How 12 Companies Are Facilitating Inclusion for Employees with Disabilities
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the Department of Labor has focused on the theme "Increasing Access and Opportunity" for 2020, which is also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The United States has come a long way since the ADA was signed into law in 1990. After decades of lobbying, protesting, testifying, and organizing, the disability rights movement secured rights to work, take public transit, and be served in restaurants, among others. But the fight continues today, whether pushing back against the Trump administration's proposed cuts to Medicaid (the main insurer for people with disabilities), pushing for accessible technology, or highlighting the relationship between race, disability, and police brutality.
In the past, we've shared how some of our partners have taken action to become more anti-racist workforces or to better support their working parents. This month, we want to take a moment to highlight PowerToFly partners who know just how much people with disabilities add to a team and how their companies elevate, accommodate, and celebrate their employees with disabilities.
We hope these ideas inspire other companies to follow suit and give job seekers an inside glimpse at how these organizations live out their values and lift up their employees.
NSA is enabling diverse perspectives
"At the National Security Agency, bringing together diverse experiences and perspectives is a key part of solving ever-changing mission needs. We ensure that employees have reasonable accommodations, access to assistive technology such as braille readers, independent communication tools for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, magnifying software, sign language interpreters, personal care attendants, closed captioning services as needed, and more. In addition, our People with Disabilities (PWD) Employee Resource Group (ERG) helps identify and address barriers to the PWD community. The PWD ERG helps all members of the workforce by ensuring a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. To achieve success in hiring and retaining the best talent, NSA continuously works to create a culture that is welcoming, inclusive, and open to different perspectives. 'NSA staff really helped to make what could have been an intimidating experience seem very comfortable and welcoming,' says NSA employee Timothy O."Learn more about NSA here.
Contrast Security is rewarding employees for their effort, not their limitations
"At Contrast, we celebrate our employees and their unique qualities in a number of ways. One example is how we've increased access to opportunities for our employees through our employee performance management process. Our organization has established a uniformed cadence for employee check-ins to address performance related issues. In addition, the check-ins enable managers to not only address performance challenges but to readily identify limitations in performance due to an employee's disability. Our managers are trained to reward and promote employees for their efforts and not their limitations. Lastly, we've revamped our 2020 talent strategy to ensure we're engaging with communities that not only have talent pools of individuals who are unrepresented, but talent pools of persons with disabilities."
Bounteous is bringing accessibility to all projects, online and off
"Inclusivity is intrinsically embedded in our core values and we understand that a diverse workforce is more empathetic, collaborative, and innovative. This translates to flexible work-from-home schedules, take-what-you-need paid time off, weekly wellness surveys, and well-championed ERGs. For team members who want to work from one of our collaboration centers, we ensure that our physical space is also comfortable, safe, and accessible. A good example of this is our recent Chicago headquarters expansion. In addition to adjustable desks, hoteling and private spaces, gender-free restrooms, and mother's rooms, we purchased new ADA-compliant equipment, lowered countertops in our kitchens and bathrooms, and added handles to all doors. At Bounteous we believe every experience—online or offline—deserves to be treated equally for all users, regardless of ability. When we co-innovate with our clients to transform their digital landscapes, accessibility standards and best practices are front and center to be inclusive of the widest possible audience. Check out some of our thought leadership on this topic:
Deloitte is collaborating on inclusion
"At Deloitte, everyone contributes to our DE&I efforts. Everyone has a role to play. Our inclusive culture inspires us to try new things, speak openly, and be bold and empowers us to connect, belong, and grow. Our goal is to understand, engage and support people of diverse abilities to contribute to our growth and success. We are dedicated to supporting people with disabilities through a variety of ways throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Disability:IN named Deloitte one of 2019's "Best Places to Work For Disability Inclusion. While being recruited or at any other time in the employee lifecycle, candidates and employees can request an accommodation. Our Inclusion Councils bring together people from different backgrounds and experiences and engage in activities and events related to inclusion, well-being, development, and community involvement. Many of our offices have BRGs, including AbilityFirst chapters, which collaborate with our Inclusion Councils."
Learn more about Deloitte here.
Spotify is creating spaces to share
"At Spotify, our Able ERG serves as a community for employees with disabilities and their allies. Through various channels, we have discussions about everything from ADHD hacks to supporting a partner with a disability—and beyond! Even with the wide range of lived disability experience, having a place to go where people have had similar stories of exclusion inside and out of the workplace is invaluable. In terms of working with the efforts of the company, we've had a chance to work closely with the Global Workplace Services team on efforts to ensure that the office is accessible and inclusive, as well as with HR on inclusive hiring efforts and meeting accommodations. Our community hopes to help Spotify continue to build an accessible, welcoming environment while also raising awareness throughout the company of the talents and perspectives of our members."
Learn more about Spotify here.
Mindbody is celebrating progress
"Mindbody's ERG A11iance is here to create a culture of accessibility at Mindbody by raising awareness among employees, customers, and consumers and empowering them to take tangible, actionable steps. In other words, we're here as an accessibility advocacy group, spreading information, advocating for change (within the MB product line and the company culture), and celebrating each step MB takes towards accessibility for ALL."
Learn more about Mindbody here.
MongoDB is making resources accessible
"MongoDB continuously evaluates and adds to our disability benefits offerings. We provide standard short-term and long-term disability pay and address accommodation requests to aid employees in working more comfortably and effectively. MongoDB also offers services and resources such as behavioral and mental therapies; apps for virtual therapy; veteran-specific mental care; family forming assistance; and services for cosmetic surgeries to improve or alter appearance related to appearance-based self-esteem issues and gender dysphoria. We promote a culture that increases access and opportunity for all employees and are in the process of creating an employee resource group to bring together people with physical and/or neurological disabilities. Here, members can connect with others and help MongoDB identify benefits that best serve them. Our internal Decoding Inclusion events share foundational knowledge about D&I topics, including disabilities. These events are accessible to employees across the globe and build a community amongst employees."
Learn more about MongoDB here.
LogMeIn is recruiting thoughtfully
"At LogMeIn we're building a workforce that is a better representation of the world around us. Where everyone can do their best work and be their authentic self. We believe a business that's built by everyone works better for everyone. We have partnered with Recruit Disability, CareerCast's Disability Network, and DisabilityJobs.net to ensure we are including and inviting differently abled workers into recruiting process. Additionally, we offer working flexibility, including schedules and locations, that are adaptable to the many different needs of our employees. Lastly, we are able to collaborate remotely using our own technology, such as our GoTo Suite of products, that have been designed to meet and exceed the many different accessibility requirements of our customers and employees."
Learn More about LogMeIn here.
Elastic is building and leading with empathy
"At Elastic, accessibility is an integral part of equity and inclusion. We want to ensure that Someone Like Me and you feels welcome and have the tools necessary to come as we are. That's why Elastic managers and interviewers take Minus the Bias training to avoid issues of unconscious bias and to promote psychological safety at work. We can improve, but we're working on it. Our Accessibility Working Group is an employee-led, equity-seeking group that works to create and develop a disability-inclusive workplace by building awareness and empathy towards people with disabilities, understanding and addressing the barriers faced by employees living with a disability, influencing adoption and integration of accessible and inclusive practices across all Elastic teams, and investing in employee education and training. As for products, Kibana is working towards Level AA compliance and we are continuing to improve accessibility components for better navigation of all our products."
Learn more about Elastic here.
Bristol Myers Squibb is helping people with disabilities prevail
"Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is a global pharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
DAWN (Differently-Abled Workplace Network) is a People and Business Resource Group for BMS employees that fosters an inclusive work environment where employees with disabilities are valued and encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work, use their diverse perspectives, and contribute in a unique and meaningful way. DAWN strives to develop a culture of disability inclusion by increasing the talent pool of job candidates with disabilities through inclusive targeting efforts such as STEM mentoring programs and virtual career fairs; enhancing culture through inclusion best practices, captioning, self-ID, and addressing stigmas; supporting diverse disability suppliers (DOBEs); addressing public health disparities that impact people with disabilities; and adding signature programs that support employees with disabilities and their families such as an employee Cancer Support Network."
Learn more about Bristol Myers Squibb here.
Lockheed Martin is sponsoring education and advancement
"Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) is a member of the Florida Ability Inclusion Network (FAIN). This organization focuses on helping veterans and people with disabilities find a career in Central Florida. FAIN has not been active this year due to COVID-19, but normally the group sponsors biannual business initiatives in which local veterans, their spouses and people with disabilities meet with Lockheed Martin managers for coaching on their job hunting, resume development, interviewing and offer negation skills. Additionally, Able and Allies, an MFC business resource group, has a mission to build an environment that empowers employees with disabilities to contribute professionally to the full extent of their abilities. The organization strives to educate employees and leaders on disabilities and recommend best practices to promote a disability-friendly workplace. Able and Allies has been achieving this mission by participating in the Dallas mayor's employAbilitiy Job Fair, as well as sponsoring mental health and disability awareness webinars."
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
Snap Inc. is promoting respect
"One way we support employees with disabilities is through SnapAbility, one of our Employee Resource Groups. ERGs are created and led by members of the Snap Inc. family. They empower us to come together to celebrate a common cause, raise awareness, encourage advocacy, and refine our approach to recruiting. SnapAbility is a community for team members who identify as persons with disabilities, and it includes the many allies, guardians, and advocates who support them — both at Snap and beyond. Their mission is to promote empathy, respect, and kindness for all people, regardless of ability level or mental health status. By fostering open conversations around these topics, partnering with organizations like Angel City Games, and making Snap products more inclusive and accessible to all users, they're driving forward on this mission every day."
Learn more about Snap Inc. here.
Amazon is well-known for being customer-obsessed. From next-day delivery to "just walk out" shopping, the tech giant has long focused on meeting—and exceeding—customers' expectations.
Talking to a fellow working parent is what really sold Tiffany Harris on software company Folsom Labs.
Tiffany is the Head of People Operations at the company, whose tools to more efficiently design and sell solar arrays are helping to build a future of clean energy. She joined two years ago, moving her family to the Bay Area from Santa Cruz for the role.
Dorra Bouchiha can remember the exact moment she realized she wasn't in control of her own career.
It was summer 2018, and she was sitting at work, watching a presentation by one of her then-employer's new leaders. The presenter was talking about personal growth and showed the room a slide of two images side by side.
Growing Your Career in Technical Support: 4 Tips for Getting Hired at Elastic from Support Director Heidi Sager
Heidi Sager loves math, but she also loves working with people.
She always has, which is why she enjoyed her part-time job working at the IT department of the University of Colorado while she was studying electrical engineering. (She'd started in computer science, but explains that it "wasn't for her" and switched her major.) She helped students and professors with word processors, basic programming, and software checkout, and took a full-time job after graduation as a UNIX system administrator.