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CSR: Importance of Social Mobility for Businesses

Social Mobility

Social mobility is an issue relevant to many organisations around the world. Whether it is about tackling inequality or taking action to improve opportunities in the workplace these issues are plaguing the world. The level of social mobility in a society is an indicator of the fairness of society. A society with a high level of social mobility will have equal opportunities for people to be rewarded for their efforts and talents, regardless of their background. In a society with a low level of social mobility, the social background will either be a barrier to just reward, or a propellant to (perhaps undeserved) reward.

A lack of social mobility is clearly a major issue around the world. For societies, it entrenches inequality, hinders growth and innovation, reduces cohesion and crushes aspirations of those held back by it.

In India, the Dalits (Scheduled Castes) and Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes) are considered to be the most disadvantaged social groups. These social groups have high rates of poverty and they see very low rates of social mobility as compared to forward castes in India. For example, only about 11% of Dalits and 9% of Adivasis whose fathers were in the lowest occupational class could achieve the highest two occupational classes, while 25% of forward caste individuals could.

Lack of Social Mobility is not only a national issue but also a business issue. There are three key benefits to businesses of addressing it.

The diversity of Talent and Experience:

A greater diversity of talent will lead to new, different ideas that will improve the business. Ensuring diverse talent avoids the ‘groupthink’ mentality that can occur without such a diversity of experience and backgrounds.

Demand Supply Balance of Talent

Globally 38% of employers reported difficulties filling positions due to skills shortages, which has led to an inability to meet clients’ needs, reduced competitiveness/productivity and increased employee turnover. By increasing social mobility, the companies can unlock swaths of a potential talent pipeline.

Meeting the stakeholder expectations

Increasingly, organisations are expected to not just remove barriers to social mobility, but take action to pro-actively encourage it. Organisations are open to attack unless they can prove that they’re not impeding social mobility. 

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The CSR Journal Team