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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Sigga Sigurdardottir
Sigga Sigurdardottir
Chief Customer Officer

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), a day we celebrate the diversity that disability brings, learn from our colleagues and customers impacted by disability, and commit to taking action.

In this Covid world disability can be more invisible than ever. Disability can be transient or temporary (for example, a broken arm after a car accident) so recognising disability is important for everyone, not just for those currently experiencing it. 

According to the WHO World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population - or more than 1 billion people - are living with disability. Of this number, it’s estimated 450 million are living with a mental or neurological condition. Sadly, two-thirds of these people will not seek professional medical help, largely due to stigma, discrimination and neglect. 

Our Enabled at Tesco Network aims to support colleagues with visible and invisible disabilities at Tesco Bank through the sharing of experiences and information, and by raising the profile of disability across the bank. Anyone at Tesco Bank can join and become part of this important and growing network, whether you have any kind of disability or medical condition, or if you are a carer or an ally.

It’s incredibly important to raise awareness of all kinds of disabilities and to create a safe space so people feel confident in talking about it and their needs.  In doing so we make Tesco Bank a truly inclusive place to work.

To celebrate IDPWD, the Network is hosting two live events on Teams. The first of which will demonstrate the fresh and thoughtful accessibility features that colleagues will benefit from as part of the Bank-wide roll out of the new Windows 10 platform.

In our second event, I’ll be taking part in our panel discussion on Neurodiversity. Hosted by Gerry Mallon, Tesco Bank’s CEO and sponsor of our Inclusion Network, I’ll be sharing my lived experience as a mum of a son with ADHD. I’ll be joined by my colleagues Jay Dibben, who will be sharing his own lived experience of autism, and Emma Greaney, the mother of twins with autism. We’re also delighted to be joined by guest speaker Adrian Ward from the Business Disability Forum as we discuss how conditions such as autism and ADHD can affect colleagues and their families and how we can all be more aware and supportive.

The Enabled Network has recently focused on reviewing Tesco Bank’s adherence to the Disability Confident scheme, a government-led accreditation which gives a view of how inclusive we are to current and potential colleagues with disabilities.

I want to thank all the volunteers from the Network who gave their time to contribute to the review by sharing their personal experiences of working at Tesco Bank. We’ve made good strides in our inclusion journey and this review will help us make even more positive change in the coming year and beyond.

So I ask that you join me today to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), an event we are celebrating across the Tesco group with the purple theme for disability awareness, as we continue our journey to ensuring Tesco Bank is a place where everyone can thrive and realise their full potential.