Much achieved in terms of inclusion
To mark International Day of People with Disabilities, Group Representative for People with Disabilities Gabriele McNab invites around 100 participants to a virtual review of the year. Despite the Corona pandemic, much was achieved for the interests of people with disabilities in the companies.
Like numerous other face-to-face events, the annual meeting of Bertelsmann's representatives for the severely disabled was cancelled in June 2020. But even during the Corona pandemic, much was achieved this year for the concerns of people with disabilities in the companies. "For example, as part of the 'Bertelsmann Action Plan Inclusion 2019 - 2024,' numerous documents, guides and checklists were created to educate and raise awareness and help implement inclusion in Bertelsmann companies," reports Bertelsmann Group Representative for Employees with Disabilities Gabriele McNab.
The "Inclusion Action Plan" is a joint project between Bertelsmann Executive Board member Immanuel Hermreck's Human Resources division and the Group's representatives for severely disabled employees. She will report on these and other measures in a virtual review of the year on International Day of Persons with Disabilities. All Bertelsmann representatives for severely disabled employees, the Group representatives for severely disabled employees at Gruner + Jahr and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, inclusion officers from the companies and other guests who are committed to inclusion at Bertelsmann are invited to attend.
"New inclusion officers have been appointed in many companies to represent and support employers in matters of inclusion. They are also important contacts for local representatives of the severely disabled," said the Group Representative for the Severely Disabled, listing further achievements. Training courses on company integration management (BEM) have been held virtually due to the Corona situation - with more than 250 participants from employer and employee representatives from all areas of the company to date. "Many colleagues, including many committed managers, are dealing with the issue of inclusion. They are all helping to make Bertelsmann a more inclusive company," says a delighted Gabriele McNab.
"Achieve five percent quota, better yet exceed it".
As part of accessibility, there is now also a video in sign language and a document in plain language presenting the work of the representatives of the severely disabled, continues the Group Representative for the Severely Disabled. From the idea of creating a question and answer catalog for executives as part of the "Inclusion Action Plan," a similar format is now also available for those affected. "At Bertelsmann, the rate of employees with severe disabilities was 4.6 percent for the entire Group last year. We want to reach, or better yet exceed, the five percent quota," affirms Gabriele McNab, "to achieve this, we will take a close look at the quotas in the individual companies and locations. Only in this way can we see where there is still need for action, but also where we can be satisfied."
Work is currently underway to merge the different agreements on inclusion at Bertelsmann, Gruner + Jahr and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, she adds. A working group led by Martin Kewitsch, Executive Vice President HR Coordination & Shared Services at Bertelsmann, and consisting of the three Group representatives for severely disabled employees, the chairpersons of the three Group Works Councils and representatives of the HR departments, had agreed on this joint project. "Our aim is to have an agreement that is the same for all Group areas," explains Gabriele McNab. "A Group inclusion agreement that, like the 'Action Plan Inclusion', applies to all Group areas, will help us reach and encourage even more people with disabilities and thus improve the rate," says Gabriele McNab. "We are showing - also with the flags that were hoisted at many Bertelsmann companies today - that Bertelsmann wants to offer people with disabilities opportunities in working life, promote their employment and include them in the company without restriction." He added that the representatives for severely disabled employees are always available to inform and advise colleagues. "We want to actively contribute to becoming even more inclusive and welcome everyone who supports us in this."