Brilliant Reasons to Employ Disabled People

Jane Hatton is an author who runs Evenbreak which is a jobs site, career service and consultancy for disabled people and employers. I talk to her about why and how to recruit disabled people and we take a deep dive into her latest book covering four key areas that employers really should be thinking about to get more disabled talents into their organisation.
Jane Hatton

Speaker 1: Welcome to The Inclusive Growth Show with Toby Mildon, future-proofing your business by creating a diverse workplace.

Toby Mildon: Hey there, thank you ever so much for tuning into this episode of The Inclusive Growth Show. I’m Toby Mildon, and I am delighted that today, I’m joined by Jane Hatton, ’cause I have known Jane for a very long time. We met back in 2012 when I was working at the BBC as a project manager in technology, so I wasn’t even doing diversity and inclusion at the time, but I was running the disabled staff network at the BBC, and I went along and spoke at a conference that Jane was organizing. Jane’s business is Evenbreak, it’s a job spot to attract and recruit disabled talent into your organization. She’s also written a couple of books, which are well worth a read. They are on Amazon of course, and her latest book is called A Dozen Great Ways to Recruit Disabled People. So in this episode, I’m gonna be catching up with Jane talking about why and how to recruit disabled people, but also we’ll do a bit of a deep dive into her book, a Dozen Great Ways to Recruit Disabled People, and the four key areas that employers really should be thinking about to get more disabled talents into their organization, so Jane, it is so great to have you on the show, thank you for joining me.

Jane Hatton: Thank you for inviting me. Great to see you and catch up with you.

Toby Mildon: So Jane, could you give us a bit more of a background as to who you are, what you do and what led you to setting up your company, Evenbreak.

Jane Hatton: Yeah, for sure. So I was in the field of diversity and inclusion for most of my working life, and so that included race and gender and sexual orientation, and the whole broad spectrum of diversity, and when I talked about disability particularly, there were two reactions from employers, it seemed to be either, “why would I want to employ a disabled person?”, which we’re both familiar with, or more positively, it would be, “We really want to employ disabled people, but we don’t know how to”. And so I could see that there was a real issue there, and when I spoke to disabled people, they said, “Well, we don’t know which is which, because every organization says they are an equal opportunities employer, but actually our experience tell us that most aren’t”. And then as fate would have it, I became a disabled person, so I’m one of the 83% of disabled people who become disabled as adults. So, at the age of 44, I developed a degenerative spinal condition, and so this issue around disability became much more up-close and personal. And so I decided that nobody else seemed to be doing anything about this, so maybe I should.

Jane Hatton: The obvious idea was to come up with a job board that was just for disabled candidates who were looking for a new or better work, and just for those employers who were enlightened enough to see us as a great pool of talent rather than as a problem, and I wanted to set it up as a social enterprise because it’s a business model. I very much… I didn’t want us to be a charity because our candidates certainly aren’t charity cases, they’re very good candidates and business people, but also I didn’t want it necessarily to be run for the benefit of shareholders, so it’s a social enterprise, and also I wanted it to be led by lived experience, because I think there is no substitute for that, and we’ve had generations of non-disabled people telling other non-disabled people what disabled people need, and we don’t need any more of that, thank you very much.

Jane Hatton: So I decided right early on that we would only employ people with lived experience with disability, and that was back in 2011, so 10 plus years on, we’ve grown, we’re global now, we have 20 staff, although we’re all disabled, so with the equivalent to about 50 and a whole range of employees that we work with, and also we offer training and consultancy to employers and also career service to disabled people who are looking for new or better work, because we’ve discovered that the career services that were out there weren’t always accessible or suitable or appropriate for disable candidates so it’s grown from just a job board into much more now.

Toby Mildon: I found it really interesting when you were saying that you were coming across employers who were really proactive and supportive and wanted to get disabled people into their organization, and then there were some organizations that were a bit more fearful.

Jane Hatton: Yeah.

Toby Mildon: I know those weren’t exactly the words you used, if we look at those organizations that were a bit more fearful about getting disabled people into their business, what were their main concerns?

Jane Hatton: Well, it was interesting because when I first talk to employers about disability, it turns into very quickly kind of, “Oh, what a shame, poor people, we’re really ought to… And I interrupt and say, “actually, no, this has nothing to do with pity, this is about talents, and when they kind of go, “Oh well, yes, of course it is”. I think there are fears around… There’s a perception, a very wrong perception, but I can see why it happens because of the whole rhetoric around disability that’s in society generally, is that there’s a perception that disabled candidates, disabled employees will somehow be not as good as non-disabled candidates or employees. So there’s the perception that we might be less productive or we might have to have more time off sick, or we might leave, or we might have lots of accidents or we’re gonna need lots of expensive adaptations, and there is a kind of fear of getting it wrong as well, what happens if we say the wrong thing and we’re gonna get sued or if we don’t… Whatever. So there’s a lot of fear of the unknown that’s based around myths, and the reality is that actually disabled people are on average, just as productive as non-disabled people. On average, we have significantly less time off sick, we tend to stay in our jobs that might be for the wrong reasons, we bring additional qualities with us, by definition, we’re facing barriers that other people don’t face everyday, and you have to…

Jane Hatton: We’ve all had to gain skills in doing things differently, being persistent, being creative thinkers, we can’t do things maybe the same way as other people do, so we’ve got to think of other ways of doing them. And actually from an employer’s perspective, that means that they’re getting a workforce who is resilient, who’s problem-solving, who’s creative-thinking, who are determined and who understand disability so can perhaps help that organization appeal to disable clients and customers. That narrative around disability has been poorly lacking, and lots of organizations are worried about productivity and costs and all the rest of it, which are based on myths rather than reality.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, ’cause when I asked my network of clients why they want to have more diversity into their business, one of the key things that they told me was that they wanted more innovation and creativity and move away from group think. So, getting more disabled people into your business will help bring more creativity and innovation, because you’ve got people with lived experience of disability bringing some fresh perspectives to the table.

Jane Hatton: Absolutely. And I mean even particular conditions can be invaluable. So of our up to 20 employees in our team, a number of our team are neuro-diverse, so they might have autism or ADHD or dyslexia. And sometimes we’ll be in a team meeting, and somebody will come up with a problem, and we’re stumped with this problem. And one of the neuro-diverse team members will come up with an idea that initially the rest of us go, “No, that’s ridiculous.” And then you think about it a bit longer, and you think, “No, it isn’t, it’s genius.” And what they’ve is something that as a neurotypical person I wouldn’t have come up with in a million lifetimes, but actually that… It’s a completely different way of approaching a problem, and it’s invaluable. Because that innovation, that challenge to the status quo, that questioning the, “But we’ve always done it this way,” is in a work environment which now is changing by the minute, things are… We’re having to keep up-to-date with things, we’re having to do things in new ways, there’s a whole skill shortage, so we’re having to attract the best talent. We have to do things differently, and what you really need in a workforce then is people who are used to doing things differently and thinking differently so that they can come up with these amazing ideas. It’s magic.

Toby Mildon: Absolutely. And thinking about those organizations that you came across that were being a lot more forward-thinking, proactive and wanting to get disabled people into the business, what were their key reasons?

Jane Hatton: Yeah, I think very much, as you just said, the research that you’ve done, very much they understand that staying still isn’t going to cut the mustard that they need to be doing things differently, and if you’re going to be doing things differently, you need to be getting people in who are different. A lot of the organizations we work with might be public sector, and they recognize that the services that they’re delivering to the population don’t always reflect the needs of that population, because their workforce doesn’t reflect that population. So if you have an organization that’s providing housing for people for example, you need people with different access needs, different family circumstances so that you can make sure you’re providing the services, the products, whatever it is, that are needed by the population.

Jane Hatton: And even private sector organizations, we’re understanding that disabled people make up 20% of the population. If we’re ignoring them as customers and clients, that’s an awful lot of money we’re leaving on the table. And actually, you need that internal intelligence around inclusion, and disability inclusion particularly, to make sure that you engage with customers and clients in ways that are gonna be meaningful for them. And even though… If you think 20% of the population are disabled, that means that most of us will either have a disabled person in our family or in our friendship group or in our wider circle. So if we’re going to attract the population, we need to make sure that we’re including accessibility and inclusion within that. And actually having disabled people working within your organization is a pretty quick and easy way of doing that really effectively using that lived experience.

Toby Mildon: Absolutely. And with an aging workforce, we’re going to see an increased in disability as well.

Jane Hatton: And new disabilities like long COVID.

Toby Mildon: Exactly. Yeah, that’s come up quite a lot recently with my clients. And things like we’ve seen an increase in mental health conditions. Also disability by association, so you could be a parent who’s caring for a disabled child or a disabled family member as well, so you’re covered under the Equality Act as well. You’ve covered some grey areas, and I would just encourage the person listening to us right now to go and get your first book, which is A Dozen Brilliant Reasons to Employ Disabled People.

Jane Hatton: Well, I wrote that just because I had this conversation so often with employers who were saying, “Yeah, but they won’t be productive, and they’ll be off sick.” And I thought, “I’m gonna write this all down and just give them a copy, ’cause it’s quicker.” [chuckle]

Toby Mildon: Yeah, [chuckle] save yourself a lot of time and energy and just say, “Read this.” So, let’s go and… Let’s just spend a bit of time to talk about your second and latest book, which is A Dozen Great Ways to Recruit Disabled People, which is a lovely continuation of your first book. In your book, you basically talk about kind of four key categories or areas that organizations should think about. So Part 1 is start at the beginning, Part 2 looks at attraction, Part 3 is about assessment, Part 4 is about selection. I suppose we should start at the beginning, shouldn’t we? That’s where you talk about creating an inclusive culture and deciding what an organization needs. What are the key things that you talk about in terms of the beginning of this journey for a lot of businesses?

Jane Hatton: It’s interesting, because sometimes we’ll talk to employers, and they’ll say something like, “We really want to do this, ’cause we really see the value for us as an organization. But we’re not there yet, so we can’t start recruiting disabled people. And my response to that is, “If you’re not there yet, how are you going to get there If you’re not employing disabled people, you’re gonna have to make some kinds of assumptions about what disabled people might need, but you haven’t got any disabled people there to tell you that”, so actually, what we should be doing is recruiting disabled people in parallel with trying to get the culture right. And of course, the other thing is, is that they are employing disabled people, they just don’t know they are, so it may well be that they have 80%-90% of disabled people who don’t look disabled, it’s not visible, so they will already be employing people with autism or dyslexia or diabetes, or a long-term health condition or whatever it might be.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Jane Hatton: And actually, in order to get the culture right, we need to have a culture… A workplace culture, where people feel absolutely comfortable in talking about their differences, so whether they are hidden, whatever they might be… And then if existing employees feel comfortable saying, “Oh yeah, well, actually I’m dyslexic, and actually it would be really useful for me to have a different keyboard or a different monitor or whatever, that A means that they’re gonna be more productive because they’re being supported, but it also means that the organization can learn from that experience and they can talk to candidates about, we’ve got some knowledge in this area, I don’t know of any organization that’s got this 100% right, and I don’t think it’s a destination because things change all the time.

Jane Hatton: I think every organization is learning and improving, including Evenbreak we only employ disabled people, but we still make mistakes, we’re still learning, and we learn from the people that we employ, from our candidates, from our employers, and I think for an organization to get the culture right, it’s a lot about inclusive leadership, which I know you talk a lot about, that sort of leading by example, but also leaders being open about their own differences, so whether they’re gay or whether they have a mental health condition, if they feel able to be open about that it kind of gives permission to everybody else in the organization to talk about those things as well, it stops being the elephant in the room and starts being part of the conversations like what the weather is like, or what was on East Enders last night, or whatever it is, it stops being something that’s seen as scary, and then candidates can feel that they’re coming into an organization where they can be themselves and they can be open, and so the two things go, I think in parallel, start working on your inclusion and your inclusive culture, but at the same time, try and attract more disabled candidates within the organization because each will accelerate the other.

Toby Mildon: Absolutely, and this is what I’m finding with my clients, a lot of my clients, after I do an anonymous survey with their staff, are really surprised at the number of disabled people that they’ve got in their own business. I remember one client said to me before the survey that they estimated that they employed about 1% disabled people in the business, and it turned out that 16% of their workforce were declaring a disability or long-term health condition and that is comparable to the number of working age adults in the UK.

Jane Hatton: Yeah.

Toby Mildon: Having a disability and they were shocked.

Jane Hatton: My bad, yeah.

Toby Mildon: But what was really interesting actually for this particular client was that when we looked at the employee Net Promoter Score, which is a question that basically says “would you recommend this as an inclusive place to work, the disabled staff in the business were actually promoters.

Jane Hatton: Wow.

Toby Mildon: The rest of the organization were passive without realizing they had actually turned out to be a pretty inclusive place for disabled staff to work.

Jane Hatton: And you can really build on that then can’t you, once you’ve got that foundation.

Toby Mildon: But the conversation changed with them because it went from being, “how can we get more disabled people, how can we be more inclusive to disabled people” to “how can we actually harness who we’ve already got, and how can we create a more empowering work environment for those people so that they stick around and they can progress in the organization?”, so the quality of the conversation really shifted with that data.

Jane Hatton: It’s amazing, isn’t it? And I know a number of organizations who get completely different figures from their HR systems where they’ve asked people diversity data, and then they’d do an anonymous thing and the two… And the two figures just don’t bear any relation to each other, and actually that gives you an indication about the culture.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Jane Hatton: Because if they could be so prepared to say so anonymously, but not on their HR record, what’s stopping them from being open? Why do they feel that they can’t talk to people about their disability in the workplace? And that’s an indication of the culture, isn’t it? And if you’ve got the same number in both, then that’s where you want to be really, isn’t it?

Toby Mildon: Absolutely, so after the beginning stuff, which is the kind of the first part, we then go on to attraction, what are the key things that you think are really important for businesses to know when it comes to attracting disabled people?

Jane Hatton: Yeah, I think we did some research two, three years ago, well, a university did it on our behalf, UCL, where they interviewed, and surveyed disabled people looking for work and said, “What are the biggest barriers that you find when you’re looking for work?” And there were over 700 responses, so it was significant, the findings, and by far the biggest barrier that disabled candidates said they faced was not knowing which organizations, which employers would take them seriously. “Every organization says that we are an equal opportunities employer, but actually our experience tells us that most aren’t, particularly when it comes to disability”. What they were saying was, “if we don’t have absolute evidence that an organization is disability-friendly, is genuinely looking for our talent, we’re not gonna bother to apply because we’ve had so many rejections before, why would we continue to knock our head against that?” So I think what I learned from that was, it’s not just about organizations being inclusive, it’s about them demonstrating that to candidates because they could be the most inclusive organization on the planet, but if the candidates don’t know that they’re not going to apply ’cause they are going to assume otherwise.

Jane Hatton: So I think for me, it’s about demonstrating the employer’s credentials as a disability friendly, if that’s the right word, employer. And that might mean badges like disability confident. It might mean showing success stories on the meet the team page, may be on their website where they show disabled people in the organization who are clearly thriving. But also, I’m bound to say this, I’m gonna be biased, it’s about where you advertise. So if our candidates will say to us, if we can see that an organization has paid to advertise their vacancies on a job board that’s just for disabled people, that really demonstrates that they’re serious about this. They’re not just putting a, “We are an equal opportunities employer” byline, which doesn’t mean or cost anything, they’re actually spending money to proactively attract talented disabled candidates. So that gives candidates A, the confidence to apply to those organizations ’cause they can see they’re serious about this, but also, they are going to be more open about any access needs they might have, because they will perceive rightly that this organization isn’t gonna be put off by a request for an adjustment, for example.

Jane Hatton: So thinking about where you advertise, how you advertise, the wording you use in the adverts, how you’re seeing the external… If anybody listening now, would you say that anybody that doesn’t know your organization would immediately think, “Oh, that’s somewhere I’d like to work as a disabled person. I know I could thrive there.” Because if the answer’s no, then we need to change that narrative and we need to make sure that disabled talent out there recognize that this is an employer that’s actually gonna be looking at their talent positively, rather than finding excuses not to employ them.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, I really like your earlier point because, I’ve looked at your website when… I run my own consultancy now, but when I was in the job market. And actually seeing an employer on your website did give me more confidence, it was acting as a bit like a filter really. That these organizations were putting their money where their mouth is, and are now serious about attracting disabled talent.

Jane Hatton: If they just want to tick the box, and they don’t really want to, they’re not gonna pay money to actively attract disabled applicants.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, yeah.

Jane Hatton: So I think it is a good filter, it’s not the only filter, but I think it’s a fairly powerful one.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, absolutely. After attraction, there’s the third part of your book, where you talk about assessment. And actually one of the things that gets my eyes is whether to CV or not to CV. [chuckle]

Jane Hatton: Yeah, Yeah.

Toby Mildon: What is that all about?

Jane Hatton: Well, I have this conviction and it’s increasingly being borne out… Well, I think people looked at me like I was really weird at some point. But I don’t think that the traditional recruitment assessment methods, which tend to be revolving around CVs for short listing, and interviews for making the final decision, I’m not convinced that they are the best predictors of future performance for any candidate, let alone disabled candidates. But I think particularly, if you think about a disabled candidate, and it’s not just… Some organizations will say, “Yeah, but we have blind CVs.” And for me, it’s not just about the name. And we know that there’s a lot of research that says a Western sounding name as opposed to an Eastern sounding or African-sounding name is gonna be short-listed more likely, or a male-sounding name is gonna do better than a female-sounding name. Even if you take away those personal details, the bits that people are really looking at in a CV are things like work history, qualifications. Well, if you get someone who is disabled, we know because of the disability employment gap, that you’re twice as likely to be unemployed if you’re a disabled person, so you are facing barriers that non-disabled candidates aren’t facing, so you’re less likely to have got the work history that demonstrates your brilliance, not because you don’t have that brilliance, but because you haven’t had the opportunities to show it.

Jane Hatton: And so if you look at the work history of a disabled candidate, it’s likely, all things else being equal, not to be as impressive as a non-disabled candidate who’s going for the same role. Not because of anything to do with either of their abilities, but because of the prejudice that one candidate that would have faced. And even things like education, there are lots of organizations who used to insist on degrees for pretty much every job, whatever it was, and then for certain jobs, oh it had to be a first, and it had to be from a red brick university, or it had to be from Oxbridge, or whatever. And I think that’s getting better these days, but if you can think of maybe a candidate who has struggled through university, maybe to get into university in the first place, so it might be a former polytechnic. And then they’ve been battling to get resources because of their dyslexia or their mental health condition, or whatever it might be, their two, two or their two three might be far better than a first from Oxford for someone who’s never had to face any barriers.

Jane Hatton: So actually, we look at CVs and we look at, “Oh, that’s a good job they had. They must be good. Or that’s a good degree they had from a good university, they must be good.” Actually, all that talks about is previous privilege, not future potential. For me, the CV doesn’t demonstrate the brilliance of a candidate, and if you haven’t even met them because you’re shortlisting, you can make all sorts of assumptions which aren’t based on anything to do with reality, I think CVs are outdated.

Toby Mildon: I’m so glad you said that. When I was working for one organization, I was a fly on the wall, I was ear wicking on a conversation that two hiring managers were having, and one manager turned to the other… I should say that they were reviewing CVs for job interviews. They hadn’t even met the candidates, and one manager turned to the other and said, “I just don’t think this person’s gonna be a culture fit for the team.” [chuckle] And I was like… I almost fell out of my wheelchair. Because I was like, “How on earth can they say somebody is or isn’t a culture fit for the team, just by looking at their CV?” And I remember, when I was working in technology at the BBC, where I piloted some blind auditioning software, and instead of looking at people’s CVs, we gave anybody and everybody who was interested in a software developer job, the opportunity to take an online challenge. Which was to test their skills to create a bit of code for iPlayer.

Toby Mildon: And We looked back through the people that got short-listed compared to the conventional way of short-listing with CVs. And there were two examples of disability. There was a guy, who had a severe speech impediment, who got an interview, who said that he hardly ever got an interview, because when… He would always fail at the first hurdle. He would have a phone conversation with a recruiter, and because he got so nervous and anxious, his speech impediment got worse.

Jane Hatton: Got worse.

Toby Mildon: And then he wouldn’t get through to the next stage. And then also, we had this autistic guy as well, who we called in for an interview as well, because he… Again, he said that he struggled to get interviews ’cause he struggled with that kind of interview environment. I agree with you. I just don’t think CVs are an effective way, they don’t really test someone’s ability to do the job or their potential.

Jane Hatton: Absolutely not. They’ve got nothing to do with potential and everything to do with history. And I feel similarly around interviews, that there are people who are really good at blagging in interviews and people who are really nervous and not good at interviews. But their ability to do the job doesn’t correlate with either of those. And so that method that you just taught, is what we would recommend. Is do some kind of task that’s related to what they would be doing in their job, because then what your testing is their ability to do the job and not their ability to blag about their ability to do the job. And I’m sure everybody listening to this podcast who has ever recruited anybody will have had the situation where you’ve recruited somebody because they were so amazing at the interview, and then they turn up and you think, “Oh, where’s that wonderful candidate gone? They can’t do this job.” Or other people who’ve thought, “Oh, I’m not really sure about them.” But they’ve turned that to be absolutely brilliant. And unless the job is requiring the candidate to be brilliant at blagging at interviews, that’s all we’re testing with interviews. We’re not testing their ability to do the job, just their ability to talk about it.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, I agree. That’s right. Let’s say, for instance, the person listening to us right now, they’ve started at the beginning, so they’re making some headway on creating that inclusive culture. They have made improvements to attract more disabled people to come and work for the organization. They have scrapped the CVs and they’re doing a much better way of assessing people for the job, that then leads us on to the fourth and final part, which is really selection. One of the key areas I’m really interested in hearing from you about is job offering induction. ‘Cause I think it’s… Those kind of first steps into an organization are crucial. And what is it that you talk about in job offering and induction?

Jane Hatton: Yeah. I think… First of all, the hiring decision has to be made objectively for the right person for the job rather than, “Oh we like them and they looked a bit like my nephew and we like my nephew.” It should be very much done on objective grounds. And I’m not sure about culture fit either, cause sometimes culture fit can mean, “Oh well, all the lads go out drinking on a Friday night. Will they come with us?” That’s got no relation to whether they’d be able to do the job or not. But I think you’re right that actually, finding the right person for the job is actually only the beginning, because then you want to keep them and develop them and retain them, and all the rest of it. And that… The job offer and the induction, or the onboarding, whatever we want to call it, actually sets the tone for the whole relationship of that employee with that company. So if we get that bit wrong, we’ve kind of, “Okay we’ve got the right person for the job, but we’re gonna lose them because we are not doing that bit right.” So for me, it’s about making sure that on job offer as soon as is humanly possible, we say to that new candidate, whether or not they’ve declared a disability or talked about this disability, have a conversation about, “Congratulations, you’ve got the job. We really want you to thrive here. What do we need to do so that you can be really happy and productive here?”

Jane Hatton: And that could be with every new candidate, so it might be someone says, “Can I work flexible hours ’cause I have to pick the kids up from school?” Or it might be, “I’m caring for my father, so I need time off for hospital appointments.” Or it might be, “I need a bigger screen because my sight isn’t great.” Or whatever it is. But it’s actually starting off that relationship by saying, “We’re really glad you’ve joined us, and we really want to keep you and make sure that you stay and that you’re gonna be happy here and you’re going to thrive and we’re gonna get the best from you.” And that’s a really good way of starting any relationship, isn’t it really? So I think the job offer and the onboarding. And it’s all that kind of support, it’s sort of if you have employee resource groups talk about those. If you have a buddy system, talk about those. Make sure that the onboarding process is accessible to the new recruits, so we had one of our candidates is blind, and his manager… Completely blind, and his manager said, “We knew we wanted him because he was the best person for the job. But I’ve never onboarded a blind person before. And normally it would be, well the toilets are over there and you hang your coat up over there, and the cafe’s over there.” Over there means nothing to a blind person.

Jane Hatton: So he did absolutely the right thing and said to the new recruit, “I want to onboard you. What’s the best way of doing this?” And of course, the candidate knows ’cause they’ve lived with this condition and know what works and what doesn’t work. So in the end, this particular candidate used a cane and they recorded his way around the building. “Okay, so I follow the wall on the right, and then the lifts are on the right of that.” And then the manager introduced him to the cafe staff and said, “When you see this person coming for lunch, can you read out the menu because they won’t know it otherwise.” And all of those kinds of things. I think it’s just about making sure that that onboarding and job offer process is as inclusive and accessible as the rest of the recruitment process was to get to that point.

Toby Mildon: Definitely. And I think… So for the persons listening to us today, it’s also worth checking out a podcast episode that I did with a guy called Chris Jones, who works for a company called Enboarder. And they provide some software to help facilitate the onboarding process of staff. And in that interview, we talked about how that software can facilitate that relationship between the new candidate and their manager to make what you’ve described as seamless as possible. So that’s an episode worth checking out.

Jane Hatton: Yeah, for sure.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. Jane, before we go, what does inclusive growth mean to you? Given that this is the Inclusive Growth Show.

Jane Hatton: Well, I can talk about it from an employer perspective. We’re going through a growth stage at Evenbreak… Well we always are, but we’ve just developed a growth strategy. And in order to make that growth inclusive, we included everybody within the organization in… On that strategy discussion. So, what are the opportunities? What are we missing? What more could we do? What skills have we got that we’re not using? And so for me the growth depends on including those views of our own team, in our case who are very diverse, as I say anyway. All disabled, but also from different ethnic minorities and different sexual orientations and genders and all the rest of it. But also including other stakeholders. So we went out to our employers and said, “What do you think we should be offering? Are there things that you need that you can’t access.” Going out to our candidates and saying, “What do you need?”

Jane Hatton: So for me, inclusive growth means growing by making sure that you include that… It’s kind of inclusive design, isn’t it? Universal design, that you don’t have a growth strategy and then retrofit it for accessibility and inclusion. It has to be inclusive from the start. And if you’re on a growth journey, that’s absolutely the right time to make sure that you build in inclusion accessibility to this growth strategy so that it works for everybody rather than going six months down the line, and then thinking, “Oh, I haven’t about that. We’re alienating that group.” So it’s about universal design, making sure that the growth includes views from a whole range of different people with different needs, different perspectives, challenging that group think that we talked about earlier on. All of those things, I think that’s what it means for me.

Toby Mildon: Fantastic. And if the person listening to us right now wants to learn more about you and the work that Evenbreak does, what should they do?

Jane Hatton: I’d love to have a chat with them. You can get hold of me, if you go on our website and hit the contact us, that will come through to me. My email address is janeh@evenbreak.co.uk so you can do that. But you can get to me through the website, which is evenbreak.co.uk. I’d love to have a chat with anybody who’s interested.

Toby Mildon: Brilliant. And of course, go and get the book as well. So, the first book is A Dozen Brilliant Reasons To Employ Disabled People and followed up by A Dozen Great Ways To Recruit Disabled People which are both available on Amazon.

Jane Hatton: Thank you Toby, for that plug. [chuckle]

Toby Mildon: You’re welcome. So thank you ever so much for tuning in to today’s episode of the Inclusive Growth Show. And Jane, thank you ever so much for joining me. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. And…

Jane Hatton: Me too.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, we’ll follow up, no doubt, with another recording, when your third book comes out. [laughter] But I don’t know if you’ve yet committed to doing a third book.

Jane Hatton: Don’t hold your breath. [chuckle]

Toby Mildon: No pressure. But yeah, thank you. Thanks ever so much for tuning in to the episode with Jane and myself. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed what we’ve been talking about, taken some interesting and useful hints and tips and strategies away that you can use in your own business. Until the next episode comes out, take care and have a good time. Thanks.

So… Are You Ready To Create a Culture of Inclusive Growth, Build a More Diverse Workplace & Boost Business Performance?

If you want to get a clear plan of action for diversity and inclusion, have greater clarity around employee
experiences and put the right strategies in place to improve retention, innovation, productivity,
profitability and so much more – now’s the perfect time to do it!

Get in touch today and take the first step on your journey to a better business…