Driving greater social mobility after Covid-19

Written by Carmen Watson - Chair and Managing Director, Pertemps Ltd

Events in recent months have transformed the way organisations approach diversity and inclusion within their workplace, policies and company culture. Candidates want fairer, more diverse and inclusive workplaces. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for businesses to rethink how they can support social mobility within society.

With evolving technology, new business models, and shifting societal change due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed accelerated change reshaping the future of mobility.  However, social mobility remains at a slow pace. We have witnessed the significant impact the effects of Covid-19 continue to have on young people, women and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The pandemic has impacted all our lives in a fundamental way and has further widened the opportunity gap for those amongst the hardest hit. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to see that businesses are thinking long-term and are implementing changes through upskilling, employee engagement, transformation, and talent retention.

Uncertainties persist because of the ongoing pandemic and the implications of the crisis will continue to remain even long after the virus has gone. The need for resilient and agile businesses to come together to lay the foundations to build back a stronger, fairer and more resilient economy has never been more important.

Within the current climate, it is crucial that business and employees commit to learning and development to ensure they have the skills to succeed in the future workplace. As skills shift and roles adapt, employees want to work for a business that ensure sound progression opportunities, where they are given the chance to learn and develop and to know that employers are committed to investing in their futures.

Businesses have a crucial role to play in removing biases and racism from the workplace, with many already taking action. Our workforce is evolving, and businesses are responding by providing diversity initiatives to educate and encourage collaboration across different demographics.

Businesses need to rethink how they can support more social mobility within society. The impact of Covid has been felt significantly, but in the recovery, we need to be thinking about inclusivity, how can we protect those amongst the hardest hit from further exclusion.

At this time of national and global crisis, it’s been pleasing to see the UK step up to support those within their local communities, demonstrating a real sense of community spirit. Businesses need to continue the momentum and take the time to connect with those in their local communities to understand the barriers that some groups face, in order to successfully achieve social mobility. 

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