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How an inclusive workplace adds value to your organisation

Organisations in Singapore are increasingly hiring persons with disabilities. At the upcoming Inclusive Business Forum (IBF), speakers from Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Singtel, UOB and other inclusive employers will share how they built a culture that supports disability inclusion in the workplace and how, with support, employees with disabilities can thrive.

Jim Sinocchi
Jim Sinocchi will share how he partners senior leaders in JPMorgan Chase & Co. to champion inclusive hiring

Susan Hwee
UOB's Susan Hwee will share more about UOB’s inclusive hiring practices and why businesses should consider hiring persons with disabilities

When Jim Sinocchi was 25 years old, he was in a surfing accident that changed his life forever. He has had to use a wheelchair from then on, but he didn’t let this restrict him. With the help and encouragement of his employers, he bounced back and had a long and illustrious career.

As one of the keynote speakers at the Inclusive Business Forum (IBF) 2018, Mr Sinocchi will share how he partners senior leaders in JPMorgan Chase & Co. to champion inclusive hiring.

He says, “People with disabilities are in the workforce with the right qualifications and competing for the same jobs that able-bodied people are doing. We shouldn’t be just a diversity metric. We have the skills to build professional careers and want to be part of a thriving business.” 

Organised by SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities to thrive and be included in society, the second run of IBF will be held on July 25 at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.

Centred around the theme Focus on Abilities — Training, Hiring and Integrating Persons with Disabilities, IBF 2018 seeks to empower employers by boosting their confidence and capabilities to work with persons with disabilities.

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During the forum, participants can expect to discover good practices in hiring persons with disabilities and hear from employers in different sectors who have successfully tapped this resource pool.

55-year-old Mr Bernd Starke, Deutsche Bank AG’s head of global subsidiary coverage for Singapore and German, Austrian and Swiss Companies in APAC, who attended IBF 2016 says: “People with disabilities need champions within each organisation who continuously raise awareness and facilitate equal opportunities for inclusive employment.”

Real world application

At United Overseas Bank (UOB), inclusive hiring practices have yielded positive results. UOB Scan Hub, a department that scans and archives customers’ documents, has seen a lower employee turnover and increased productivity. Ms Susan Hwee, the bank’s managing director and head of group technology and operations, taps the strengths of persons with autism, such as their focus and inclination towards structure, to do this job that requires high levels of focus. As an inclusive employer, UOB clinched one of the top accolades at the 4th Enabling Employers Awards, held in 2017.

The second keynote speaker at IBF 2018, Ms Hwee will share more about UOB’s inclusive hiring practices and why businesses should consider hiring persons with disabilities.

IBF participants will also get to hear from three employees with disabilities and how they have been able to thrive in their respective workplaces. They will also delve into how their employers have made adjustments to their job scope to allow them to contribute effectively, as well as their thoughts on how businesses can make the working environment more supportive for persons with disabilities.

The forum includes a series of breakout sessions where participants can hear case studies of how organisations in specific sectors have effectively hired persons with disabilities. The organisations include Pan Pacific Hotels Group who will share their approach towards inclusive hiring and how they built a culture that supports disability inclusion in the workplace; and Singtel who will share about the type of jobs in the digital sector and their inclusive hiring initiatives.

Autism Resource Centre and EDEN + ELIE, a Singapore-based jewellery brand, will also touch on how they harness the talents and skills of persons with autism, how they maintain their organisations’ sustainability, and the collaboration and partnership models that have enabled them.  

Additionally, members of the Singapore Business Network on DisAbility, including Deutsche Bank AG and AIG APAC Holdings, will also shed light on the critical success factors and practical insights for organisations to become inclusive employers.

Registration for the half-day forum is free and must be completed by July 13. Visit www.ibf2018.sg for more information and to register for IBF.