Getting in, getting on and getting ahead: social mobility at Direct Line Group

Today Direct Line Group is launching an Opportunity Action Plan that sets out a series of ambitions that the business will work towards to address the lack of social mobility within the UK. The Plan has been produced in partnership with the Social Mobility Pledge and former Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening.

 

The Plan will build on work already underway at the Insurance group to identify under-represented groups in the insurance industry and encourage them to pursue careers and progress within financial services. 

The launch of the plan is the culmination of months of work and sees Direct Line Group join a growing number of businesses, universities and public sector bodies within the Purpose Coalition, which brings together those with boardroom focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues.

The Purpose Coalition runs alongside the Social Mobility Pledge, co-founded in 2018 by Rt Hon Justine Greening, which works to encourage businesses and universities to play a more strategic role on how they create opportunities to help level up.

The Purpose Coalition runs alongside the Social Mobility Pledge, co-founded in 2018 by Rt Hon Justine Greening, which works to encourage businesses and universities to play a more strategic role on how they create opportunities to help level up.

Social mobility is about ensuring a person’s background doesn’t determine their future. It’s about ending the link between a person’s education, occupation or income and the education, occupation or income of their parents or carers. To this end Direct Line Group has already:

  • created opportunities for young people, while still at school, to visit our offices and meet our people to broaden their understanding of the opportunities available at a business like our
  • offered apprenticeships as a route in to the business
  • supported our Social Mobility staff network to provide support, broaden understanding and advocate for change.
  • begun a pilot programme of recruiting from social mobility cold spots into home based roles to explore if our move to a mixed model of home / office based working means we can recruit from a wider geographical area.

Justine Greening, founder of the Social Mobility Pledge welcomed DLG’s ongoing commitment saying:

“Achieving true social mobility and levelling up our country is a huge challenge and one that needs to be addressed by businesses, universities and public sector organisations, as well as the Government. Greater diversity within workforces is not only the right thing to do, but it has also been shown to make good business sense and deliver better outcomes.

“With the launch of its Opportunity Action Plan, Direct Line Group is demonstrating clear leadership in addressing the lack of social mobility in the UK. The organisation has always shown a desire to open up access to insurance and this plan will help it to continue to create opportunities and have a positive impact in the areas it serves.

As we hopefully emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, leadership of businesses like Direct Line Group to ensure we build back better and level up the UK has never been more important.

“It is clear that Direct Line Group is truly delivering on ensuring everyone from any background can be getting in, getting on, and getting ahead at the company.”

Penny James, CEO, Direct Line Group explained why she feels this issue is important:

“At Direct Line Group we believe that where a person started off in life should never act as a barrier to their opportunities. This matters to us because it is the right thing to do but also because greater diversity makes us a stronger business. We’re delighted to again be working with Justine Greening and the Social Mobility Pledge and I have no doubt the Plan will benefit our ongoing social mobility work, growing opportunities for “Getting In, Getting On and Getting Ahead” at DLG.”

Download the report here