HR Roundtable: Social Mobility in the Workforce

Join us at this roundtable on productivity and social mobility in the workplace. We’ll be joined by Katie Schmuecker, Head of Policy & Partnerships at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Jessica Northend, Director of Corporate Affairs at Be the Business (BtB), who’ll open the discussion with their reflections on the problem and ways to both improve productivity in firms across the country, and living standards.

JRF’s annual poverty report highlights that in-work poverty is at its highest ever rate in the UK. There are an enormous number of workers living in poverty and, with increasingly flat structures in place, there are often limited opportunity for them to progress within traditional career paths.

In light of this, the roundtable will discuss:

  • How to improve business productivity, in particular in low-pay sectors;
  • How business can develop practices to support low-paid and part-time workers to progress.

About the speakers

Jessica Northend – Director of Corporate Affairs, Be the Business

Jessica is Corporate Affairs Director at Be the Business – a new organisation established by the UK government and senior business leaders to help British firms improve their productivity. In this role she has responsibility for public policy, government affairs and communications. Prior to this, she spent the past five years of her career at the John Lewis Partnership, where she managed public policy and external affairs across the John Lewis and Waitrose brands, and has previously held a range of roles in political consultancy and the voluntary sector.  

Katie Schmuecker – Head of Policy & Partnerships, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Katie is Head of Policy and Partnerships at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), where she leads the organisation’s policy development to ensure more people find a route out of poverty through work.  

She is one of the authors of JRF’s ‘We Can Solve Poverty’ report and her expertise spans work; poverty; income adequacy; welfare to work; and the cost of living. Prior to joining JRF Katie was Associate Director at the Institute for Public Policy Research North (IPPR North) and has worked in political campaigning. She is also a member of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission. 


Unfortunately this event is now closed for booking.

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