Today, as National Inclusion Week 2019 gets underway, O2 has announced its commitment to put disability on its inclusion agenda by signing up to The Valuable 500. Joining over 100 other members, companies and brands, O2 has pledged to educate its people and raise awareness about disability in the workplace.
Mark Evans, CEO O2, said: “At O2 we recognise the importance of having a diverse, balanced and inclusive workforce, and have a bold ambition to be a leading inclusive employer. So I’m delighted to announce today that we are joining The Valuable 500, ensuring that our people with visible and hidden disabilities are represented and championed across our organisation.
“As a customer-led business, it’s vital that our workforce reflects and understands the needs of all of our customers. It not only makes good business sense, it also creates happier and more productive teams where everyone is given the opportunity to excel and succeed.”
O2 will be using this year’s National Inclusion Week to inform its people about joining The Valuable 500, as well as calling on them to make their own personal inclusion commitments. Throughout the week there will be workshops, lives streams and engagement organised in close collaboration with the company’s BAME network, Women’s Network and LGBT+ network – Proud at O2.
Jo Bertram, O2’s Director of Business, and Executive Sponsor for Inclusion, said:
“For me, moments like National Inclusion Week are vitally important as they highlight the importance of doing the right thing for our people and communities, not as a one off, but whole year-round.”
“We’ve had great success in 2019, launching some industry-leading inclusive initiatives, but we want to be continually pushing ourselves to do more, be more ambitious, and make changes. Building on our progress, and in order for us to be a true leader, it’s great to be able to share the news that we are bringing disability inclusion onto our agenda as we join The Valuable 500.”
This year O2 has launched a number of industry-leading, inclusive initiatives and activities that have driven positive change at the company. In May, an update to the company’s Family Policy saw paid paternity leave increase from 2 to 14 weeks for all permanent employees, for heterosexual and same-sex couples and partners welcoming a baby via adoption or surrogacy. To mark International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in June, O2 published a transitioning toolkit developed in partnership with Stonewall. This industry-leading guide offered support for employees who are going through or considering starting a gender transition journey, and advice for their managers.