DExEU Social Mobility Network
The DExEU Social Mobility Network (SMN) has innovated: setting up Reverse Mentoring; a programme which reduces discrimination by (i) educating senior leaders about the issues faced by staff from different backgrounds; and (ii) providing staff from lower grades a chance to improve their networks and gain an insight into senior leadership roles This involves junior staff from low SEB and BAME acting as mentors to the SCS. 60% of our SCS signed up to the programme and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both mentors and mentees.
To foster an inclusive culture the SMN provides workshops on the ‘soft skills’ which can often make staff from lower SEBs feel excluded. The ‘communicating with impact’ and ‘networking’ training reached about 70 people (over 10% of our department), with incredibly positive feedback: e.g. the 33 attendees of the networking workshop rated it as either outstanding or near-outstanding. On 30th May they will hold a third course on ‘personal impact’ run by RADA.
They have worked with HR and the wider Equalities network to widen the diversity of interview panels, improve data declaration and promote unconscious bias training.
They successfully lobbied for the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) to be voted as DExEU’s charity of the year. Through the SMF they ran the ‘Politics Futures Day’: an annual event providing 28 students with political careers advice, run by 20 volunteers from the network. They intend to run two additional events due to the phenomenal response (60 applications and 97% attendance) - they hope to reach more students than ever before.
They have also partnered with the MoJ schools outreach team to make best use of their knowledge and experience, and are working with HR to promote the use of volunteering leave. They pioneer intersectionality, working with the BAME, Wellbeing and Religious Diversity networks.