Driving positive social change in the workplace with #WeThe15
Global Director of Inclusion Tiernan Brady discusses the International Paralympic Committee's new human rights campaign #WeThe15, which aims to put disability right at the heart of the inclusion agenda.
At Clifford Chance, as a business built on the skills and capabilities of our people and diverse teams around the globe, we are committed to creating a truly inclusive workplace in which each and every colleague can thrive. This includes creating the right culture and environment for colleagues with a disability, long term injury or condition, or who simply require a workplace adjustment or flexibility, to succeed.
As part of our commitment to disability inclusion we are proud to have joined #WeThe15, sports' largest human rights campaign, to raise awareness of the 15% of the people in the world (that's c1.2 billion people) with a disability. Over the next decade the campaign aims to transform the lives of people living with a disability, tackling stigma and discrimination, and putting disability right at the very heart of the inclusion agenda. It provides us with an opportunity to both campaign for our values in society and at the same time promote and drive our values within the firm. #WeThe15 sends a powerful message of togetherness and collaboration, and we look forward to seeing the progress driven by the campaign over the next decade.
Ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games on 24 August, we held a virtual panel event to encourage other organisations to join us in our mission to tackle discrimination of persons with disabilities and put disability inclusion at the heart of the boardroom agenda. I was excited to be joined by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, one of Great Britain's most successful Paralympic athletes, Ekta Bhyan, an Indian Paralympian athlete with an inspirational story, and Stephane Leblois, Director of Partnerships at The Valuable 500. During the event we heard from each of the panellists on how we can work collaboratively to drive positive social change ahead of the Paris Paralympic Games in 2024. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this insightful panel.
COO Caroline Firstbrook, who co-sponsors our Enable network together with Partner Simon Sinclair, says: "#WeThe15 is completely aligned with our Enable agenda, with its focus on providing a safe, inclusive and open environment where our people feel confident to ask for the help and workplace adjustments that they need, and where everyone is able to thrive."
How can my organisation get involved?
- Join The Valuable 500 - and be part of a global initiative placing disability at the heart of the boardroom agenda.
- Raise awareness and adopt purple, the colour of disability across a range of channels, creating content that engages employees and the wider public in awareness of the 15% of the global population who have a disability. This could be for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and/or other channels across your organisation.
- Make a commitment and outline what you intend to do as an organisation to create a more disability inclusive environment. The campaign intends to check in at every instalment of the Paralympic Games on progress and we hope that doing so can have a huge impact globally.
At Clifford Chance, we believe that the breadth of wisdom and perspective that people with different lived experiences can bring to our firm across the globe only makes us stronger and better at what we do. If we wish to benefit from the perspectives of our people who have disabilities, we must constantly strive to deliver that equality of opportunity and daily experience for them.
Over of the last two years our disability network, Enable, has evolved from a small group of individuals to a global network, with several key achievements and external commitments. We're part of the Government national scheme in the UK, Disability Confident, and the global initiative, The Valuable 500, and we're in our third year of #PurpleLightUp, where we've joined a number of other organisations to celebrate and promote disability inclusion worldwide.
More recently in 2020, we partnered with PurpleSpace to help us understand the lived experience of our colleagues, rebrand, and reposition our focus areas for the next 12-24 months.
Many people develop a disability over the course of their life and are not necessarily born with one, so as part of our global strategy we've been focused on understanding the lived experience of our colleagues and ensuring colleagues at work are supported with the adjustments they require to enable them to thrive. Accessibility is also a key focus for Clifford Chance and making sure that internal and external stakeholders feel included and part of our discussions.
Colleagues need to have a safe space to share their experiences and this has always been at the heart of the strategy from when we first launched the network in 2019 to now - listening is so important in order for us to really get to where we need to focus our efforts and resources.
The #WeThe15 campaign aligns to our global strategy and supports our mission to raise awareness of the diversity of working needs, putting disability right at the very heart of the inclusion agenda and driving positive social change.