During the month of October, we’re observing National Disability Employment Awareness Month to celebrate the contributions of P&G employees with disabilities and to recognize how supportive and inclusive employment policies and practices inspire a culture of disability confidence.
What is Disability Confidence?
Disability Confidence applies to employees with disabilities who are poised to advocate for themselves and represent their heightened abilities (as a result of their disability) in a way that is an essential source for company growth. But it also means that all P&Gers — managers, co-workers and reports — are not just comfortable, but CONFIDENT in their partnership with disabled colleagues.
Why is it important to P&G?
At P&G, we believe the power of our differences and the strength of our togetherness helps us innovate superior products that our consumers love, such as Ariel ECOCLIC®. An important part of what inspires this power is our dedication to creating an inclusive workplace for every unique employee, including people with visible and invisible disabilities.
How is P&G inspiring a disability confident culture?
Here are three ways in which we are working with our employees to create a workplace where everyone can reach their full potential, every day.
1. Creating Spaces Where Everyone Can Belong. P&Gers with disabilities have long been important contributors to our company’s culture and inspirational leaders for change. Dr. Joel Kahn was a brilliant scientist, engineer and servant leader who began his career with P&G in 1974. Over his four trailblazing decades at P&G, he raised awareness about the need for greater accessibility for People with Disabilities (PwD) at the company and across the United States, founded P&G’s PwD Network and helped lay a foundation for our focus on Disability Confidence.
Today over 800 employees participate in one of P&G’s eight Disability Support Groups. From groups focusing on brain injury, to chronic pain and mental health, P&G Disability Support Groups help create safe spaces where colleagues share with one another, remove concerns about stigma and grow together in strength for the journey.
2. Creating More Opportunities for More People to Succeed at P&G. Thanks to Dr. Kahn’s incredible legacy — and many other colleagues who continue to pave the way — employees with disabilities can thrive in our workplace, offering P&G unique skills to create solutions that have global impacts on our business.
Our Crux Plant in Brazil has the highest percentage of People with Disabilities in operation roles and, with their leadership, the plant has transformed the hiring process to be more inclusive. The approach is working so well that we are now expanding these practices globally. We accommodate people with all abilities throughout the recruitment and retention process by incorporating physical and digital inclusion and accessibility in the workplace with Universal Design. We’re also integrating subtitles, automatic speech recognition and audible captioning in many of our software solutions, while establishing an internal Digital Accessibility Hub to enable equal access to communication.
More than five years ago we launched a #SigningEcosystem across our internal areas to hire, keep and develop D/deaf talent through visual and tactile languages known as signed languages, designed to provide an opportunity for D/deaf employees to succeed. This summer, interns who are D/deaf were hired at P&G’s Lima Plant in Ohio, furthering our university partnership to grow and support our D/deaf talent pipeline and community.
3. Building Accessible Workplaces. That’s not all we’re doing to make P&G an inclusive workplace. Across campuses and plants throughout the world, P&G is committed to growing accessibility in the workplace and meeting the needs of all our employees.
In the United Kingdom, our Reading Innovation Centre’s (RIC) “Buildings for All” campaign is successfully ensuring accommodations for employees with disabilities, including quiet spaces for neurodivergent colleagues and specially-decaled revolving doors that indicate movement for our blind employees.
It’s really important that organizations have inclusive buildings. We wouldn’t want to be in a position where we find a fantastic person who could do a job amazingly and then find that we can’t even get them in the building.
The campaign is having a huge impact. Learn more about Buildings for All from our colleagues.
We’re also making inroads with accessible transportation. In July 2023 — for the first time — our Egypt Office began providing PwD an employee transportation service. The supplier cars are equipped with a uniquely designed ramp and secured system, making it easy and convenient for wheelchair users to board and disembark with confidence, enjoying a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Participation in the program has been gratifying for the transportation team and employees.
Watch this video about how the service works.
Our employees with disabilities not only enrich our workplace, but they also inform and lead the innovation that helps us meet the needs of our disabled consumers. While we know there is more work to do, our commitment to an inclusive, accessible and Disability Confident culture is helping us build teams where innovation sparks, creativity flourishes and careers and businesses grow together.
At P&G we are #UniqueAndUnited in our efforts to nurture a culture where everyone can thrive.
Learn more about how we’re working to inspire Disability Confidence.