By Beth Butler, Executive Director, Disability:IN North Carolina As the Executive Director of Disability:IN North Carolina I am proud to share with you that on October 29th, 2018, Accenture, in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) published a groundbreaking report that confirms companies that are inclusive of talent with disabilities outperform their peers. FINALLY, a report that confirms the business case many of our member companies have experienced for years. The study reveals four key actions that organizations can take to attract, hire, retain and advance diverse talent: Employ: Organizations must ensure that persons with disabilities are represented in their workplace. Beyond hiring, employers should implement practices that encourage and progress persons with disabilities. Enable: Leaders must provide employees with disabilities with accessible tools and technology and/or a formal accommodations program. Engage: To foster an inclusive culture, organizations must generate awareness-building — through recruitment efforts, disability education programs and grassroots-led efforts (for example, an employee resource group). Empower: Organizations must create empowering environments for employees with disabilities through mentoring and coaching initiatives, as well as through skilling/re-skilling programs, to ensure that they continue to advance and thrive. This research further validates that companies leveraging the DEI have also achieved significant performance improvements. It’s time for more companies to use this tool to their advantage. Please read the report and share it with your networks: www.accenture.com/pwd. One question remains, “Are you IN?” Join us in 2019 as a member/sponsor of Disability:IN North Carolina and begin the journey to disability inclusion for all!!
By S.Barton Cutter Originally printed in www.careersingovernment.com In recent years, much emphasis has been placed on hiring and retaining talented professionals with disabilities. And, great strides have been made to provide reasonable accommodations where needed to ensure these individuals are able to perform their jobs optimally. For years, however, success in the professional realm has been linked to an employee’s ability to minimize, or outright hide their need for accommodation. And despite recent efforts to shift this perception from a sign of weakness to enhanced efficiency, unconscious bias still remains. This is true both on the employers end, and on the parts of professional with a disability. Today, we have an opportunity to shift the paradigm from viewing accommodations solely as an individual need, to a call for inclusive culture. Through this lens, accommodations become the means to enhance engagement and collaboration across organizations while still empowering the individual with the tools needed to excel. A central component to creating this inclusive culture for organizations is the capacity to self-reflect. And, coaching can be crucial in setting the stage for this skill. I see this regularly in my role as accessibility consultant with The Coaches Training Institute and in my own coaching practice. Co-Active Coaching holds that how you show up is as important as what you do. In designing accommodations, this means not only addressing what professionals need to perform, but also exploring the softer elements of fostering engagement, expression, and collaboration. Thus the focus of accommodation design broadens to empowering the team as a whole. Engaging inclusion within your organization starts with three easy steps. Establishing Agreements In inviting our colleagues to articulate their own vision for how the culture could better support them to thrive in their work, they can collectivity design agreements about how the team […]
By Nereida (Neddy) Perez NCLBN Board Member and Principal of D&I Creative Solutions For more than 58% of corporations, nonprofit and government agencies with Diversity & Inclusion programs in place, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)/Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are at the heart of their corporate culture transformation. These groups were originally created to help support diversity awareness and enable safe conversations on race, gender, gender orientation and disability topics to take place. Many of these groups are volunteer based and report into the company’s diversity &inclusion office. ERGs/BRGs have in past been crucial to identifying and growing the leadership skills of employees, recruiting talent, connecting and uncovering new market niches to position products and services and serving as advocates for policy and process changes. Normally, ERGs/BRGs are provide with an executive/corporate sponsor to help coach and guide the group within the company. The sponsors are selected from the company’s executive leadership team and often report directly to the CEO or President of the business. What is your role as an executive/corporate sponsor? Executive Sponsors are critical to the success of ERGs/BRGS because they serve as advocates within the company to help advance understand about disabilities. They also serve as a coach to the employees who have volunteered to serve on the leadership committee of the ERG/BRG. As a coach, the executive sponsor, can help employees understand the company’s policies processes, business strategy and how to navigate the corporate culture to advocate for internal change or help connect with customers. On a personal level, the ERGs/BRGs provide an excellent opportunity to learn and connect with employees who are helping the company meet its business goals. Executive sponsors are often expected to participate in community activities as spokespeople and/or attend internal events in a leadership capacity. It is okay to be uncomfortable & […]