London April 25 2022, Callsign, the digital trust pioneer, is launching the inaugural ‘Social Mobility Start-up of the Year Award’ as part of the UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMOs), challenging start-ups to make the advancement of social mobility a key part of how their organisation operates.
The SOMO Awards aim to encourage organisations to take action to increase social mobility within their businesses. With most SOMO award submissions in previous years coming from the education, professional services and legal sector, the new award will encourage start-ups to tackle social mobility issues head on – ultimately driving a dynamic economy where there is movement across all economic backgrounds.
Research from Statista reveals that individuals who are semi-skilled and unemployed report the lowest mobile phone usage compared to other demographics. As such, mobile apps are already excluding huge parts of the population, which has already been seen with FaceID that often fails to identify those from ethnic minority backgrounds.
This start-up award will look at programmes solving issues of social mobility in two ways; their inclusivity of those from disadvantaged social economic backgrounds in product or services development; and through their employment including apprenticeships, paid internships or helping to upskill through community outreach programmes.
‘When Callsign was founded, we did so with five principles including championing diversity in our workplace and being committed to the education of young people,”’said Zia Hayat, co-founder and CEO, Callsign.
‘Now 10 years on as the global pioneer, making sure that our organisation continues to work to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds is core to our culture and our values. With this award, we want to encourage the UK start up scene to establish social mobility within their DNA from the start, as they grow, so too will the good work their organisations do."
The digital skills gap also has a huge role to play in the challenge of social mobility across the UK, with Tech Nation revealing areas such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds experiencing large rises in tech job vacancies in recent years. The levelling up agenda is clear to see, with the UK Government announcing three new Innovation Accelerators in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Glasgow City Region. But more needs to be done.
‘Social mobility won’t be solved if technology continues to be exclusive,’ continued Zia Hayat. ‘Something needs to change and this requires everyone working together, from start-ups to governments alike, to ensure tech remains inclusive and able to serve all demographics. As part of this we must ensure we are upskilling individuals across the UK so we can all benefit from technology. Callsign is proud to champion this award and help turn the table on social mobility.’
‘The UK Social Mobility Awards are all about making the advancement of social mobility a key part of how organisations are run in this country. As an accomplished scale-up, when Callsign approached us with the idea of a specific start-up award, we immediately recognised the opportunity to leverage Callsign’s own success to help champion the UK start-up community in creating equity of opportunity and, inclusive technology. With the ever-increasing role that technology has in our lives, it is more important than ever, that the flourishing UK start-up scene takes a leading role in embedding social mobility, into their practices,’ concluded Tunde Banjoko, Founder, Making the Leap and UK Social Mobility Awards.
The partnership with SOMOs is a key element of Callsign’s wider CSR initiatives – which includes running Magic Breakfasts – working with over 1,000 schools in the UK offering breakfasts to over 2000 children every day, partnering with the Aldridge Foundation to sponsor awards and offer career advice. More information on other initiatives run by Callsign can be found here.
UK Social Mobility Awards 2022 will open for entries on 25th April and will close on 24th June. The winners will be announced at a gala event which will be held on 13th October.
Making the Leap
Making The Leap is an innovative grassroots societal change charity that aims to make a big difference. From direct delivery to advocacy and leadership, we refuse to stay in our lane and believe passionately that those we exist to serve have the right to be anything they want to be.
Visit https://makingtheleap.org.uk for more information