As Accenture works towards being a Disability Confident Recruiter, our Managing Director Human Resources, Sarah Kruger, explains why it’s important, what it means and how we’re tracking.

I was shocked to discover that only 48% of working-age Australians with a disability are in employment, compared with 80% of those without a disability. Even worse, when companies hire people with a disability, they don’t tend to put in the support and structures to allow them to reach their potential.

Our global research has found that people with disability often feel excluded and unsupported at work. No wonder 77% of employees and 80% of leaders with disabilities choose not to be transparent about their disability at work. As with many areas of Inclusion the value proposition is there - our research also found that organisations most focused on disability engagement are growing sales 2.9x faster and profits 4.1x faster than their peers.

It really bothers me that some seriously talented individuals in our community aren’t given opportunities because employers don’t make necessary accommodations. This is why we have committed to becoming a Disability Confident Recruiter (DCR) as recognised by the Australian Network on Disability (AND) – and set an ambitious disability recruitment target. We’re aiming for 8.7% by 2022. If you’re wondering how we came to that figure, it’s reflective of the proportion of people with disability in Australia.

At Accenture, we believe people with disability are skilled and capable social and economic contributors, entitled to equitable opportunities in society.

We believe each person, whether they have visible or invisible disabilities, has unique skills, talents and strengths to contribute and thrive in the workplace and that diverse contributions are better for everyone and valued by our clients.

How are we going to reach our disability recruitment target?
We’ve established a network of partners, including Specialisterne, who are helping us recruit job seekers on the autism spectrum and create a neurodiverse inclusive workplace practices. We are also pursuing further opportunities including engagements with Jigsaw Australia, which trains and transitions people with disability into work, and Remarkable, which harnesses technology to build social and economic inclusion of people with disability, and other members of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

We’re also using #disabilityinclusion in all our job ads and specifically publicising all our employment opportunities across disability networks.

How are we tracking?
Right now, we’re around 60% of the way through the journey to become a DCR.  We’ve completed awareness training for recruitment teams and released our recruitment and onboarding processes and policies for AND review. Next an AND member will apply for a job with Accenture (as a “mystery shopper) to test the systems.

The idea is that when we become a DCR, we can have confidence we are:

  • Enabling skilled jobseekers with disability to compete for positions on a level playing field.
  • Making appropriate adjustments to the recruitment process for candidates who have a disability.
  • Providing an excellent candidate experience to all applicants.

Becoming a barrier-free workplace
The recent Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) made me reflect on the importance of digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities and how vital it is that we make sure our employees with disability have the same experience as their colleagues without disability. We’re committed to providing a barrier-free workplace for our employees with disability.

Already, we have in place:

  • A confidential, centrally funded Disability Accommodations Request Tool – so anyone who needs workplace adjustments can request them easily and discreetly, with no funding impact for line managers.
  • Education packages – to aid and inform both people with disability and their colleagues and managers about disability in general and specific types of disability to support workplace integration and team cohesion.
  • Disability champions – who bring our people, supporters and friends together regularly for networking, collaborating and mentoring.

If you’re a person with disability looking for an employer who values you – where you can confidently ask for the accommodations you need, to work in a barrier-free environment – we’d love to hear from you. Please register your interest here.

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Sarah Kruger

Lead – Human Resources, Australia & New Zealand

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