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Emma Raywood

APSco Disability & Inclusion Discussion.

  • by Emma Raywood
  • 29 Jul 2016

Last Friday, Emma Raywood, Account Manager in the Office Support Team attended The APSco talk about Disability and Inclusion.

Emma has put together a summary which you can read below and also read the Business Disability Forum’s updated guide on Disability-smart approaches to talent acquisition – which is a best practice guide focussing on how to work with recruitment suppliers around the disability agenda. If you would like a copy of the guide, plesae contact Emma.

The first talk was from EY’s Information Security Manager who is disabled and joined through their grad scheme, followed by the Director of Strategy and External Affairs at the Business Disability Forum.

EY are probably one of the leaders in terms of disability and inclusion and being a big business have the resources to do things such as offering taxis and other costly adjustments to make interviewing more accessible but there are other things that businesses can do to attract a more diverse workforce:

  • Including images of disabled people on a company website and testimonials of people going through the process – there was a study around the visibility of being open to disabled applications and only ¼ of the top FTSE 100 were seen as, by disabled people, to be attracting / open to their applications whereas most of them do have a policy of inclusion – it just isn’t visible
  • Not using spell checks on online applications as this can be detrimental to people with issues such as dyslexia and in a real work life situation they would have access to spell check
  • Companies have started opening up grad schemes to people with less than a 2:1 – some disabled candidates may have faced extra challenges during education so companies such as EY have started to open this up
  • And they talked about companies needing to incentivise hiring managers to be more open to hiring disabled candidates – rather than focussing on the speed of filling a role  

EYs D&I focus is now coming from a much more commercial perspective – they believe that it’s finally beneficial to have a more diverse workforce.

Apparently companies focus on D&I have been shifting: Pre 2000 D&I had a compliance focus, post 2000 a HR focus, post 2010 a commercial focus. A disabled employee is apparently 5x more likely to stay with a company for more than 10 years.

The overall aim was to get people talking and to make it less of a taboo to approach the subject of disability and to encourage people to recruit through strengths – they suggested not working from traditional specs but focussing more on competencies. And educating clients to be more open in their approach – not just looking for people from their competitors but opening up the gene pool of their candidates whether that’s a different industry or people classified as disabled.

If you would like to find out more, please have a look here or contact Emma here.

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