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Social Mobility

November 02, 2023

Social Mobility

Auto Trader UK has reached the Top 75 Employers in the Social Mobility Index 2023 for the third consecutive year with the Social Mobility Foundation. Check out our blog, where Sarah Brooks-Pearce, Early Careers Manager and Social Mobility Network Lead, discusses our new employee network and their goals for the upcoming year and offers tips to kickstart similar conversations at other companies.

We’re delighted to join the incredible list of employers who are doing great things to improve social mobility for the third year!

This year, we launched our Social Mobility Employee Network to bring even more focus to our ambitions to showcase that careers and opportunities in tech are and can be accessible to all, regardless of background, education or socioeconomic status. The network is led by a group of truly inspirational and passionate colleagues from across Auto Trader with a keen interest in improving upward mobility.

We’re always learning and love the insights and recommendations entering the index gives us. (If you haven’t yet taken part, you should). They’ve helped form our network commitments and actions for the year ahead, as well as giving us ideas for recruitment, selection, and outreach.

This year, we’ve committed to:

  • Driving the conversation around Social Mobility within the Auto Trader and the Tech Community to encourage awareness, advocacy, and opportunities for all

  • Build upon our work with Educational Outreach to not just offer experiences and insights but to offer links into our Earlier Career positions and further experiences

  • Improve our tracking and data capture to steer future commitments and gain a better understanding of our Social Mobility landscape

In November, our network is hosting a takeover filled with exciting activities:

A WOW Wall: We’re inviting colleagues to share their WOW moments. A WOW moment is that special time when someone's belief, inspiration, or support made a significant impact on your career, development, or career choices. We want to celebrate these people and ask colleagues to pay it forward with a pledge to be someone else's WOW!

The importance of Social Mobility: Paula Kemp from the Social Mobility Commission will join us to give a talk on Social Mobility and how everyone can support it.

Coaching and Mentoring: We know that coaching and mentoring can truly amplify people’s careers, yet not everyone takes it up. We want to remove perceived barriers and stumbling blocks and open the invitation to all. Our leads will be myth-busting, sharing successes, and giving advice and tips about how to request a mentor or coach and how to become one.

Talking about class: Let’s hear it from the top! We’re hosting a live panel chat with members of our Leadership teams to Talk About Class

Data: We will be relaunching our Social Mobility Survey, inviting colleagues to confidentially share information about their background and education to help us gain a greater understanding of our colleagues' landscape. Whilst these activities are for our Auto Trader colleagues this year, we’d love to take these conversations broader and welcome connections and sharing learning, so please get in touch.

If you’re interested in exploring social mobility at work, some of our top tips are:

  • Take a look at the Social Mobility Commission. They have lots of great content and video recordings of webinars. The kits have amazing actionable resources.
  • Enter the Social Mobility Index. The feedback you get back is so valuable.
  • Start capturing the data at the application stage of the recruitment process and from colleagues. The SMC kits will help.
  • If you ask for grades and qualifications, do you need to?
  • Bring Social Economics into your conversations around biases/unconscious bias and how to remove them from your recruitment, selection, and progression process and conversations.
  • Talk about types of schools, colleges, universities attended, accents, postcodes, great colleagues who never put themselves forward, etc.
  • Ask, where does your talent come from? Are you reaching the broadest communities?
  • How navigable is your recruitment process? If you don’t have someone to ask for help/advice, how will they know? Putting together a guide or video could give a candidate the confidence to apply.
  • Talk about class. Yes, we’re told not to, but let’s! We’d love to hear your WOW moment and how you could pay it forward, too.

We can't wait to see what these activities will bring, and we'll keep you posted on our progress. Big kudos to our amazing Social Mobility network lead and advocates: Dave Webb, Katrina Neary, Mark Weaffer, Shannon Carroll, Emily Connor, Caitlin Lewis, Brad Mills, Monica Mistry, Sarah Jones, Pete Farrell, Jack Spillane, Dani Baldwin-Rowe, Lauren Mottram-Heathcote, Hannah Yates, and Jane Fitzmaurice.