Embracing purple talent and building disability networks in the workplace
For any company, whether large or small, their biggest asset is their people and the knowledge these people bring to the workplace. However, disabled employees in the UK continue to face barriers in feeling comfortable being themselves at work. Whether in in the application phase or formally in a monitoring exercise, it is a real challenge to share information about oneself that may have an effect on how people view and work with you. When I surveyed 2,500 disabled employees from 55 employers for “Secrets & Big News,” the research revealed that 60% of respondents had not shared information about their disability with their employer because they were worried about being held back in their careers.
So for the last eight years, I have created and worked with 300+ disabled employee networks and resource groups to spark a new conversation to drive the third phase of building a sustainable change for recruiting and developed disabled talent in the UK and globally. Unlike the first phase which was about legislation, and the second phase that was about employers (and is still ongoing), this third phase is about how disabled employees can get ahead at work, build personal resilience and be themselves at work for personal and business benefit.
This is not so much about medicine, politics or disability rights. Rather, this issue is about what it means to be human and how employers can retain their talented people through periods of ill health and disability. A disability network represents a safe space for employees to discuss how and why to bring their authentic selves to work. Because employees with ‘real jobs’ more often than not lead networks, they better understand the opportunities and constraints for delivering change and driving conversations about the experience of human difference.
I believe we are entering a very exciting time for disabled people – and an on-line hub like PurpleSpace is poised to inspire sustainable cultural change. PurpleSpace presents a unique opportunity to form a network of disability network leaders to share best practice tools and ideas that will create disability-confident organisations from the inside out. Resources on the platform such as In The Chair, offers a collection of top tips for anyone running a network, whether new to the role or a seasoned Networkologist. PurpleSpace supports the growing community of disability network leaders who are opening up conversations about the best way to implement workplace adjustments that drive business forward. To learn more about PurpleSpace, you can watch this short introductory video.
The conversation about purple talent at work is moving from ‘getting in’ to ‘getting on’ and PurpleSpace is bringing together networks of employees and businesses to make positive changes happen. Employers who embrace and stimulate the development of disability networks and provide the necessary workplace adjustments disabled employees need are placing themselves at the forefront of shifting cultural perceptions of disabled talent. The future generation of disabled people at work will be shaped by their own stories so that organisations just “get it” and want to invest in their talent, their career, and their progression.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, pleaseclick herefor more information.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work
environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your
diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email
[email protected] for more information.
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