International law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has been named one of the UK's leading employers for improving social mobility, featuring in the Top 75 employers list in the 2022 Social Mobility Employer Index.

Now in its sixth year, the Employer Index has become the authority on employer-led social mobility. Launched in 2017 by UK charity The Social Mobility Foundation, the index examines how companies and organisations are driving social mobility within their workplace and has become a vital tool for any organisation seeking to attract and retain talent.

This year saw around 150 businesses and public sector organisations enter the index, which assesses employers across seven key areas, including engagement with young people, routes into the company and wider profession, talent recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy. The legal sector contributed the most submissions.

WBD ranked 41st in this year's index, up from 110th last year, following a number of key developments and achievements:

  1. WBD holds a Gold Standard Investors in People status
  2. As a pioneer in the introduction of legal apprenticeships, the firm employs around 40 apprentices including solicitor apprentices, paralegal apprentices and apprentices working in support teams including HR, CSR, facilities and IT
  3. The firm runs its own early careers programme and an Early Career Ambassador Network to support, champion and steer school outreach activities. WBD is also part of a consortium of law firms in Bristol offering 30 Year 10 students, from four Bristol-based state schools a week long work experience opportunity
  4. The firm is a ‘Cornerstone Employer’ and works with other employers to benefit schools and colleges and inspire young people
  5. WBD signed the Social Mobility Pledge, which encourages organisations to be a force for good by putting social mobility at the heart of their purpose.

Samantha Lee, UK Head of Recruitment at Womble Bond Dickinson, comments:

"Social mobility is an important part of our responsible business programme and we're proud to be featured in this year's Top 75 employer list. In a sector not traditionally known for its accessibility or diversity, Womble Bond Dickinson has developed a range of programmes and initiatives designed to opening up new routes into the legal profession and improving social mobility for people who want to pursue a career in law. Through our successful apprenticeship programme, the networks we are part and the links we have developed with local schools as part of our work in the community, we aim to enhance opportunities, improve careers education and develop the skills for the future workforce."

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