Anneliese Dodds shared Labour’s determination to put equality and social mobility at the heart of its plans to build a better Britain while addressing a diverse audience of leaders spanning across the private, public, and third sectors during the annual Social Mobility Business Seminar held in London.
Anneliese Dodds, Labour Party Chair and Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, set out Labour’s vision for social mobility at the Social Mobility Business Seminar in London on 29 March 2023.
The Social Mobility Business Seminar, an annual event organized by the charity Making The Leap, serves as a platform for professionals from diverse sectors, such as professional services, finance, law, retail, media, hospitality, government, and the third sector.
During her keynote speech, Anneliese Dodds outlined how Labour’s five missions, announced recently by Keir Starmer, will help to support social mobility, through economic growth and by breaking down barriers for people at every stage of their lives. Drawing on her personal experience of confronting the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” she emphasized her unwavering commitment to eradicating this problem for women and girls across Britain.
She then proceeded to detail Labour’s strategy to tackle the inequalities holding people back, such as the lack of accessible childcare that prevents women from pursuing their “dream job”, Black children being held back by discrimination, and disabled people unable to work because of a lack of reasonable adjustments.
In addition to Dodds’ speech, business leaders shared their experiences of advancing social mobility, and why improving socio-economic diversity, equity and inclusion must be a priority for employers across the UK. Speakers included Bina Mehta (Chair, KPMG UK), Michael Turner (CEO, Man Solutions), and Steven Cooper CBE (CEO, Aldermore Group and former Joint Chair of the Social Mobility Commission).
The Social Mobility Business Seminar saw this year’s launch of two further annual events organised by Making The Leap. The UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMOs) is a nationwide leadership initiative which recognises and celebrates employers and educators working to improve social mobility.
A panel of distinguished individuals from the private and public sectors, serving as an independent judging committee, will select the winners across 12 categories. The upcoming Social Mobility Day, scheduled for 15 June 2023, presents a valuable occasion to initiate broader discussions on social mobility and foster action to enhance the prospects of individuals from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
Anneliese Dodds said, “The Social Mobility Business Seminar is a fantastic event, bringing together the public, private and third sectors to collaborate and share best practice on how to advance social mobility. It was an honour to address the seminar.
“Social mobility to me means breaking down the barriers that hold too many people back and prevent us from utilising the talents of everyone in our country. Unleashing those talents is good for individuals, good for business and good for Britain.
“Social mobility is at the heart of Labour’s missions to deliver economic growth all across the UK and to break down barriers standing in the way of opportunity.”
Tunde Banjoko OBE, CEO of Making The Leap and founder of the UK Social Mobility Awards, stated, “Every year, the Social Mobility Business Seminar provides an opportunity for employers and educators to learn why and how they can advance social mobility in the UK.
“At Making The Leap, our vision is for every UK employer and educator to have a social mobility plan which guides meaningful action to achieve socio-economic diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Any government plays a crucial role in advancing social mobility, whether by supporting businesses or through wider policy interventions, and so we are delighted to hear from the Labour Party and a range of business leaders on their social mobility vision today.”