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You are a manager aren't you? Well Manage then!

Category: Pro-Opinion, Leadership, Manager, Disabilities

You are a manager aren't you? Well Manage then!

We all know the business case for employing disabled people... or at least we should.

We all know the benefits of accessible websites, workplaces and technology... or we should.

We all agree different perspectives and experiences lead to richer and better decision making... or do we?

In many senior teams, behind closed doors and away from the glare of corporate communications diversity still equals lower quality in the minds of many key organisational influencers, especially disability.

Why?

The following are a selection of the top reasons line managers and executives have given me for slow progress around disability (out of earshot of anyone else of course!):

1: I want to manage people in a particular way and having a disabled person in the team makes that difficult.
2: I don't like having disabled people in my team as you can't performance manage them without being accused of bullying or being unsupportive.
3: I don't allow anyone else to work flexibly so why should I do that for a disabled member of staff?
4: I don't know what to say or what they will find offensive.
5: Accessibility & assistive technology costs me money and I wouldn't agree those costs for any other member of my team.

The focus is the disabled person as the problem, the nuisance, the one who can't be managed, the one who dares to ask to work flexibly, and the one who needs additional technology. I have heard these and other similar sentiments from line & senior managers and HR professionals from organisations across the UK and it is hard to escape the common theme of their thoughts.

Disability = harder work for me & my team and lower standards of performance.

Ready diversity professionals...on the count of three... altogether now...That's BULLSH**!

Would any of the managers above say that in a public forum? Definitely not. 
Do managers let these types of attitudes influence recruitment, development and promotion decisions? Definitely do.
Why can't we change the frame of the debate?
Managers are paid to manage. Manage what? Generally; people.
Some people are disabled. Get over it and manage... or here's a radical thought - if you can't, you just might be lacking a fundamental skill to do the job you're in!

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 info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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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 info@vercida.com for more information.

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