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Scottish law firms ranked as top Social Mobility Foundation employers



Two Scottish law firms have been ranked within the top 75 employers in the Social Mobility Foundation’s 2020 index.

Brodies ranked at number 24 on the list, while Shepherd and Wedderburn came in at number 52, reflecting continued commitment to encouraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The index assesses UK employers across their work with young people, routes into the company, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires and advocacy.

The top 75 list was dominated by law firms (36%), the public sector (25%) and financial services (13%), with PwC, Grant Thornton and KPMG UK taking the top three spots.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is a founding member of PRIME, an initiative that offers 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.”

Kirstie Maclennan, Brodies director of HR, said: “From our work with PRIME, through to our apprenticeship programme, career insight days and involvement with initiatives such as Career Ready, our focus is to ensure that we create opportunities for potential, new and existing colleagues regardless of their background.

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“We continue to work hard on the commitments we have made, and while it is pleasing to note that this is externally recognised, what matters is what we achieve.”

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 to 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.”



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