Persons With Disabilities Employment Awareness , image:coloribus.com
Getting genuine buy-in from the top is key to improving levels of disability disclosure and, consequently, facilitating requests for workplace adjustments. That was the conclusion of a recent round table hosted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI).
The focus group also found that while some HR and diversity specialists are sceptical about the level of support available from senior leadership teams, once the topic is brought to the attention of the board, the response is often overwhelmingly positive, with one attendee sharing that leaders within her organisation responded by asking, “Why aren’t people telling us? We can really make this work”.
The event was hosted by HS2 Ltd and attended by a diverse mix of representatives from private and public sector organisations including Morgan McKinley, Kelly Services, the Clear Company, DWF, Guidant Group, and the REC.
There continues to be a significant gap between the employment rate of disabled people and the rest of the population. According to the Office for National Statistics, just 49% of disabled people of working age are in employment.
Practical ways in which leaders can bolster disability initiatives shared at the event include; identifying ‘disability champions’ within the business who can communicate their own stories, implementing unconscious bias training, instigating ‘reverse-mentoring’ initiatives where senior managers are partnered with disabled colleagues and leading by example by being open about their own disabilities.
If you would like to share the great things your organisation is doing to engage with disabled talent, or are looking for additional support in this area to help build confidence, get involved with RIDI today. For more information visit ridi.org.uk.