Penguin Random House is today named amongst the top 50 UK employers who have taken the greatest action to improve social mobility in the workplace.
The Social Mobility Employer Index 2018 is the creation of the Social Mobility Foundation and is published in partnership with sponsors the City of London Corporation. It ranks the UK’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds, by focusing on and showcasing progress to improving social mobility.
Over 100 employers from 18 sectors, who collectively employ over one million people, entered the 2018 Index. Entrants included banks, law firms, Government departments, engineering firms, retail firms and technology companies.
Penguin Random House’s ranking at number 39 in the index recognises the extensive work the company has done over the past few years to make its workforce more representative of society, including:
- Removing the need for a University degree from all jobs
- Providing 450 paid two-week work experience placements every year – the only UK publisher to offer paid work experience
- Offering subsidised accommodation for work experience candidates joining the company from outside London in partnership with The Book Trade Charity
- To ensure access to work experience opportunities is fair, removing all personal referrals, instead using a random selection process to select successful candidates
- Increasing the pay of eight-week summer internships to the London Living Wage
- Offering paid 6-month editorial traineeships for BAME and socio-economically marginalised candidates with The Scheme
- Inspiring young people to consider a career in publishing with JobHack – a series of interactive careers workshops for 18-25 year olds hosted by the company around the country, focusing on areas of low social mobility
- Loaning staff the cost of a rental deposit via a Home Sweet Loan scheme
Val Garside, HR Director of Penguin Random House UK, said:
“Great talent can come from anywhere and having diverse teams that reflect a variety of backgrounds and communities means hearing different voices, ideas and perspectives. For too long publishing has struggled to attract and retain people from different backgrounds. We’re working hard to change this - and I’m delighted that the efforts of so many people in our organisation to become a more inclusive employer has gained this recognition.”
The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, former Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, added:
"There is a mood for change in the nation. As the Index shows, social mobility is becoming a cause for more and more of our country's top employers. It is welcome that they are stepping up to the plate. They are making these changes both because they see the social need to do so and because they recognise the business benefit that greater diversity can bring.”
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