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Panel Discussion | Workplace Inclusion: From Intent To Action

Why can’t we have a PwD on the Board? These role models will help us create visibility around disability inclusion.

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BrandStudio
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India Inc. has plenty to cheer about in creating awareness of the challenges that Persons with Disabilities – visible and invisible – regularly face. Executives are learning about the struggles of persons with disabilities (PwDs) that are not visually apparent and re-designing their workplaces to address the customised needs of all their employees. The intent to assimilate PwDs into the workforce is clear. But how far have we progressed in executing these policies into actionable practices? And why should India Inc focus its synergies on greater integration of PwDs into their organisations?

In my experience, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) are extremely patient and optimistic because they know they have to work twice as hard to achieve their goals. This determination is a productive resource for any organisation.
Raghav Bahl, Founder, The Quint

Disability statistics in India are highly under-reported. And the situation is particularly dire for women who are twice as disadvantaged owing to their gender and disability. NGOs and social sectors have been pushing the cards to enable these women to access equal job opportunities that are suited to their skill set.

As part of their MoU with Enable India, Rekha Talluri, CFO - Microsoft India, Sponsor - Disability ERG in India is working with over 100 organisations to onboard and integrate over 100,000 PwDs into the workforce.

In the meantime, organisations like Accenture have learnt the value and merit of hiring PwDs. They have undertaken several initiatives such as an inclusive internship program where PwDs get to learn and work in an area of their strength and expertise. Such exercises help PwDs enhance their skills and gain experience while their team leads and managers become sensitised to disability inclusion in the workplace.

We have made significant progress on gender diversity in India and now see independent women directors on company boards. Why can’t we have a Person with Disability (PwD) on company boards too? Such role models will create visibility around Disability Inclusion (DI).
Sanjay Dawar, Managing Director, Global Strategy & Consulting, India and Sponsor, Disability Inclusion, Accenture India

Our panel discussion explored the attitudinal challenges that some persons with disabilities may be facing in the current ecosystem. Most fundamentally, it exchanged creative solutions from leaders working to bridge the disability employment gap. It listened to a spectrum of thoughts on the significance of building partnerships, leveraging the benefits of technology, identifying and focussing on the strengths of the PwDs and sensitising the leadership to build a truly equal and inclusive workplace.  

Watch the video above to learn more about these practices and how to implement them at your organisation.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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