To help create an inclusive and diverse business community, global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, has partnered with the Empowered Employers campaign, led by Barnwood Trust, a Gloucestershire based charity. Empowered Employers aims to support organisations to consider attitudes and policies that enable meaningful work opportunities for disabled people, people with mental health challenges and neurodivergent people. The campaign looks at the three ways in which barriers to employment present themselves; the employment gap, the pay gap and the opportunities gap.
Partners of the Empowered Employers campaign will contribute to the conversation and support the campaign by raising awareness about barriers to disabled people in employment and to challenge existing misconceptions. Partners will also be part of the Academy of Empowered Employers and attend the Learning Programme, provided by national training organisations, which will support employers in changing attitudes and making practical adjustments within the workplace. As an enrolled partner, Renishaw has a unique opportunity to tailor the Learning Programme to an engineering environment suitable for the business.
Renishaw’s HR team and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) group will work towards incorporating the lessons from the Learning Programme across the business and implementing agreed goals with the support of the other enrolled partners. Renishaw recognises that disability, mental health and neurodiversity are a key focus in its journey to becoming an inclusive employer and became a Disability Confident Employer in 2021. As Gloucestershire’s largest private sector employer, the company is working to ensure all employees have access to meaningful opportunities regardless of background or circumstance.
“We are really excited to be a part of this campaign and to learn from experts about how we can help our work environment to be more inclusive of disabled and neurodivergent people and those with mental health challenges,” explained Olivia Burt, Design/Development Engineer at Renishaw, and Project Leader representing Renishaw on behalf of the D&I group. “Many people experience health challenges during their working lives, and I believe having more information about which reasonable adjustments we can make could help a large proportion of our employees feel more valued at work.”
“The pandemic has meant that the ways we work and think about work have started to change. Over the last few months, we’ve been working alongside Experts by Experience; people with a lived experience of mental health challenges and disabled people, and commercial employers, to inform this first stage of the campaign,” explained Jessie Hoskin, Campaigns Lead at Barnwood Trust. “Experts by Experience have played a key role in deciding what are the areas we’ll focus on, such as flexible working, employer attitudes and workplace adjustments, and reviewing the accessibility of our campaign website. We have also been able to draw on insight from our partners organisations; Renishaw, Creed Food Services, Hooray Recruitment, Hydro Aluminium and Clean Slate, to make sure that the campaign delivers targeted support informed by employers from across sectors.”
As part of the campaign, Barnwood Trust will use social media to address common misconceptions about disability and employment, as well as raising awareness to encourage more local businesses to join the campaign.