Baker & McKenzie and Linklaters have been named, among a dozen companies, as social mobility ‘champions’ by the government.
The American giant and magic circle firm have signed up to lead on a government initiative launched by the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in 2011.
The Social Mobility Business Compact aims to increase access to industries for people from any background and signatories are asked to increase their commitment to fostering diverse talent and increasing access via schemes such as mentoring, filling work experience posts through adverts in local schools rather than informal networks, to advertise and pay for internships transparently and ensuring that recruitment strategies are not biased.
The 12 champions have pledged to spread the message of the Social Mobility Compact and to meet challenging criteria over the next year including targeting efforts on institutions with above average levels of disadvantage, widening the geographical spread of opportunities and offering structured non-graduate entry routes.
The other ten companies consist of Accenture, Aspire Group, The Co-operative Food, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Mears Group, Standard Life and Telefónica O2.
Clegg said: “Businesses know they need to find the best talent in order to succeed. This means searching beyond the usual recruitment methods and hiring young people with great potential, whatever their background. It’s great to see leaders in industry backing this approach.
However many businesses are still missing out, and more companies need to follow in the footsteps of the champions we have announced today if we are to achieve our aim of a stronger economy and fairer society.”
The law firm signatories of the initiative are: Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, CMS Cameron McKenna, Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell, King and Wood Mallesons, Norton Rose Fulbright, Simmons & Simmons and Slaughter and May.