Barclays is the first company to sign up to a new campaign that aims to raise awareness of ‘facial discrimination’.
Despite legal protections provided to people with disfigurements under the Disability Discrimination Act, research by the Changing Faces charity revealed that 90% of people were prejudiced towards those with facial disfigurements.
One in 111 people – more than 540,000 in the UK – have a significant disfigurement to their face, whether from birth or acquired from accidents, cancer surgery, skin conditions or paralysis.
Changing Faces has launched its Face Equality at Work campaign – aiming to tackle discrimination that people with disfigurements often experience, both as employees and customers.
John Varley, Barclays group chief executive, said: “As a business leader, I am acutely aware of the battle for talent in the marketplace. To succeed, we must develop and recruit the very best people that requires that we create an inclusive work environment where all candidates, including those with a facial disfigurement, view Barclays as a good employer.”
The campaign requires organisations to take steps to:
- Become aware of the cause and effects of disfiguring conditions
- Commit to positive thinking about people with disfigurements
- Embed new behaviours when meeting someone with a disfigurement.
James Partridge, chief executive of Changing Faces, said: “We are delighted that Barclays is taking the lead as the first employer to show a real commitment to including people with disfigurements. I hope this will encourage other companies to commit to face equality in their organisations.”