At Deloitte, we want everyone to feel they can be themselves and to thrive at work – in every country, in everything we do, every day.
The stories told through Deloitte Global’s “Can You See Me?” video series beautifully capture the multidimensional aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and offer us an incredibly impactful way to experience the world through the lens of others.
As we commemorate National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the extensive contributions of people with disabilities to our workplaces and communities, I am reminded of one film in particular by Thiago, who shares the story of his experience as a wheelchair user—it was beautiful and thought-provoking.
In the film, Thiago talks about his passion for football (soccer) and dance, and shows us how now he continues to tango beautifully with his partner in a wheelchair—having found a new way to enjoy the power of music and dance. Yet, Thiago struggles with getting people to see him beyond the wheelchair. For me, this was a powerful reminder that we all have innate biases—whether conscious or unconscious. Thiago’s story challenges us to think deeply about the way we demonstrate our values around inclusive leadership in everyday interactions. Do we make assumptions about how another person or group wishes to be treated, based on how we feel? Do we take action when we see inequity or non-inclusive behaviours?
Genuine allyship is about continually educating ourselves on the blind spots that can influence our decisions and actions, and actively seeking to remove barriers for others. As a leader, I continually reflect on my important responsibility as a steadfast ally to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion is integrated into every aspect of our organisation.
We continue to make strides at Deloitte to improve the talent experience for all of our people. For those employees with disabilities, we have taken steps to amplify their stories and accomplishments. Our leaders and our People with Disabilities and Allies Community are making it a priority to improve accessibility, including redesigning office spaces, increasing accessibility of digital platforms, and empowering project teams to secure the equipment and resources they need to support their teammates. We are also celebrating Disability Pride this year with a “Boldly Be” campaign focused on sharing the stories of this community.
Beyond our own four walls, I am proud that we collaborate with organisations like Disability:IN to advance disability inclusion throughout industry and government. Recognition like the “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” for having received a top score of 100 per cent on the Disability:IN’s Disability Equality Index® (DEI) make me incredibly proud that we are working to enable all professionals, including those with disabilities, to achieve their professional goals.
To me, a culture of trust, acceptance, and a sense of belonging—where all of our people feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work—is what empowers our people to make the greatest impact for our clients and communities.