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Announcing our new Employer Advisory Group

Employer Advisory group written in white on navy

Updated 21 February 2023

The Social Mobility Commission has today announced the membership of its new Employer Advisory Group (EAG). 

The Employer Advisory Group has been put in place to drive social mobility in the workplace in the UK and support the Commission’s employer focused programme of work. 

The role of the EAG will be to: 

  • Influence the future direction of Commission projects focused on employers, including stress-testing and providing honest, relevant feedback.
  • Build a collective awareness and understanding of the landscape and trends, including open discussions on the challenges faced in their own organisation and/or industry.
  • Learn from each other’s experiences, share best practice, and partner with the SMC on what resources employers and industries need to support social mobility.
  • Share networks and connections across the EAG, to support projects and delivery.

Members were chosen from organisations that responded to our open employer consultation in October, and represent a wide range of industries and regions. They include representatives from organisations working across the country, in areas from construction to law to retail, and we look forward to working with them to improve social mobility in the workplace. 

Member biographies

Accenture UK & Ireland
Camilla Drejer – Managing Director Corporate Sustainability, Citizenship & Responsible Business

Camilla is a longstanding champion and change agent for responsible business. She is part of the Accenture UK and Ireland Executive Team and works with leadership across the business to embed social and environmental sustainability into the DNA of the business. Camilla has led the development of a number of large-scale ‘tech for good’ solutions to enable hundreds of thousands of people to build skills, confidence and access to opportunity, and is also the company’s UKI Executive Sponsor for social mobility. Camilla set up the business-led youth charity Movement to Work and was its first CEO. She is also a founding Director and Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability and contributes to a number of industry groups and boards relating to tech, skills, sustainability and responsible business.

Isabelle Fernandes –
Head of Early & Creative Talent (UKI)

Isabelle leads and manages the strategy and direction of Avanade’s early talent hiring. She is passionate about diversity, social mobility and collaboration with business leadership and the early talent team to target social mobility cold spots. In recent years, she has overseen a huge increase in the number of early talent hires and programme opportunities, recently launching a new university internship. Isabelle has been awarded IHR’s Best Individual In-House Recruiter and named on the Top 11 Most Influential Recruiters list.Alongside her role at Avanade, her passion for social mobility led her to found a social enterprise called FLAARE. FLAARE is a community organisation whose mission is to empower young people to think about their futures by connecting them with creative brands and experiences to develop entrepreneurial skills, networks and kickstart the journey to create, learn, build and earn.


Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
Kenye Karemo – Director of Education, Workforce Development and Research

Kenye is the strategic lead for education and apprenticeships and recently upgraded the organisation’s  service to the employer-provider model, diversifying career opportunities into the NHS. Over the last 5 years, she has successfully led the development of a suite of integrated career pathways in partnership with local education providers and apprenticeship programmes. Her work is underpinned by experience as a clinical pharmacist and clinical service manager. Alongside being a clinical leader, Kenye has served communities as governor in a variety of education settings.

Kenye developed the organisation’s innovative ‘Career Maps’ programme, which has effectively enabled in-work social mobility for large numbers of staff. These Career Maps are currently being enhanced to include work experience pathways for school leavers, care leavers and young volunteers.

In addition, Kenye has experience of mentoring young people, and has opened up careers in healthcare to many young people.


Boston Consulting Group
Joe Grundy –
Managing Director & Partner 

Joe co-leads BCG’s Financial Institutions practice across London, Amsterdam and Brussels. During his 18 years as a Management Consultant he has advised CEOs and Executives at leading banks and wealth managers on some of their toughest challenges, including purpose, strategy, operating model, digital transformation, and sustainability. 

He co-leads BCG’s pro-bono support to social mobility charities The Sutton Trust, The Education Endowment Foundation and The Access Project, and has led many initiatives aimed at supporting BCG’s own social mobility efforts.

Most recently, Joe has been supporting his clients to achieve purpose-led growth, recognising that many attractive opportunities available to banks also have the potential for significant impact on some of society’s greatest challenges – short-term financial resilience, long-term financial wellbeing, access to high quality housing, productivity and levelling up, and the transition to net zero.


Browne Jacobson LLP
Declan Vaughan
– People Director 

Declan leads a team of HR, L&D, D&I and knowledge management practitioners, helping the business envisage its people strategy. He also leads the D&I team and sets their strategy. Appointed as a PLC board director at 31, he has extensive experience of developing long range HR strategies, building organisational infrastructure and change management.   

From early adoption of anonymised applications and use of RARE algorithms, to a vibrant outreach programme including Browne Jacobson’s national FAIRE (Fairer Access Into Real Experience) programme, which reaches out to students from low socio-economic backgrounds, his HR team are making huge changes within the legal sector.

His and his team’s contribution has been recognised on many occasions, most noticeably when the firm was ranked no.1 in The Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index in 2021. 


Peter Cheese –
Chief Executive 

Peter is the CEO of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and People Development. Since January 2019, he has been co-chair of The Flexible Working Task Force, a partnership across government departments, business groups, trade unions and charities, to increase the uptake of flexible working. He is also Chair of Engage for Success and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

Peter writes and speaks widely on the development of HR, the future of work, and the key issues of leadership, culture and organisation, people and skills. In 2021, his book ‘The New World of Work’ was published, exploring the many factors shaping work, workplaces, workforces and our working lives, and the principles around which we can build a future that is good for people, for business and for societies. 

Prior to joining the CIPD in 2012 Peter was Chair of the Institute of Leadership and Management, an Executive Fellow at London Business School, and held a number of Board level roles. He had a long career in consulting at Accenture working with organisations around the world, and in his last seven years there was Global Managing Director for the firm’s human capital and organisation consulting practice.

He is a Fellow of the CIPD, a Fellow of AHRI (the Australian HR Institute), the Royal Society of Arts, and the Academy of Social Sciences. He’s also a Companion of the Institute of Leadership and Management, the Chartered Management Institute, and the British Academy of Management. He holds honorary doctorates from Bath University, Kingston University and Birmingham City University.


Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
Ann Francke OBE –
Chief Executive 

Ann is Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the UK’s leading professional body for management and leadership with a global member community of over 180k. In 2020, Ann was awarded an OBE for services to workplace equality, and holds five Honorary Doctorates for her work in management and leadership.

Ann is an expert on gender balance in the workplace and has authored two books on the topic. She has been named in the top 100 women to watch in the 2015 Female FTSE Cranfield report and recently featured on female one zero’s 2022 list – ‘40 Over 40 – The World’s Most Inspiring Women’.

She is an advisory board member for the Work Foundation & Nottingham Business School, sits on the Advisory Council of the Chancellors Help to Grow: Management initiative, is an Engineering Council Board member, chairing their diversity & inclusion working group, and chairs the WACL working group on workplace equality.


Paul Gerrard –
Campaigns, Public Affairs & Board Secretariat Director 

In a twenty year career in the Civil Service, Paul worked in senior roles which included responsibility for the operational delivery of the £40bn tax credits and Child Benefit system. 

He joined the Co-op group in 2016, and as Campaigns, Public Affairs and Board Secretariat Director he leads the Co-op’s engagement with Government on a range of public policy issues, and manages internal Board governance.

Paul leads the Co-op’s campaigning activity, including their multi-award winning campaigns on slavery, loneliness, shop worker violence, climate justice, and social mobility. He regularly gives evidence to Parliamentary committees and appears on national media on these campaigns.

He is a trustee of the Co-operative Heritage Trust, a Board Member of Co-operatives UK and the Chair of HMP Manchester’s Employment Advisory Board.


Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports
Sarah Tebbutt –
Director of People and Workplace 

Sarah is an experienced board level executive and senior public sector leader with a track record in government, HR, property, corporate services, risk management, investment, financial markets and services, IT, strategy and policy formulation. 

At DCMS she leads on the People (HR) estates, location and security functions and their transformation to deliver great outcomes for people as diverse and inclusive as the sectors and citizens they serve. Sarah is the senior person responsible for DCMS’ Diversity and Inclusion strategy and has been the senior sponsor for social mobility initiatives including the Social Mobility Employer Index submission, as well as department wide inclusion talks focused on social mobility.

Sarah was appointed a board member, Treasurer and then Chair of the Board of Trustees for Southwark Citizen Advice Bureau where she volunteered for over 7 years.


Kier Group plc
Sophie Timms –
Corporate Affairs Director

Sophie is the corporate affairs director for leading UK infrastructure services, construction and property group, Kier Group plc, using her 20 years’ public and corporate affairs and communications experience to deliver strategic counsel to Board and Executive teams.  Prior to joining Kier, Sophie spent over 20 years at Zurich Insurance.  

Inclusion for all is at the heart of Sophie’s approach, and accolades include:  being awarded Freedom of the City of London for services to Diversity (2019);  spearheading a Youth Skills’ programme involving inner London schools (2017); securing the 2017 National Responsible Business Champion award by the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group (APCRG).

At Kier, Sophie is the lead sponsor for the Group’s ability network, a founding member of the menopause network and leads Kier’s building for tomorrow sustainability pillar.


Hollie Crompton –
Social Mobility Lead 

Hollie joined PwC on the audit school leaver programme and has worked for the firm for 18 years, holding a number of different roles across the student recruitment and learning and development teams. 

Since 2017, as part of PwC’s dedicated social mobility team, Hollie has led on key projects including the expansion of PwC’s social mobility work experience programme, the social mobility community engagement programme, PwC’s involvement in Access Accountancy and the RISE collaborative outreach initiative and increasing the level of socio-economic background data of PwC’s people to help inform and measure the social mobility strategy. This has enabled PwC to publish their socioeconomic background data by grade and be one of the first organisations to publish their socioeconomic background pay gap.


Severn Trent plc
Neil Morrison –
Group HR Director 

Neil joined Severn Trent in August 2017 having worked in a variety of HR roles within FTSE 100 companies. Before joining Severn Trent, Neil was one of the main leads in helping to steer and finalise the global merger between Random House and Penguin. 

He has been a champion of improving social mobility since contributing to the Access to the Professions report in 2010. During his time at Penguin Random House he worked to improve access into the media, including the removing of degree qualifications. More recently he has been a champion of improving social mobility across the Midlands, home to around a third of all social mobility cold spots. 

As a board member of the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education he is also an advocate for the role that the diversification of educational routes into skilled jobs and professions can play in improving social mobility.


Slaughter and May
Uzma Hamid-Dizier –
Director of Responsible Business 

Uzma is a globally experienced responsible business professional, previously holding roles at KPMG, HSBC and the United Nations. She specialises in delivery of business transformation and change programmes to create more open, inclusive and engaged workplaces that positively contribute to the societies in which they operate.

Currently, Uzma leads on Slaughter and May’s Responsible Business agenda, and the implementation of its ESG strategy. Her role is to work closely with the senior leadership to integrate societal and environmental issues into business strategy, operational activity and to translate their meaning into everyday business culture and interactions.  

For the past four years she has led Slaughter and May’s social mobility strategy and implemented a number of initiatives, including a scholarship scheme, charity partnerships, and the ‘Lead into Law’ outreach programme.