UK Social Mobility Awards announces 2017 Shortlist

10th July 2017: Shortlist of companies and organisations announced today for the UK Social Mobility Awards.  

The inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards have received an incredible response, and it was announced today that companies and organisations across the country are shortlisted for an award. The Awards celebrates and recognises the forward-thinking organisations who are developing initiatives to promote social mobility, either within their own workforces, or by influencing the debate from beyond their own walls. By raising awareness and celebrating the people and organisations that are committed to bringing about change, together we can year on year, advance the practical implementation of social mobility in this country.

The awards, which are sponsored by PwC and the RAF, received an impressive array of entries. The shortlist represents a range of sectors and industries who have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives. Our judging panel will determine the winners, who will be announced at an awards gala on 12th October 2017.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Ken Olisa OBE, said ‘Pick up any newspaper or check out any social media thread and you will read arguments about increasing inequality in our country.  And worse, much of the blame is laid at the feet of business. Yet this depressing backdrop is far from the whole picture – happily there are many pioneering organisations doing something to reverse the apparent tide.  These awards will identify and recognise those leaders with the hope that this will become the start of a movement for change.”

 Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of Making The Leap who have organised the awards, said: ‘

“We are delighted to have shortlisted our first finalists for the UK Social Mobility Awards. We have received entries from many fantastic companies and organisations. The UK Social Mobility Awards were created to encourage UK businesses and organisations to tackle the very important issue of social mobility. We hope that companies and organisations across the country are thinking about the social mobility programmes that they are currently running, so that they enter UK Social Mobility Awards 2018 and stand a chance of getting on next year’s shortlists.”


The shortlist for the 2017 UK Social Mobility Awards is as follows:


UK Social Mobility Awards Shortlist


Organisation of the Year

Civil Service Fast Stream and Early Talent

Ministry of Justice

Rolls Royce

Wates Group

Bank of America Merrill Lynch



Leadership of the Year

Transport for London

Civil Service – The Cross-Government Social Mobility Network

Team London (Mayor of London) in partnership with The Challenge





Innovation Award


Law Society of Scotland

Civil Service Fast Stream – Opportunity Network


Legal Social Mobility Partnership

Simmons & Simmons


Recruitment Programme of the Year Award


Pinsent Masons

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Bank of England

Clifford Chance



Progression Programme of the Year Award

Browne Jacobson

Teach First

Metro Bank

Mindshare UK

JP Morgan

NEX Group plc


Community Programme of the Year Award

Allen & Overy

Diageo and the Springboard Charity

HM Revenue & Customs

Rothschild & Co

DP World London Gateway

Herbert Smith Freehills



Impact Management Programme of the Year Award

Rare Recruitment


City College Plymouth

Transport for London


Champion of the Year Award

Phil Davies – Principal – City College Plymouth

Stephen Day – Community Banking Director – Barclays

Claire Misata – Global Client Relationship Manager – BNP Paribas

Chris Rix – Partner – Deloitte

Melanie Richards – Vice Chair – KPMG

Claire-Marie Smith – Director Private Banking – Coutts


Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award

Barry Matthews – Director of Legal Affairs – ITV

Richard Gould – Chief Executive – Villiers Park Educational Trust

Julie Mclean – Director WBLSP – City College Plymouth

Sonia Blandford – Professor of Education & Social Enterprise – UCL Institute of Education

Debbie Akehurst – Head of Economy and Communities – Landsec

Sarah Hyde – Counsel – CMS


Rising Star Award

Ricky Shearsby – London Youth Hub Manager – Tomorrow’s People

Chloe Causer – Community Connexions Support Assistant – Plymouth City Council

Sarah Magnier-Ashton – HR Manager – Vaultex UK

Nicola Hanns – Opportunity Network – Civil Service Fast Stream

Christopher Achiampong – Apprentice – IBM

Claudine Adeyemi – Lawyer – Mishcon de Reya


Mentor of the Year Award

Lorcan Lennon – Director of Client Council – KPMG

Hayley Moulding – Neuro Scientist – Cardiff University

Amy Connolly – Global Client Relationship Manager – BNP Paribas

Leila Thomas – Technical Project Manager – Thomson Reuters

James Wickes – Partner – RPC






Contact BETHANY PROUD on 020 8962 1900 or 


For further information about Making The Leap contact


Notes to editors 

  1. The UK Social Mobility Awards is organised by leading Social Mobility charity Making The Leap, who have supported over 50,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds over 23 years.


  1. The mission of the UK Social Mobility Awards is to promote the issue of social mobility, and best practice, and celebrate the businesses and organisations who are demonstrating excellence in this arena.


  1. This awards programme is for UK-based private sector, public sector and third sector organisations that have at least 100 employees.




For information call Making The Leap on 020 8962 1900 or visit



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