February 2020

Building Inner Confidence

February - Building Inner Confidence

80% of all people with lived experience of disability / ill health will be individuals who acquire that human experience between the ages of 18 and 64 - their prime working years. And with 10% - 12% of every workforce comprised of employees with a disability/experience of ill health it means that a lot of people are often making sense of a new identity and what it means to be human - as well as doing well at work. As we know it can often knock our inner confidence because it can make life less certain - and can even cause us to doubt our ability to work at all. 

This month we take a look at the role ERGs / Networks can play in building the inner confidence of employees with disability / ill health. Because, as the late Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey said, "With confidence, you have won before you have started." 

We offer you five challenges for the month ahead: 

  1. Remind yourself of the resources available within the Purple Confidence: Unlocking Your Potential Toolkit, kindly sponsored by Microlink 
  2. Refresh your ERG / Network understanding of any Employee Assist Programmes that are available to employees and the type of support that is available 
  3. Consider joining the new "Purple Confidence" development task force - or identify someone within your network who would like to take part
  4. Get excited by the role senior executives with a disability can play in the growth of inner confidence 
  5. Reflect on our capacity to learn and grow as human beings by reading this month's blog 'One place to the Right' 

Your MUST DO this month is to remind yourself of the full Purple Confidence: Unlocking Your Potential Toolkit , that we made available in 2019.  It is a source of inspiration for you to start to really dig deep into the subject of inner confidence. We see too many ERG / Network leaders burn themselves out trying to 'fix' tired or inadequate workplace adjustment processes. And while it is still important to support your organisation to continually work to best practice when it comes to workplace adjustments it is equally important to notice that many people with a disability/experience of ill health want to find ways of boosting their inner confidence in order to ask for them in the first place. So do yourself a favour and remind yourself about the Purple Confidence Toolkit. In particular, take a look at the Proof Points Indicator Measures - think about using them within a small focus group to kick start a conversation about the creation of your own internal tools. Read too, 10 Steps To Building Our Disability Confidence at work  - maybe think about producing your own version to coincide with 3rd December and International Day of Persons with Disabilities  / #PurpleLightUp.

During the month our CEO Kate Nash OBE, will be sharing her reflections on the journey towards inner disability confidence, so look out for her post 'When the going gets tough' in the Member Zone.

Not every organisation has an Employee Assist Programme [EAP]. They typically provide confidential information, support and counselling to staff with personal or work-related issues and the service is often available around the clock by telephone or online. As well as providing advice to line managers, they can produce anonymous management information to help an employer identify and tackle workplace issues. If your organisation has one, take a fresh look at the type of support that is available - make sure they know about your ERG / Network. And if you can, see if you can support your organisation to ask the right questions of any new providers when the contract is up for renewal. Take some time to read more about EAPs - here is one article which you might find of interest . With an estimated market share worth £70 million, it's worth checking out your provider's experience and success in retaining and supporting disabled employees - and their understanding about the value of erg's / Networks. Read more about EAPs from the International Employees Assistance Professionals Association. In July 2013 they found that the number of employees accessing an EAP was 13.8 million, up from 8.2 million in 2008. This included 23 of the top 25 organisations in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work for 2013

Look out for information about our new Purple Confidence development task force that will be made available this month. We are bringing together a small group of our members to take forward the pilot and to expand the resources we can make available to members. Think about taking part.

Get excited by the role senior executives have in helping all people to build inner confidence. In 2019, EY produced a report in collaboration with The Valuable500 - they surveyed 130 C-suite executives in 17 countries. Even though 1 in 7 of the world's population live with a disability, fewer than half this figure (1 in 14) of board-level executives consider themselves to have a disability.  Of those who identified, 1 in 5 do not feel comfortable admitting it to a colleague, you can read the full report here

Reflect on our capacity to learn and grow as human beings by reading this month's blog 'One place to the Right'. We hear from an ERG / Network leader who has built their own inner confidence by using the ideas contained in our Purple Confidence Toolkit.

Monthly networking with the PurpleSpace community

Brand new for 2020 are our live Q&A webinars with PurpleSpace Founder and CEO Kate Nash OBE. All members are invited to drop into the lively member only chat on Thursday 27th February between:

  • London (GMT) - between 11:00 - 12:00
  • Sydney (AEDT) - between 22:00 - 23:00
  • New York (EST) - between 06:00 - 07:00

This is open to any paid-up member from the PurpleSpace community of 600 members. Although Kate will lead the conversation based on the coming month's Leadership Theme You can use the time to ask any question about running a disabled Employee Resource Group / Network. You don't need to book, just dial in and post or ask your question. 

And don't forget, each month we have eight 'Private Coaching' sessions available for members [cost £200 per session. FREE TO MEMBERS on a first-come, first-served basis]. Our two external senior associate consultants Sarah Simcoe and Sally Ward deliver these sessions exclusively for PurpleSpace. Sessions can be booked by emailing Jo at jo@purplespace.org 

Diary alert

On 24th March 2020 we have our first Parliamentary Reception, kindly hosted by our members Fujitsu and delivered in partnership with ParliAble, Houses of Parliament. For further information see the listing

On 30th April we hold the next 'Networkology- Part One Workshop' kindly hosted by our members Shell - it's the best way to refresh, learn and connect (retail cost £550 and FREE TO MEMBERS on a first-come, first-served basis)


Want to share your experiences by writing a blog?

Why don't you write a blog about your ERG / Network experience of building inner confidence? Contact hello@purplespace.org if you would like to write a blog about this month's theme or one of our future leadership themes.


And finally...have a fantastic February. Use it to think about the ways you can help disabled employees, allies and champions to build inner confidence - take a look at our materials and think about their relevance in the work you do. Create your own materials. 

So, get inspired to find the space you need to build disability confidence from the inside out. PurpleSpace.