IBM’s workforce diversity policy emphasis on equal opportunities. Other than making the working environment and company goals that breaks the boundaries for ethnicity, gender, age and disability, IBM also realized that inclusion can help the company to include and cover a wider pool of talents. Since disabled people have lower self-esteem compared to the general population due to their disability, having a right job description is important for attracting them to work for IBM.
For example, a vacancy for Service Delivery Manager, other than stating what the jobs that are included, requirement and preferred, there is a “Additional information” section that stated “All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
” This shows that IBM does not look at disability the same way other companies do. IBM takes people’s talents seriously, asking what you can do, rather than what you cannot do.
Physical disabilities have no problem working in IBM because IBM sees disability as a pool of talents as long as disabled workers are able to perform the jobs that they are responsible to do. Similar to Lloyds TSB’s perspective on looking disability positively, other than fulfilling the law provided by the government, IBM does something beyond that responsibility of not discriminating disabled people. IBM recruits and includes disabled people as a part of the company. An inclusive environment of IBM helps foster employees’ involvement and also enhance disabled employees’ abilities by making computing easier.
Since IBM is a multinational technology company, IBM is familiar on changing its computer and tools that makes disabled employees work easier and also faster, thus, able to compete freely among other employees that are not disabled. Normal changes that IBM embraces to make disabled employees feel more comfortable which are providing a lift with lowered buttons for motor impaired employees that are using wheel chair, providing lift buttons with brail for visually impaired employees and enlargement of front sizes on screens and printed materials for visually impaired or low visual clarity employees.
Other than the environment changes, IBM provides a change in the use of software to help disabled employees to be able to assess to better work competitiveness. In IBM, JAWS (Job Access with Speech) is also used by blind or visually impaired employees. It is the exact same software that used by Lloyds TSB. JAWS is a text-to-speech software which helps visually disabled employees to able to get information from their computers by the output of sounds or speech. Other than using JAWS, IBM also uses speech-to-text technology software called Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance.
This speech-to-text software is the opposite of JAWS, which helps motor impaired employees who are unable to use a keyboard, to provide input to the computer by just saying what they want to key in. In order to make disabled employees feel that they are being cared and be a part of the company, IBM provides mentoring program that take care of disabled employees’ well being. IBM’s mentoring program is similar to Lloyds TSB’s Personal Development Program; the goal of the program is to let disabled employees realized that there are talents in them rather than just focus on their disability.
By doing so, disabled employees are able to feel positive and enable them to explore their talents further by focusing on their talents and abilities. Positive thinking is important for disabled employees because they are exposing to a working environment that includes other workers that are not disabled, therefore, by strengthen their positive thinking, disabled employees are able to compete better in the work place. Moreover, IBM also provides a network for disabled employees in the form of forums.
Similar to the network provided by Lloyds TSB to its disabled employees – ACCESS, IBM’s forums are specially created for the blind, deaf, and mobility impaired employees. These forums are paired with assisting software to help the disabled employees to access and use these forums. The concept for these forums is simple: which is to enable disabled employees to coach each other regarding to issues at work and also able to share ideas that could help them work better or feel better. Other than sharing issues at work, disabled workers also allowed to share free ideas and issues outside of work.
By providing these forums, IBM’s disabled employees are able to feel that they belongs to a social group, giving themselves identity and a sense of self, thus, increasing their self-esteem and confidence. Other than fulfilling company’s social responsibility that are imposed by the government, as I mentioned earlier, changes that IBM makes in its work place and technology helps disabled employees to work more easily, because of the experience of taking care of disabled employees, IBM also take this experience and deal with disabled customers to meet their consumer satisfaction.
IBM established the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center that helps people to access to information technology easier by changing the formats of any type of software which include IBM’s customers. IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center makes information technologies and also information in other formats with the complement of assistive software that is easily accessible to people who have visual, auditory and motor disabilities by applying IBM’s own research technologies.
One of the assistive software is voice recognition software. It is software that helps the users to resize window’s panes and change background color for better contrast by reading the webpage aloud. By doing so, more people in the world are able to access to information technology without boundaries. IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center is now operating in seven worldwide offices: Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan and the United States. Merck & Co. is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Merck headquarters is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. The company was established in 1891. Merck & Co. believes that diversity is the power of differences. The company believes that having a diverse and inclusive workforce makes the company more innovative, agile and attuned to customers’ needs.
The company provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified job applicants disregarding their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability. Similar to Lloyds TSB and IBM, Merck & Co.’s policy seeks to create a work environment that attracts the best people and provides them with the opportunities to develop and advance. Moreover, as a social responsibility, Merck & Co. ensures that it continues to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local law, such as Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Merck & Co. has partnered with Hire Heroes, U. S. A, a charitable organization that provides employment opportunities nationwide to disabled veterans, to create a more inclusive recruitment.
By doing so, disabled veterans are able to have opportunities to work, develop and earn a living after they’re disabled due to war or training. For training and development program, Merck & Co. develop training materials that reflect to its commitments to diversity. Every employee in Merck has a opportunities to participate in interactive programs that emphasize the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In Merck, other than providing training and an inclusive workplace, Merck & Co.also has supporting networks that helps all employees.
These networks are created differently to suit employees’ needs. These networks are called Employee Resource Groups. For disabled employees, they would refer to Disability Advisory Council. This Employee Resource Groups helps foster professional development, find informal mentors, participate in teams within and across work groups, and serve as an educational and cultural resource for other employees and business groups at Merck.
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