much we already do well to ensure people from lower socio-economic backgrounds have access to exciting and professional careers. Facing a very real talent crisis, also brings opportunity for forward thinking employers to relook at their talent attraction, retention and development strategies to ensure underrepresented groups can really thrive within the workplace.

Having the right culture and values, giving employees a voice, offering true flexibility and career progression are key to supporting employees from all backgrounds. Offering fair and competitive salaries and benefits is a given, as is offering both personal and professional support in a much stronger way than historically expected.

Organisation’s external Employer Brand and internal Employer Value Proposition (EVP) are crucial to the attraction of all candidates but particularly those who may not have had access to traditional employee attraction methods including insightful careers guidance in schools. Working with schools and community groups locally is something we, at Carpenters Group, continue to build on. Better promoting and highlighting the benefits of having a diverse perspective is something that we do, as is creating working environments where people can flourish, regardless of background. Having visible, credible and authentic models at all levels but particularly within the senior leadership team who champion Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is vital for getting our industry recognised as providing an environment where people are proud to bring their whole self to work.

At Carpenters Group, DEI has always been high on our agenda. We have a very active and incredibly engaged DEI team, which has continued to grow and is becoming increasingly representative of us as an organisation. It is employee led, which is the key to success, and its main purpose is to work on creating a culture of respect, empathy, understanding and awareness of difference.

Modern apprenticeships are a fantastic way of ensuring those from diverse backgrounds have access to exciting and professional careers. Carpenters Group have an excellent apprenticeship programme across all areas of the business with a dedicated apprenticeship lead supporting their progression, development and success. Mentoring and reverse mentoring are also excellent ways to support and encourage development and progression. Getting to know the real people behind their stories and mentoring them and in turn learning from them about what we can all do better is so important.

In short, our industry has a huge array of knowledge and experience of being able to offer fantastic career opportunities. We just need to work harder than ever to ensure these exciting opportunities are seen and believed by audiences who may have historically struggled to understand them or get access to them.  

Sarah Pickerill, Head of People
Carpenters Group


Credit: Modern Insurance Magazine