Companies are not hiring enough disabled people.
Companies without a diverse workforce risk losing out on talented employees, according to an expert.
Recent governmental figures show that only 46% of disabled people are in employment, while that number is 79% for non-disabled people.
Tim Griffin is the Vice President and General Manager of Dell UK. Speaking exclusively to Recruitment Grapevine, he believes that companies who do not hire disabled people risk falling behind in the long run.
“Any resource that is left unutilised, whether it is because they are disabled or not, is a tragedy,” he says. “Creating a policy that embraces diversity is really about creating an environment that a diverse and disabled population wants to come and join.”
However, Griffin says that recruiters and employers must be aware of the fact that disabilities are not restricted to the physical limitations that can easily be spotted.
He explains: “A lot of it sits below the waterline, if you think about it in an iceberg analogy. I think it is important to recognise that in many respects we are all disabled. We are incomplete in one way or another. It may be from a mental point, like depression.”
Griffin urges employers looking to improve their diversity to get in contact with relevant governmental bodies and other organisations that can give them guidance.
Another way to boost awareness is to actively work for it within the company.
Griffin is the lead for True Ability. That is a resource group within Dell aimed at supporting employees with both physical and non-physical disabilities as well as raising awareness within the company.
The group was launched in May 2010 in Austin, Texas, and has 20 chapters around the world with an additional 10 new chapters planned to be launched in 2015.
Griffin says: “For us it is important that Dell, as a place to work, represents the society that we live in.
“Having a diverse business is crucial for us to do our job in the most innovative way possible. It is very important for us to educate and attract a diverse population.”
“We are trying to ensure that our employees don’t feel pressured to conform to stereotypes so that they can bring all of themselves to work and can unleash their potential with the diversity that they bring to work and allow it to flourish.”
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