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Forum highlights the benefits of hiring people with disabilities

The ILO and representatives of more than 20 companies meet in Shanghai and showcase the advantages of hiring qualified persons with disabilities.

Press release | 17 September 2013
SHANGHAI – Representatives from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and more than 20 multinational and Chinese enterprises gathered in Shanghai on 17 September to discuss and share experiences of why hiring people with disabilities makes good economic sense.

The meeting was organized by the ILO Global Business and Disability Network in collaboration with the China Enterprise Confederation (CEC) and Dow Chemical Company, one of the members of the Network.

During the one-day meeting, companies presented a number of good practices that show that people with disabilities can be successfully integrated into the workforce.
“Diversity and inclusion are among our deeply held values. They are critical to our business success and an integral part of our strategy to attract, develop, and retain the best and brightest talent. Dow’s world leading innovation capability is propelled by a vibrant, diverse, and talented employee base with their differing experiences, abilities, and perspectives,” said Niklas Meintrup, Director, Supply Chain and Business Services, Dow Asia Pacific.

Liu Peng, Deputy Director General of CEC, added that “those enterprises that accept and welcome more diverse employees and customers can achieve better and longer-term development.”

An increasing number of businesses are becoming aware of the potential people with disabilities bring to the workplace. According to the latest estimates, there are approximately one billion people with disabilities worldwide. Between 785 and 975 million of them are of working age.

However, across the world, people with disabilities still face discrimination, especially when it comes to accessing equal job opportunities.

“The ILO works to promote an inclusive approach to employment by focusing on a person’s competencies, talents and skills for a specific job. Therefore, we find it important to increase disability awareness within the business community, and to improve the opportunities for persons with disabilities to have better access to training and employment opportunities now and in the future,” said Ann Herbert, Director of the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia.

The ILO Global Business and Disability Network is comprised of representatives from multinational enterprises, employers' organizations and business networks, and selected non-governmental and disabled peoples' organizations to help companies include people with disabilities in the workforce from the perspective of business and human rights cases.

“Being a disability inclusive company creates competitive advantage for business. On a national level, it is important for the ILO Global Business and Disability Network to support and strengthen the work of national employers’ organizations in promoting and facilitating knowledge exchange between multinational and national enterprises on disability inclusion in the workplace,” said Deborah France-Massin, Director of the Bureau for Employers Activities at the ILO (ACT/EMP).

Unlocking the Treasure:
Disability Inclusion at the Workplace in China

The video was produced in collaboration by the International Labour Organization (ILO), China Enterprise Confederation (CEC), China Disabled Persons Federation (CDPF) and the Able Development Institute (ADI), this video calls for a greater inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market in China. It briefly summarizes some of the barriers people with disabilities face in the Chinese context and the immense value they bring to the workplace.
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