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How can we all champion social mobility?

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The Mishcon Social Mobility Committee is hosting a panel discussion on Wednesday, 12 June 2024, to coincide with the UK Social Mobility Day.

The discussion will focus on enhancing social mobility within the legal sector and exploring strategies for its improvement. Our panellists will share their significant contributions, offer personal insights, and discuss strategies to foster awareness and support for individuals from socially mobile backgrounds. This session is set to offer insightful perspectives and actionable understanding regarding the impact of social mobility on individuals from diverse backgrounds and its wider implications for the legal profession.

Mishcon de Reya's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy sets out our commitment to providing equity of opportunity to all, with social mobility being one of the key strands of our work. Its mission is to play a crucial and strategic role in unlocking opportunity and driving a level playing field for all who wish to enter the legal sector. Mishcon de Reya want to facilitate work opportunities for individuals (especially from low socio-economic backgrounds) so they can get on with life regardless of where they have come from.

Speakers

  • Sarah Atkinson  

    Sarah is Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, a leading UK charity working to unlock potential, broaden horizons and create opportunities with and for ambitious young people held back because of their socioeconomic background. The SMF runs programmes for young people, influences employers to create more diverse workplaces, and campaigns on social mobility. 

    Sarah joined the SMF in January 2020. Before that she worked for the Charity Commission where she was director of policy, strategy and communications, and started her career in the private sector in communications and public policy. She is a board member of ACEVO, the membership body for charity leaders, and has previously been a trustee of Endometriosis UK, the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, and Womankind Worldwide. Sarah is a volunteer mentor for the Leaders Plus Fellowship and has previously served on the City of London taskforce on socioeconomic diversity in financial services and the Charity Tax Commission.

  • Alice Kinder  

    Alice is a Senior Associate at Bexley Beaumont specialising in employment law and is based in Birmingham. Having grown up in a working-class family and encountered many challenges in her own journey, Alice has dedicated much of her career to championing the importance of equal opportunities in the legal profession and beyond and is now well-known for her thought leadership on social mobility. She has engaged with a diverse network of stakeholders to drive progress and written articles for several national publications. Alice is part of a national cross-sector working group reviewing the position of socio-economic background in the Equality Act and serves as a Social Mobility Ambassador for the Law Society of England and Wales. Through these roles, she has played an important part in providing employers with specialist guidance on enhancing social mobility within their organisations.

    Alice is currently the youngest President of the Birmingham Law Society, an organisation which represents around 9,000 legal professionals in Birmingham and the surrounding area. During her term, she placed a strong focus on social mobility. Alice has partnered with the Social Mobility Foundation to create a pledge for member law firms and has introduced a skills-based online vacation scheme to support local students to gain meaningful legal work experience. Alice also chairs Birmingham Law Society’s Social Mobility Sub-Committee and has worked with the committee to establish an annual speed networking event for aspiring lawyers and an employer-focused conference.

  • Justin Farrance 

    Justin trained and qualified as a lawyer at Allen & Overy (now A&O Shearman), and spent time on secondment in big tech at Meta. In 2022 Justin pivoted his career, taking up a newly created role as the firm’s first Global Ambassador for DE&I. He works closely with leadership, the DE&I team and Comms to progress the global agenda and strategy.

    Justin is the Founder & CEO of GROW Mentoring, a charity supporting a diverse community of 10,000+ people with their career journey. The charity offers students access to tailored mentoring, events and other opportunities, and recently launched a new collaborative chapter in the Middle East.

    Justin was named the #1 Future Leader in the U.K. at the British LGBT Awards, and his social impact work has been recognised by both the U.K. Prime Minister and McKinsey & Company.

The Mishcon Academy offers outstanding legal, leadership and skills development for legal professionals, business leaders and individuals. Our learning experts create industry leading experiences that create long-lasting change delivered through live events, courses and bespoke learning.

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