The Importance of Mentoring for Disability Inclusion

Mentoring is vitally important for diversity, inclusion and employee empowerment. In our partnership with Toby Mildon, we explore disability inclusion and the power of mentoring.

The Importance of Mentoring for Disability Inclusion« Back to Articles

Mentoring is an extremely powerful and effective resource for people of all backgrounds, walks of life and indeed during a wide-range of circumstances in life. Mentors can be a vital support both personally and professionally. At PushFar, we focus on professional mentoring across a number of different categories. We’re proud that diversity and inclusion have a big part to play in the work that we do, which is why we have partnered with several different groups to promote this. One area in which our mentoring software and mentor matching technology is helping is disability in the workplace. Our partnership with Toby Mildon and his disability awareness and inclusivity consultancy recognises just what a big part mentoring must play in improving the workplace for those with disabilities.

So, why is mentoring so important for those with disabilities? Everyone recognises and acknowledges that companies and organisations need to be doing more to improve diversity and inclusion across the board. With that, they should be striving to make every individual empowered, supported and ultimately happy in their work. Mentoring gives that support where management might otherwise not be able to. Having a mentor can give employees the chance to explore potential issues and challenges being faced. And, while in a perfect world, nobody would face challenges in the workplace, we must accept that they are inevitable for everyone. That said, people with disabilities are highly likely to face additional challenges and stresses that other employees might not. Whether that be within their current workplace or even for an employee having to visit another organisation’s offices. A mentor who has experienced these challenges and learnt to overcome them can often provide a great sense of confidence, support and motivation to those more junior or even more recently disabled employees, who may otherwise feel lost or alone in facing their challenges.

Having a mentor who has disabilities and can help another professional to navigate the working world, while understanding, first-hand, the situation, is so valuable. And while some diversity and inclusion groups are more visible than others, there are some, like disability, which aren’t always obvious. Disability mentoring can support those with several different disabilities, such as mobility and physical disability, brain injury, sensory disability, cognitive impairment, psychological disability and many other potential impairments too. It’s also worth noting and considering that a significant number of people will acquire a disability during their working life.

What can be done to improve disability inclusion? While setting up a mentoring scheme across your entire organisation is a great way to offer employees support, it may well be that you can offer additional mentoring schemes, specifically aimed at helping with diversity and inclusion. These schemes, such as a disability mentoring scheme, can help those employees facing specific challenges not faced by others, to relate, learn, share and develop, together. Mentoring to improve disability inclusion does not have to be provided by those with a disability either; by an organisation being able to offer a mentor support in the form of an impartial sounding board, this can be of significant help. Furthermore, reverse mentoring can be a great way for an organisation to improve its understanding and experience for those with disabilities. By giving employees the opportunity to mentor senior staff members about specific workplace problems that are affecting and impacting them, the improvement of awareness can be drastic.

Every organisation strives to make their workplace better – at least, everyone that we have come across does. However, they may simply not have the insight that they really need to. By offering reverse mentoring that revolves around diversity and inclusion, this is a quick way to improve awareness. And, for those organisations with less employees, there are cross-company and cross-organisation schemes, such as the one that Toby Mildon’s consultancy run, to help connect and mentor disabled employees throughout London and the wider-world too.

If you are interested in exploring diversity, inclusion and disability mentoring schemes further, get in touch with Toby Mildon, or contact PushFar today.
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