Shepherd and Wedderburn has today been ranked a Top 75 employer in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2020, demonstrating the firm’s ongoing commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.

The index, operated by the Social Mobility Foundation, assesses UK employers across seven key areas: their work with young people, routes into the company, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy.

Shepherd and Wedderburn, which signed the Social Mobility Pledge in 2018, is ranked 52nd in the index, reflecting its continued commitment to encouraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is a founding member of PRIME, an initiative led by the UK’s leading law firms that offers quality work experience to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and has committed to a five-year sponsorship of a student within the Lawscot Foundation, providing financial support, mentoring, access to summer school and assistance with securing internships and traineeships.

The firm is also a member of the Social Mobility Foundation Mentoring Scheme, offering secondary school and university students access to a mentor to assist them in improving their CV, applying to internships and university courses, writing personal statements and preparing for mock interviews.

Yvonne Brady, Head of Diversity, Development and Inclusion at Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “As a firm that strives to place diversity and inclusion at the heart of its processes, we are delighted to be ranked in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2020. Shepherd and Wedderburn is firmly committed to building on our existing inclusion policies and seeking every opportunity to increase recruitment and provide progression opportunities for people of all backgrounds.”

Sarah Atkinson, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “I am delighted that Shepherd and Wedderburn committed to entering the Index this year despite the challenges it has faced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to see business play their part in the levelling up agenda.” 

The Rt. Hon. Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, added: “As the COVID-19 crisis continues and the UK descends into a sharp recession, more will need to be done to avoid a job catastrophe, for young people particularly. Already 60% of the jobs that have been lost since the pandemic began have been among 18-24 year olds.

“I urge those sectors of our economy that are not represented in this year’s Index to participate in 2021 and commit to joining the ranks of those employers who are already making such a difference to young people’s life chances.”