We are delighted to welcome our first guest blogger to GenAnalytics.
Dr Julie McElroy epitomises drive, motivation and passion. This Scotswoman has an impressive CV, including being awarded her PhD from the University of the West of Scotland in 2017. Over the years she has become an advocate of equality, inclusion, accessibility. More recently, her work has covered looking at improving equalities practices in workplaces. She shares some of her personal experiences of the challenges she has encountered when securing employment.
Together we can go further and create an inclusive HR Process for all
I believe that a new innovative approach is required to ensure people with impairments are welcomed and respected by employers across the private, public and third sectors. It requires forward-thinking organisations who are looking for ways to improve their business confidence and capability in meeting the needs of accessibility. There are business benefits for attracting people with impairments who have talents. It is also about cultivating the mind-set of all employees within organisations to what they can do to welcome people with impairment in an accessible, cost-saving and inclusive way.
Inclusive leadership leads to positive impacts:
Inclusive Leadership is about treating people and groups fairly based on their unique characteristics, rather than acting on biases derived from stereotypes. Different backgrounds and perspectives lead to a variety of ideas, knowledge, and new ways of doing things. By ensuring that your team includes staff from a range of social and cultural backgrounds, you will widen the range of perspectives, knowledge, and approaches from which decisions are made.
My own most recent employment success was supported and informed by inclusive leadership. This influential senior manager demonstrated that with his leadership style and authority he could make an impact in creating, changing or managing a very traditional workplace culture. His actions and my experience show that in an inclusive setting, leaders can shape the organisation behaviours, attitudes towards hiring and working with people with disabilities. The key to engaging employees with a disability is to understand the individual’s needs and acknowledge decisions taken by individuals followed by being open-minded about situation and assess each part as they come. The cornerstone of success of ‘people’ leadership skills is based on feeling adept to dealing with others, we are individually different at the end of the day. But we all want to feel valued and to make a contribution to those organisations that we work for.
Organisational culture, why it matters:
Organisations who embrace diversity, equality and inclusivity can ignite harmony. From my experiences, I have experienced many “toxic” cultural environments. I can sense them as soon as I go into organisations and I believe it is created by the values, beliefs and behaviours of the people who work there and its leadership. All these elements shape how a potential candidate is likely to be welcomed and the experience they are likely to have.
I believe greater openness will ensure that more individuals with impairments will be allowed to fulfil their aspirations. Increasing the profile and opportunities for individuals with impairment in the organisation will ensure the stigma and assumptions are addressed. Therefore, it is time to start thinking about values based cultures. By sharing common principles of inclusive workplaces it becomes ‘automatic’ to embed these values into everyday operation and that includes in your recruitment practices..
I believe we can make that change in Scotland. Let’s now take the opportunity to implement an inclusive ethos where a diverse workforce can be celebrated with an array of a talents shared by everyone.