TOP BARRISTER, CORPORATE CAMPAIGNER AND EDUCATION PIONEER LEND US THEIR SUPPORT (That’s one QC and two OBEs!)
** LOOK! THIS STORY APPEARED IN THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD **
Three of the UK’s most respected and influential game changers have agreed to join our new advisory board for the Graduate Fog Employers Club.
Jolyon Maugham QC, Liz Bingham OBE and Dr Ger Graus OBE all jumped at the chance to formalise their support for our new coalition of the country’s most forward-thinking employers of young people.
JOLYON MAUGHAM QC
Top barrister Jolyon Maugham QC tweeted us in June 2017, saying he was keen to bring some legal muscle to our fight for fair internships and other employment practices where young workers get a raw deal. What fun it’s been. First, we squared up to Monocle editor Tyler Brule over the luxury magazine’s £30-a-day internships. Then, we challenged firms charging huge ‘exit fees’ to stop graduates leaving their schemes in less than two years (which Jolyon considers to be indentured labour). One firm – Capita – crumbled immediately and ditched the practice. For two others – FDM and Sparta – the case is ongoing. A tax barrister by day, Jolyon also runs the Good Law Project, crowdfunding legal action for important cases where he feels the law offers protection to vulnerable groups, including the survivors of the Grenfell disaster, Uber drivers and welfare complainants.
“Tanya is a dynamo, tirelessly championing young people’s rights to fair pay and decent jobs. The irony is that most of what she’s achieved, she’s done unpaid. So, I’m thrilled that the Graduate Fog Employers Club is proving so popular with big firms keen to show they care about their young staff.”
LIZ BINGHAM OBE
Graduate Fog’s founder Tanya de Grunwald first met Liz Bingham OBE – former Managing Partner at EY and a legendary diversity champion in the corporate world – when both appeared on BBC Radio 4 in 2012. Soon afterwards, Liz was the first high profile business person to call out unpaid internships, saying: “Internships are jobs and should be treated as such. Young people deserve to be paid for the work that they do on internships – it’s reprehensible when they are not.” Liz was an awarded an OBE for services to equality in the workplace in 2015 and appeared several times in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List and the FT’s Top 50 Outstanding in Business List. She says has been impressed by Tanya’s tenacity running Graduate Fog, and her imagination when dreaming up the idea of the Graduate Fog Employers Club.
“I never doubted Tanya’s ability to get things going. Like me, she loves shaking things up – and waking people up – but she also wants to create real change. Launching a club for responsible employers who care deeply about the issues affecting young job seekers is a brilliant next step towards real action.
“I’m impressed by the calibre of the big brands that have already stepped up and joined the Graduate Fog Employers Club. Having championed diversity and inclusion in the corporate world for many years, I’m pleased to see it firmly on every big employer’s agenda now. The Club’s tagline: ‘Great firms, fair jobs, good business’ says it all.
“I’m delighted to see an appetite for collaboration among big employers, and happy to help Tanya and her team in any way I can.”
DR GER GRAUS OBE
Members of the Graduate Fog Employers Club already know Dr Ger Graus OBE, KidZania’s Global Director of Education, as he spoke at our autumn 2018 event on the roots of aspiration in children aged 4 to 14. Although the topic is perhaps not obviously relevant to a room of senior HR professionals, Ger joined the dots to explain how the simple fact that “Children can only aspire to what they know exists,” is responsible for many of the biggest challenges that employers face today when attracting talent from diverse backgrounds. Ger also shared data from KidZania (a child-sized city, based at Westfield London and in a further 26 locations globally) where patterns in children’s chosen activities offer startling insight into how their gender, class, ethnicity and geographical location may impact their future choice of profession. A renowned figure in the world of education, Ger was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to children.
“I am more than happy to join the advisory board for the Graduate Fog Employers Club. I applaud Tanya for what she has achieved so far in discovering not one but two niches – first with Graduate Fog and now with the Employers Club. She has a gift for discovering hidden communities, bringing people together and energising them to trigger social action and lasting change.
“I’m not surprised the Club is proving popular – the best firms will quickly recognise that it is special. No-one else is doing anything like this – and certainly not with the expertise, enthusiasm, heart and soul that Tanya and her team bring to it.”
Announcing the Club’s three high profile backers, Tanya de Grunwald, founder of Graduate Fog and the Graduate Fog Employers Club, said:
“We’re thrilled to have Jolyon, Liz and Ger on board. We have known all three for some time, so their advice and support is already woven into the fabric of the Club. Jo has been an essential support on a string of legal cases, Liz helped us in the early years of Graduate Fog, and Ger spoke at our autumn event.
“Access to their expertise will continue to be an enormous asset for us, as the Club continues to grow. All three of these brilliant people constantly inspire us with their energy, the depth of their commitment to doing what is right, and using their influence to make the world of work fairer and more accessible for everyone. And, like us, they’re not afraid to ruffle a few feathers, if something needs to be said in order for change to happen.”
For more information about the Graduate Fog Employers Club click here. To contact us about joining the Club, click here. Our next event is on Wednesday 3rd April, hosted at Channel 4 – see flyer below…
A NOTE ABOUT GRADUATE FOG’S POLITICS
Graduate Fog Limited is an independent company owned entirely by journalist, author and campaigner Tanya de Grunwald.
Neither Graduate Fog nor the Graduate Fog Employers Club has any political affiliation, or receives any funding from political parties or pressure groups. Nor have we expressed a position on Brexit – we are simply ‘pro-young job seekers’. Both Graduate Fog and the Graduate Fog Employers Club are funded entirely by the annual subscription fees from our Club Members, plus additional editorial, events and consultancy work which they commission.
Every member of the Graduate Fog Employers Club has agreed to our Member Checklist to ensure they qualify as a ‘good’ employer of young people. However, Graduate Fog’s campaign work remains entirely independent from them, an arrangement that everyone is happy with.