Stories of our impact
Champion of change
Chris Rix’s story of improving life chances for young people
It was a school visit by an accountant that set Chris Rix, one of our tax partners, on his successful career path. Now, after many years spent helping young people grasp their own opportunities, his hard work has been rewarded.
In October 2017, Chris was recognised at the first UK Social Mobility Awards. Run by charity Making the Leap, which promotes equal life chances for 11 to 25-year-olds from lower socio-economic backgrounds, the awards honour the efforts of British business to bring about change.
Manchester-based Chris – 2017 Social Mobility Champion of the Year – oversees 200 Deloitte volunteers who are breaking down barriers to education and employment as part of our One Million Futures ambition.
A personal perspective...
“Growing up in the North East, I didn’t go to the best school and was among those who received free meals, but thankfully the school had the foresight to get involved with the local business community. When an accountant came to talk to us about the profession, it sparked my interest. After getting my degree, I trained as a maths teacher but went on to qualify as a chartered accountant and tax adviser.
“Education has always been important to me and, more than ten years ago, I became involved with the charity Teach First. It works for equality of education in England and Wales and, among other things, trains teachers to raise aspirations and improve life chances in low-income areas.
“I’m also very active in the North West business community. I believe we must work together to champion social mobility and at Deloitte, for instance, our recruitment process reflects the fact we need a strong, diverse workforce.
“Improving social mobility is about helping every individual to be themselves and to shine, regardless of their start in life.”
“If a candidate is the first to go to university in their family, or if they received free school meals, we’ll take it into account. Background is considered when we look at academic results and we recognise, for example, that someone who gets reasonable grades from a poorly-performing school may have done better than someone who gets the same from a high-achieving one. We also use ‘blind’ recruitment to reduce any potential unconscious bias related to schools or universities and we look for potential.
“We want young people to be able to make informed decisions about their future, which is why it’s so important to take the world of work into schools through mentors.”