Community & Purpose
The new normal
It’s sad to say, but employment rates for people with a disability in Australia have barely changed in the last 20 years according to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
There’s a long way to go to make workplace processes and environments more universally inclusive with Australia ranking a low 21 out of the 29 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for labour force participation of people with a disability.
This year, ANZ was a major partner of Ability Fest, a music festival run by the Dylan Alcott Foundation. The event is designed to normalise disability by encouraging everyone – regardless of gender, disability or race – to come together in celebration of live music.
And while groups, organisations and events like these are making leaps and bounds to support a more inclusive lifestyle for those living with a disability, there is a lot more to do.
Universally inclusive workplace
Opher Yom-Tov, Chief Design Officer at ANZ, believes Human Centered Design (HCD) plays a critical part in delivering a more inclusive workforce.
Opher says design by its very nature is about starting by understanding the needs of people rather than trying to push an agenda.
“It's about understanding and solving the needs of our customers and people - not just by asking them, but by observing them, trying to understand what issues they have and finding ways to work with them to create things they are excited about rather than what excites us.”
Passionate about making a positive difference for everyone in the community, Opher believes businesses like ANZ have an important part to play in making this a reality by ensuring products, services, workplaces and culture are welcoming and inclusive of people with a disability.
“I am inspired by the thought that it’s up to me to make the best of what I have in this life. Why settle for anything less than the best? Whatever that means to you.” - Stuart Minotti, ANZ Network Marketing Expert.
Pic: ANZ's Stuart Minotti
AFL West Coast Eagles fan and ANZ Network Marketing Expert, Stuart Minotti started at with the bank 10 years ago as part of the Graduate Program. Since then, he has worked across various business areas and has become a seasoned Marketing professional, living in Melbourne’s suburbs with his wife and cat.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. When Stuart first applied for the role, despite telling the team he had an electric wheelchair, the interview was held in very small, inaccessible meeting room that he had a hard time entering.
Stuart recalls the look of horror on the faces of the interviewers who were not informed about his disability. And says what started off as an interview ended up as a conversation around the ins and outs of his disability.
“Fortunately I was invited back a week later to an accessible room, where I interviewed again and got the job. As you can see, the rest is history.”
Dylan Alcott, founder of the Dylan Alcott Foundation, tennis professional and media personality believes everyone should be able to live life as they please. ”Everybody deserves the right to live a completely normal life,” he says.
“You deserve to make a choice where you bank, where you shop. Who you are and what relationships you have - who you love. Where you travel, or whatever it is that you do. And for a lot of people with disability, they don’t get the opportunities to live a normal life they deserve to live. The only way to normalise [disability] is to have exposure and keep talking about it,” says Dylan.
As for Stuart; he plans to travel the world, spend more time with family and continue to work in a role that challenges him and enables him to make a positive difference to people in our community.
It’s a dog’s life – in the best possible way