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About PurpleSpace

PurpleSpace is the UK’s only learning, networking and professional development hub for disabled employees, employee network leaders and allies from all sectors and trades. The on-line platform is being launched on 6th October 2015 at Herbert Smith Freehills.

PurpleSpace has developed out of Kate Nash Associates who has helped establish and improve the effectiveness of 300+ employee networks / resource groups across the UK (and globally).

KNA clients have including organisations from both the public and private sector including Fujitsu, Health & Safety Executive, Eversheds, Barclays, EY, Metropolitan Police Service, Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions, Lloyds Banking Group, Thomson Reuters, RBS, Department of Health and hundreds more.

Over the last 8 years and as networks mature, conversations about disability at work have moved from ‘getting in’ to ‘getting on’. This means the demand for a supportive career focused community of network leaders and disabled employees has grown. The requests have come from both disabled people and the employers who want to invest in the talent and career progression of disabled employees.

The call for a hub to bring DEN leaders and disabled employees together to share best practice was reinforced during consultation with 55 employers and over 2,500 disabled employees for Kate Nash Associates first book ‘Secrets & Big News’ launched in April 2014.

Who is it for?

PurpleSpace has three primary audiences:

1.

Disabled employee network / resource group leaders: the leaders of employee networks / resource groups working in organisations across the UK; as well as anyone working on the agenda of disabled employee inclusion at work – this includes diversity & inclusion specialists, disability champions / executive sponsors / HR professionals. We are clustering this group under the “Leaders Lounge” private on-line platform (the membership fee is an individual one at a price point of £300 plus VAT. They receive access to an on-line forum to exchange ideas and best practice / toolkits to build successful networks / access to 4 learning events each year);

2.

Individual disabled employees, wherever they work, whatever trade they are in, whatever disability or health condition they have – as well as others who are looking for information and advice about how to support disabled people in work. We call this group the PurpleSpace supporters – those who are supporting the mission and each other (there is no cost to join as a PurpleSpace Supporter. They will access our blog sites and free resources that will come on stream over the first few months, together with a one-stop-shop listing of contacts/links/resources that help people to stay in work, and flourish);

3.

Employers / organisations who want to support the “third phase of change” for disabled employees – will include a mixture of partners funding core projects and publications created by PurpleSpace. We call this group PurplePlus Partners (sponsorship will vary according to the project. They will be associated with the UK’s biggest platform of disabled talent and a positive narrative about how to retain work and flourish in your job).

Our vision

Our vision is of a world where human difference is routinely anticipated, expertly accommodated and positively celebrated by employers. And in that same world we want to see all disabled employees feel good about being who they are, able to ask for the adjustments they need and drive a new conversation about disabled talent.

The background

PurpleSpace believe that we are entering a third stage of building a sustainable culture change in recruiting and developing disabled employees.

The first stage was the establishment of equalities legislation secured in 1995 and now harmonised under the Equality Act 2010.

The second stage has been the process by which employers have become, and continue to become, disability confident organisations through the systematic use of best practice tools and enabling products. That stage continues.

Meanwhile, the third stage has begun. It is the age when disabled employees shape their powerful stories and describe their truth and their world so that organisations just “get it” and want to invest in their talent, their career, their progression.

Do you remember the Channel 4 trailblazer for the Paralympics following the Olympics? It teased us with the line “Thanks for the warm up”. It was naughty. It was exciting. It told the story about how far disabled people have come in claiming their own place in the world. It conveyed competition, power and the thrill of a new dawn for disabled people. We think that sums up the future generation of disabled people at work.

Our mission

To provide disabled employee network leaders, disabled employees and allies with the information, tools and opportunities to: drive cultural change on disability in business, facilitate career progression for disabled talent and celebrate individual disability confidence though membership of an online networking and professional development community.

 

What does PurpleSpace offer?

 

  • Networking and learning exchange opportunities with other leaders of Disabled Employee Networks / Employee Resource Groups and key stakeholders.
  • High quality learning and professional development packages for Disabled Employee Networks / Employee Resource Groups and key stakeholders
  • Practical advice from disabled employees for disabled employees about the ‘art of the possible’ when managing disability at work at the same time as managing career progression
  • Engaging success stories about disabled people at work
  • Inspiration from change agents who have introduced and advanced the disability agenda within their organisations
  • Quality signposting to external organisations and resources
  • The chance to be part of a movement of disabled people who are proud to use the hashtag #ourdisabilityconfidence
  • A fresh new conversation about purple talent at work
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