Slaughter and May recognised as top 75 employer in 2021 Social Mobility Employer Index

Slaughter and May has been ranked 27th in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2021, compiled by the Social Mobility Foundation, the leading authority on employer best practice.

The Index, which ranks UK employers on the action they take to ensure they are open to and progressing talent from all backgrounds, has almost doubled in size with 203 organisations taking part, up from 119 in 2020 and the highest number of submissions to date. 2021 marks Slaughter and May’s fourth consecutive year in the top 75. 

The index highlights the employers who are doing the most to change how they find, recruit, and advance talented employees from different social class backgrounds. Employers are assessed across seven key areas, including their work with young people, routes into the business, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy.

Measures the firm has taken to improve social mobility over the past year include the launch of the Slaughter and May Scholarship Scheme in April 2021 as an extension of the firm’s existing Law Springboard programme in partnership with social mobility charity upReach. The Law Springboard, delivered in partnership with charity upReach, is designed to improve access to the legal sector for high potential undergraduates from less advantaged backgrounds across all UK universities.

To mitigate the financial stresses of going to university, each year the firm will provide 10 high-potential undergraduates on the Law Springboard with bursaries and leadership development opportunities. Slaughter and May will fund each of them for three years of university study, equating to £3,000 per student per year and totalling an investment of £270,000 over the next five years.

Steve Cooke, Slaughter and May Senior Partner, said: “Promoting social mobility through the talent that we recruit and retain is a key area of focus for us. We still have more to do – both as a firm and within the legal sector more broadly, but progress is being made and it’s vital that we keep up this momentum.

“It’s very clear that the pandemic and the challenges we have all faced over the past 18 months have been exacerbated for the less advantaged, and I hope that initiatives such as the Law Springboard and the Slaughter and May Scholarship Scheme go some small way to opening the door for talented individuals hoping to build successful legal careers.”

Sarah Atkinson, CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: Congratulations to all the businesses who submitted this year – especially the 38 firms who have participated in all five years of the Index. It is encouraging that the extremely challenging circumstances of the pandemic has not deterred these firms from prioritising social mobility. It is right that they have done so. Government cannot go it alone when levelling up; indeed, the Index shows businesses and organisations are leading the way instead. Opportunity creation for the next generation, especially those from less well-off backgrounds, must be prioritised in the years ahead. As ever, we stand ready to support employers of all sizes in their social mobility journey.”