•    Santander ranked in the Top 30 in the index for UK employers who have taken the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace

Santander UK has today been ranked as one of the Top 75 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2020, demonstrating its commitment to social mobility in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The top 75 UK employers who have taken the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace are announced today, demonstrating what is possible if organisations commit to supporting young people from all backgrounds.

The Index was created by the Social Mobility Foundation in 2017 and ranks UK’s employers on the action they take to ensure they are open to and progressing talent from all backgrounds. It highlights the employers who are doing the most to change how they find, recruit, and advance talented employees from different social class backgrounds. Now in its fourth year the Employer Index is the definitive benchmark of organisations committed to improving social mobility in the workplace.

Employers are assessed across seven key areas, these include their work with young people, routes into the company, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy. 

Santander has been ranked 26th in the Index for the work carried out to tackle this issue, ensuring the organisation enables those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to succeed. 

Santander was specifically commended by the Social Mobility Foundation for the measures taken to improve social mobility including:
•    offering a broad range of higher level apprenticeships which enables a route into the organisation that is comparable with those of university graduates and which allows for ongoing career progression;
•    ensuring good outreach through educational Wise workshops by colleagues across the UK, paid-work experience opportunities and internships reaching those from a lower socio-economic background and giving genuine opportunities to consider financial services as an industry open to them;
•    maintaining a good split of applications from Russell Group and non-Russell Group universities for graduate and internship schemes;
•    maintaining strong partnerships with 85 University Partners, reaching and supporting students from widening participation backgrounds, as well as supporting over 2,500 paid internships into small to medium sized businesses as part of the Santander Universities part-funded internship scheme; and 
•    demonstrating good advocacy with an Executive Committee sponsor driving change as well as a Social Mobility Network which helps support colleagues.

John Collins, Santander’s Social Mobility Executive Committee Sponsor said: “We’re delighted to receive this recognition for the actions we’ve taken to support social mobility as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion which sits at the heart of our pledge to creating a thriving workplace. We continue to drive progress to ensure we attract and access a widening pool of talent from our communities as well as develop and progress colleagues within our organisation regardless of their background.”

Sarah Atkinson, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “I am delighted that Santander committed to entering the Index this year despite the challenges they have faced in the wake of the pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to see business play their part in the levelling up agenda.”  

The Rt. Hon. 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 18-24 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.”

- ENDS -

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors 

The Social Mobility Employer Index 

The Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index was established in 2017 to encourage firms to become more accessible to individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The methodology was developed in collaboration with the Bridge Group, a non-profit consultancy that uses research to promote social equality. 
The Index is comprised of two elements, questions directed at employers, and an employee survey, which was introduced in 2018. The former assesses employers work across seven areas: their work with young people, routes into the employer, the attraction of staff, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression of staff and experienced hires and advocacy. The latter is to add qualitative insights and contextualise the data provided in submissions. Employers are then benchmarked against one another based on the results.  
In 2020, questions asked to employers and employees remained the same to give employers consistency. Since 2017 a few questions have been tweaked, and additional questions added around culture and intersectionality. For crucial questions, organisations are asked for several years of data to monitor the impact of the changes that organisations have been implementing.  
Index submissions are considered and marked against the latest empirical evidence of what interventions effectively advance social equality in the UK workplace. Our approach is rigorous and ensures a fair process, recognising that different sectors and individual businesses do things differently. This includes: 

a.    Identifying a broad range of questions that interrogate the various ways in which employers can contribute to social equality.

b.    Weighting responses based on the evidence that some areas have more impact on social equality relative to others. For example, there is substantial evidence that providing work experience placements for young people is more impactful than general outreach; and that some approaches to recruitment lead to more equal outcomes compared to others.  
c.    Weighting whole sections of the marking scheme based on where maximum impact can be delivered. Within each section, every organisation is then categorised within a decile, so that modest differences in scoring do not then significantly affect the overall ranking.  
d.    Recognising that not all organisations will score marks for each question. For example, they may not have formal graduate recruitment programmes because of their size. Therefore, organisations are ranked based on the percentage of available marks they have achieved.  
Please note that data is presented in the report as a percentage of the overall submissions, unless otherwise stated, and therefore where percentages have fallen between 2020 and 2019, this is amongst a smaller number of entrants (119 in 2020 vs 125 in 2019).  The employers included in the 2020 Index employ 973,735 people.

For further information about the Index, please visit http://www.socialmobility.org.uk/index/

The Social Mobility Foundation 

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity that aims to make practical improvements in social mobility for young people from low-income backgrounds both through programme work and through its advocacy and campaigning arm, the Department for Opportunities (DO). 

It runs free of charge programmes of mentoring, internships, university application support (including trips to universities and help with personal statements, aptitude tests and interviews) and career and skills workshops to support young people through their sixth-form and university years.

Currently taking on a new cohort of over 2000 young people every year, the SMF has offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle and runs programmes for young people from the Isle of Wight to the Western Isles of Scotland across 11 career sectors (Accountancy, Architecture, Banking & Finance, Biology & Chemistry, Business, Engineering & Physics, Law, Media & Communications, Medicine, Politics, and Digital).

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 June 2020, the bank had around 23,000 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. 

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of 2019, Banco Santander had EUR 1.05 trillion in total funds, 145 million customers, of which 21.6 million are loyal and 37 million are digital (52% of active customers), 12,000 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made underlying profit of EUR 8,252 million in 2019, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year.

Media Enquiries
Leonora Burtenshaw T: 0207756 5533 M:07701004107 E: leonora.burtenshaw@santander.co.uk 

Follow @santanderuknews on Twitter

The Santander press office operates from 8.00am to 6.00pm. Outside of these hours please call 0800 5877708.