Workability Initiative

Image from Workability Initiative

Eleanor Eisenstadt, Katrina Budesha

Business for Social Good

In October 2019, Eleanor and Katrina learnt about the inspiring work that is being carried out by One Young World Counsellor, Caroline Casey. Caroline challenged business leaders to raise their game in terms of disability inclusion by launching The Valuable 500. Eleanor and Katrina have since led Roche’s commitment to place disability inclusion at the heart of its corporate agenda by signing up to the movement.

Following through with this commitment, Eleanor and Katrina launched Roche Pharma UK’s first disability inclusion initiative, Workability. Before the initiative was launched, they started by having conversations with thought leaders in their new One Young World network and identified that education and increased awareness would be key to Workability’s success.

To spread the initiative more effectively and maximise its reach, they have formed a network of over 50 Workability Champions driving disability inclusion. Champions can sign up to receive and share news on accessibility, inclusion, and Workability updates. This has included colleagues with disabilities sharing their experiences in company-wide virtual ‘Workability@Welwyn Sessions’. These sessions have gained over 300 on-demand views, with even more colleagues dialling-in live to ask questions and learn how to become better Allies. Workability Champions have joined as mentors, supporting adults with neuro diversities in the local community. Others will lead shadow days around their relevant business areas when colleagues are back in the office. Each Workability Champion is raising awareness within their business area and many are part of working groups shaping inclusion and accessibility at Roche.

Katrina and Eleanor were also determined for the initiative to have an external focus to help reduce the disability employment gap. In 2021 Roche Pharma UK will deliver its first Workability Academy, in partnership with Exceptional Individuals. The Academy will take a small group of neurodiverse adults looking for employment and support them in understanding and shaping their talents, building tailored CVs, and developing their employment skills, amongst other themes.

As Caroline Casey says ‘corporations can be the tipping point for change when it comes to unlocking the social and economic value of people living with disabilities.’ These two young leaders are driving Roche Pharma UK’s commitment to change.

SDG 10 - Reduce Inequalities