ManpowerGroup challenges perceptions of talent with disabilities to unleash full potential

ManpowerGroup challenges perceptions of talent with disabilities to unleash full potential
While a growing number of employers have made progress in recognising the benefits of creating a more diverse workforce, talent with disabilities continue to face considerable challenges when it comes to securing and remaining in employment.

Despite the fact that UK Government research has identified disabled people make up 19% of the population, polling from the Centre of Social Justice has highlighted that they are under-represented in the workforce. Two thirds (63%) of HR decision-makers perceive disability as a barrier to hiring, and only a third (33%) have hired a person with a disability in the last year.

In recognition that it is the perceptions themselves that can create the biggest barrier to hiring talent with disabilities, ManpowerGroup partnered with Blind Cricket England and Wales to organise a visually impaired cricket match.

In May 2017, the UK Women’s Visually Impaired cricket team played a team of ManpowerGroup representatives and their clients who wore blindfolds and glasses designed to restrict their vision. The match was used as a platform to challenge the perceptions that exist, initiate conversations about disability and employment in a fun way, and raise awareness of the abilities of disabled people as valuable employees.

Chris Gray, Managing Director of Manpower UK, said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to discover their full potential. But sadly, we are aware that disabled people are frequently prevented from finding work or progressing their careers.

“UK employers must learn to look beyond an individual’s impairment and identify the knowledge, skills and experiences that they offer. Many people would expect that a visual impairment would prevent them from participating in a team sport, like cricket, but the match demonstrated that that needn’t be the case. Small adjustments can allow individuals to unleash their potential in surprising ways.”

Chris continued: “ManpowerGroup has a proud history of connecting people with meaningful work. We see how finding the right match between an individual and an employer can empower individuals, transform businesses and invigorate communities. We would like to encourage more employers to think about how they can facilitate opportunities for this under-tapped talent pool.

“Progressive employers who recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce must consider how they can make a visible commitment to hiring and supporting people with disabilities too. Not only is this the right thing to do, but employers are missing out on a huge pool of skilled talent by not rethinking their perceptions.”

To learn more about challenging perceptions for disabled people in the workplace, please contact: [email protected].

This article first appeared in the seventh edition of The Human Age Newspaper.