Private sector culture blocks disabled people’s progress

Private sector organisations have cultural, structural and procedural barriers to employing disabled people, research reveals.

The study, by Warwick Business School, concludes that while senior management can articulate the business case for employing people with disabilities, that does not translate into action.

The researchers collected experiences of managers, disabled and non-disabled employees and staff representatives from 260 private sector organisations and English local authorities.

Disabled people working in the private sector reported that there was a stigma attached to disability and that to dare to declare themselves as disabled would mean “career death”.

They also experienced a contradiction between corporate policy and organisational practice which led to a significant degree of cynicism about the corporate commitment to diversity.

The study highlights procedural issues, such as appraisal systems, performance management and absence policies, which do not take account of disability.

The report’s author, Ardha Danieli, a lecturer in qualitative research methodology at Warwick Business School, said: “Line management education is vital to achieving improvements. Performance in private sector organisations seems to be valued more than people management skills.”

Comments are closed.