Diversity and inclusion experts talk about institutional empowerment and the importance of companies investing in diversity
Debates on public policies for the inclusion of diversity in the job market have been advancing in recent years, however, achievements have emerged much more in theory than in practice. The National Day of Persons with Disabilities itself, on September 21st, celebrated since 1982, but only made official in 2005 by Law no. research by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which shows that only 26% of people with disabilities were in the job market at the end of 2022, with just over half of these working informally.
In Brazil, there is even a Quota Law (Law No. 8,213/91), which determines the participation of 2% to 5% of employees with disabilities in companies with more than 100 employees. However, despite the 32 years that this legislation has been in force, many companies still claim to have “difficulty” hiring people with disabilities.
“Companies end up demanding experience in certain functions, knowledge of specific areas and whatever else they may require for vacancies, in the vast majority of cases, smaller ones, aimed at people with disabilities, placing barriers and reducing the participation of these collaborators”,
explains Renata Torres, co-founder of Div.A Diversidade Agora! and specialist in diversity and inclusion.
And the problem doesn’t stop there. Renata also highlights that this percentage of people who get jobs end up being victims of another adversity that has been very present in companies.
“It is called institutional ableism, when the company hires people with disabilities and they do not receive equal treatment with others. Not only is there discrimination based on disability, but there is also no accessibility for that person to move freely”,
explains the specialist.
Even the salaries of workers with disabilities are 30% lower than the Brazilian average, according to IBGE, a reflection of the reduced positions for which they are hired.
According to Kaká Rodrigues, also co-founder of Div.A Diversidade Agora! and a specialist in diversity and inclusion, the organization needs to take an active stance on this issue.
“It is not enough for the company to comply with the Law and hire what is determined by quota, but it is necessary to include these collaborators. Not only guarantee accessibility for all people, but bring specific professional training programs for people with disabilities, seek out specialist professionals to raise awareness among teams, combating ableism”,
reports the specialist.
Kaká also states that hiring people with disabilities should not be an obligation or just compliance with the Law, but should think about the development of the company itself.
“Organizations that seek people with disabilities increase diversity within the company, ensuring a more inclusive corporate culture, in addition to valuing equality and respect. There are different perspectives, skills and experiences that will be exchanged with other people on the teams, creating new opportunities and, at the same time, contributing to society, which stimulates the growth and success of the company itself”,
*With information from consultancy
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