Each month our Development Consultant Sally Ward, recommends a resource to help you in your work. For February's theme ‘The Art of Great Leadership', Sally examines the report 'Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage' written by Accenture, American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability: In.
Wherever you sit in an organisation, leading cultural change isn’t easy. And this is especially the case when you are the chair of a disability network/resource group. No one expects you to be the font of all knowledge about disability inclusion and what other organisations are doing to influence change in their business. However, keeping up to date with current thought leadership around disability inclusion will help you bring your best self to your leadership role.
And this is where reports that the major corporates write can be really helpful. I’m always on the look-out for these – they condense what can be a complicated set of opportunities and challenges into bite sized pieces. And when it’s one of our members who have written a report, it’s even better.
In 2018, Accenture, American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:In jointly wrote a report – largely from a US-based perspective – to understand why Corporate America was significantly under utilising a critical talent pool – that of disabled people.
The relatively short report (17 pages) makes for interesting reading. They have taken a closer look at the Disability Equality Index (an annual benchmarking tool that gives US businesses an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices) results over the past four years to find out what makes a best in class company. They have identified an elite group of 45 organisations that excelled in each of the key categories in the benchmark and analysed what they are doing differently that makes them stand out from the others.
There is quite a lot of analysis and stats in the report – which we know strategy teams really love and can be useful when putting together a business case or for setting objectives. There are also a number of useful references to other research that’s taken place around disabled talent and recruitment.
They’ve identified four key actions for attracting, hiring, retaining and advancing diverse talent:
- Employ – organisations must ensure that disabled people are represented in their workplace.
- Enable –leaders must provide disabled employees with accessible tools and technology through a formal Workplace Adjustment Programme
- Engage – to foster an inclusive culture throughout an organisation, companies must generate awareness-building through recruitment efforts, disability education programmes, employee/resource groups and events
- Empower – Companies must offer mentoring and coaching initiatives, as well as skilling/reskilling programmes, to ensure that disabled people continue to grow and succeed.
Whilst the report is focused on the US, there is a significant amount of information that can be used by other non-US networks when discussing disability objectives with the business. I would definitely keep this in my research library.
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