Online pension provider PensionBee has signed the Social Mobility Pledge, a business campaign to improve career opportunities for people from less advantaged backgrounds.
The three-part pledge includes making commitments to work with schools, offer work experience, and use inclusive recruitment practices.
As part of the initiative, PensionBee is developing a work experience programme and has extended its partnership with several London schools to provide candidates with careers support and “financial literacy education.” The aim is to diversify the pensions industry by increasing familiarity for those who may not have considered a career in the sector a viable option.
PensionBee’s work with local state schools began in 2020 through the ‘Careers and Enterprise Company‘, a UK-wide network “facilitating world-class careers education for UK students”.
PensionBee works at Langdon Park School, located in Poplar, East London, to provide pupils with career support and inspiration. PensionBee CEO Romi Savova led a financial services Q&A for pupils, and Rachael Oku, Head of Brand and Communications, led a mock interview session. At the same time, CMO, Jasper Martens, held an interview preparation class for students who have English as a second language.
Internally, PensionBee has worked to encourage a more diverse body of recruitment interest which is seen in the fact that applicants for entry-level roles “need no set experience.” Furthermore, roles are “specifically advertised on sites aimed at those starting their careers without attending university.” Once onboarded, PensionBee provides all of the learning tools required and “heavily invests” in training.
Their entry-level training scheme called the ‘Program’ has seen significant success with many entrees ascending to management levels in the company; last year, 88% of the junior management team started in entry-level roles.
In terms of racial and ethnic representation, their workforce diversity is on par with London, where the firm is based, where 40% of employees self-identify as Asian/Asian British, Black, African, Caribbean, or Black British, Mixed, multiple, or other ethnic groups.
Savova said: “Financial services should be a sector in which everyone can find meaningful employment and succeed as themselves. Businesses will only suffer if they recruit and promote the privileged few who attend elite schools and universities instead of building a workforce representative of today’s society.
“At PensionBee, we believe a rich culture can only grow from people with different backgrounds and experiences bringing all of themselves to the workplace. Our diversity helps us relate better to our customers and make better decisions whilst creating a sense of belonging and connection with our team. All of our interactions with the students have been mutually inspiring, and we look forward to extending our work experience opportunities for them in the future.”
To find out more about the Social Mobility Pledge, click here.