“Sorry, we are ‘doing race’ this year…”

I got asked an interesting question this week: 

“How do disabled candidates feel about seeing employers publicising work relating to other areas of inclusion… say the race pay gap or work on LGBTQ?”

Image shows a black woman using sign language

The simple answer is that it depends on the individual.

But it raises some interesting questions. Without working within an organisation, we can only judge by the information revealed about themselves. If you’re a member of a group that’s often discriminated against; do you only look at information relating to your protected characteristic? Or do you consider an organisations’ values and attitude to inclusion as a whole?

Since I realised how crucial a company’s culture is to health and wellbeing, I’ve been fascinated by everything inclusion. And I tend to look at how an organisation addresses inclusion itself. For me, it doesn’t matter where they excel; flexibility and mindset matter most.

But I wonder if that’s privilege talking? As a white heterosexual woman with an invisible disability, I suspect most organisations are welcoming to me… When I asked a friend, a BAME woman that uses a wheelchair the same question, she had some interesting points to make.

She told me that, like me, she considers an organisations’ approach to inclusion as a whole. And she also believes that different groups of people that often face discrimination, do well to support each other.

But unlike me, her experience has taught her that even when a company comes across as forward thinking and inclusive; it’s likely that their idea of inclusion doesn’t include disability. Furthermore, those that do want to include disability often only consider disabilities that are less complex than hers. Or they make assumptions about her needs, rather than asking about individual preferences or accommodations.

So… it depends. I’d like to hear about ALL the positive work organisations do to include people in the workplace. How else do we learn from each other? So please tell us, shout it from the rooftops and let candidates know you are taking action; not just talking, about change. But please don’t say you’re ‘doing race’ this year, or ‘it’s disability’ this month. You may just find the talent you’re seeking, goes elsewhere.

To find out more about disability inclusion or advertise jobs on our accessible job board email info@evenbreak.co.uk or visit www.evenbreak.co.uk

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