People sometimes ask me, ’what kind of agency is SM2Communicate?’ And I say, ‘it’s an agency which recognizes the individuality of each person and nurtures their strengths.’ And that’s what I always wanted it to be. While we work with a diverse mix of clients, it’s absolutely the same approach for our employees.
We are committed to having an inclusive team here at SM2Communicate; working to help people looking for careers in digital marketing, supporting charities, tutoring the next generation of digital marketers, and in the last couple of years, providing workplace opportunities for those with registered disabilities.
Disability Confident: make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to your workplace
I’ve always wanted to provide opportunities for people, particularly those where the mainstream workplace didn’t meet their needs or requirements. My purpose is to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds see how the power of positivity can help you to move forward, one step at a time, even when your current world seems very dark.
In 2016 I was working alongside an inspiring leader in Michael McGrath with his charity The Muscle Help Foundation, when the UK government launched their Disability Confident Scheme. At the time we managed their social media channels and were happy to provide a summer work placement for one of the charities members. As an employer in digital, we thought “why not?” Whilst we can’t say too much until their research paper, in partnership with The University of Hertfordshire is released, being one of their employers and a part of their “IHEM, Pathway to Work” definitely was an opportunity to “Inspire Hearts and Engage Minds” at the art of the possible for everyone in a work environment.
The 2020 pandemic has also confirmed that there are clear opportunities to connect and reach out to those with disabilities and bring them into fulfilling roles within our businesses. It’s perhaps not straight forward and needs carefull planning and thought, but the rewards are limitless.
Now in our third year as a Disability Confident Employer I didn’t initially realise SM2Communicate was a business that could do this. Were we ready? Would we be able to offer a fulfilling position? Was the business big enough to do this? What would be required? I had a lot of questions! However, the scheme provides full guidance on how to go about catering for requirements, plus guidelines to help you effectively seek out those with disabilities, available for your role.
Below is a quick FAQ from my experience so far, and whilst every day is a day to learn something new this is my starter for ten if this blog has got you thinking outside the box with your next recruitment.
What is the Disability Confident scheme?
The Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to your workplace.
Through Disability Confident, the UK Government is working with employers to:
- challenge attitudes towards disability
- increase understanding of disability
- remove barriers
- ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations
Why is this important?
For me, helping those with disabilities as part of an inclusive team is a core value and a key driver in my business. More than that though, it brings a wide range of talent to my team. We all want brilliant team-members who really want the chance to fly. For me, it’s a win-win.
Can any company become a DC employer?
As I say, I didn’t realise I could do this with my business. While you do need to qualify, the process is not as complicated as it might sound. What’s most important is the commitment - it’s about sticking with what you’ve set out to do and if needs be, adapting your business to move forward inclusively.
How can you become a Disability Confident employer?
It might be easier than you think to start employing those with disabilities. Check out https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk to find out more or start taking the first steps.
Do you have any questions about my experience? Feel free to ask in the comment below. I couldn’t recommend it more.