Today, we were proud to announce our support for The Valuable 500.
Launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit, the initiative is calling for 500 businesses globally to sign up and place disability inclusion on their board agenda, as the first step to full inclusion for disabled people in business.
Earlier this year, we launched our Responsible Business Ambitions – setting out our commitment to developing vital skills and a more inclusive workforce to ensure we deliver for our customers. We want to create a workplace in which the most talented individuals reach the top of their game, whatever their age, gender or background.
Our co-chairs of DAWN, Imogen Fletcher and Shida Bassiti, explain what this commitment means to them – and share what’s next on their agenda.
Imogen, who takes on the role alongside her day job as Head of the Data & Digital Delivery Team, said:
"As someone who has been diagnosed with a number of invisible illnesses over the last few years that affect my daily life, but that on the outside most people wouldn't notice, I'm passionate about raising awareness for visible and invisible disabilities.
"Making those everyday changes that improve Centrica for people with disabilities is vital. I want to ensure we create the right support to enable our colleagues to come to work as their true selves and remove restrictions or blockers preventing people working at their best."
For Product Development Manager, Shida, it’s about simplifying the complicated processes she struggled with when finding herself diagnosed with sudden hearing loss.
"It was a real shock to me and I had no idea what this would mean for being able to continue my job. I was very nervous about how to talk to my line manager and what the impacts of that conversation would be. I did get help via workplace adjustments, which means I'm still doing the job I love and thriving at work. But it wasn't a straightforward process and I needed to find out a lot of resources myself.
"I want to make that process easier for any colleague who is in a similar situation through a temporary or permanent disability."
The great work carried out by the DAWN Network has so far seen Centrica become certified as a Disability Confident Employer Level 1 – and the ambition over the next couple of years is to progress to Levels 2 and 3.
The network is also looking to branch out and increase its membership; including looking for disability allies as well as supporting more of those in the disability community.
Both Shida and Imogen are excited about the future of the network and looking forward to what the Valuable 500 initiative will bring to Centrica.