The Illusion of Inclusion – Roadblock #1
Diversity − Inclusion ≠ Success
Successful diversity programs require comprehensive inclusion initiatives. Hiring individuals with disabilities is counterproductive, if both the tools and acceptance necessary for success, do not support that commitment.
Workplace accommodations for mental illness are typically low cost and easy to implement. Many challenges associated with mental illness can easily be overcome through simple, inexpensive adaptations, such as a quiet workspace, use of a job coach, telecommuting options, flexible work schedules, and written instructions.
Most people living with mental illness prefer paid employment and independence; however, they must choose to either
1. disclose that they have a disability in order to access supports
2. eliminate the risk inherent in revealing a highly stigmatized disability, and effectively continue to struggle without valuable accommodations.
For individuals with mental disorders to truly thrive within the work environment; a culture of inclusion must be developed and nurtured.
Octavius Black (CEO) and Cathy Walton (Creative Director) at Mind Gym emphasize that without inclusion, diversity leads to slower decision making, more conflict, and increased fragmentation. Without inclusion, stress and absenteeism increase, and productivity plummets. Acknowledging bias, encouraging an atmosphere of belonging (beyond non-exclusion), and enabling employees to embrace their own identities is necessary for development of an overall inclusive corporate culture.
Be Counted! Illuminate Mental Diversity at Work.
There is safety (AND strength) in numbers. “All for one, and one for all.”
Suggestions, feedback, comments, and questions welcomed at MindingDiversity@aol.com
© October 2015