The Ability People (TAP) was co-founded by Steve Carter and retired Paralympian Liz Johnson in 2018.
TAP’s mission is to create parity of opportunity in the world of work for people with disability. All their team have authentic experience of disability and apply their skills and knowledge via inspirational presentations, educational programmes & practical sessions and fixing what is broken in companies through culture & process change programmes.
As part of Futureheads’ mission to be a more diverse and inclusive business ourselves, we asked them to kick-off our Diversity Doers series where we invite our network to share their own diversity journeys, sharing good practice and inspiring others to get started.
In less than 50 words, can you give us an overview of your company’s approach to diversity?
We launched the business with a focus on what was possible (rather than what wasn’t) and threw out the rule book on standard working hours, rigid policies , fixed location etc and as a result we have an extremely diverse group of people that work whenever they want/can and from wherever they want. The result has been a very cohesive, supportive, collaborative & selfless group all committed to the greater good with a real passion for our customers rather than being overly focused on the internal agenda.
What’s the one diversity measure you’ve implemented that’s had the biggest impact on your business?
Our commitment to authenticity has afforded us the opportunity to find ‘work arounds’ and alternative solutions to how things get done which means that nobody is excluded. We promote the idea that it doesn’t matter ‘how you do something’ as long as you arrive at the desired outcome.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had so far?
Inclusion is a hot topic of discussion and so many companies and leaders put it at the top of their priority list but the truth is that very little gets done about it. Sadly tokenism far outweighs action and there are huge educational gaps in understanding that being inclusive is not complicated or expensive. The issues and challenges are widely understood but the agenda is still caught up in discussion and debate rather than going beyond the talk and moving into action.
What resources have been most helpful to you?
People – open & honest discussion with those that have ‘lived experience’ of bias and discrimination is really powerful and gives you a perspective that you may not have fully appreciated.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to another business leader who wants to address diversity?
Focus on inclusion to ensure that you are open to all people from all backgrounds rather than pursue diversity to the point that you introduce bias and make decisions for the wrong reasons. Listen and learn from those with experience, make your business accessible and don’t just ‘tick the box’ , get real change underway.
If you have some interesting stories to share when it comes to diversity, we’d love to invite you to take part in our ‘Diversity Doers’ series which will be posted on our website and shared via social media and in our monthly newsletter. Get in touch.
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