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RIDI Awards ‘Getting Started’ Category Showcase

On the 18th of July, Guidant Group, on behalf of RIDI, hosted an exclusive event at the prestigious Devonshire Club to highlight the early successes of John Lewis Partnership’s disability confident journey and share best practice around disability inclusion to an audience of HR decision makers.

Representatives from the retailer, which picked up the ‘Getting Started’ Award at this year’s ceremony, were invited by RIDI Gold Partner, Guidant Group, to share their experiences of taking the first steps towards becoming more inclusive to disabled candidates and offer advice to others who may be beginning their journey.

John Lewis beat off stiff competition to take home the Award after the judges were impressed by the practical steps the organisation was taking to shift the dial including partnering with Evenbreak to advertise all external roles and using Evenbreak’s Best Practice Portal, which provides invaluable resources for the Partnership’s resourcing team. As part of the project, the changes the Partnership has made include increasing the additional time given to dyslexic candidates for testing/ assessment from 20% to 25%.

Carole Donaldson and Sarah Ockendon from John Lewis were joined on stage at the event by Liz Johnson from Ability People, Evenbreak’s Jane Hatton and Simon Blockley of Guidant Group. The panel shared valuable insight around misconceptions around disability, the best way to engage disabled talent and the external support which is available.

A survey of attendees on the day found that while 82% believe their company currently welcomes applications from disabled candidates, every single respondent felt that their organisation could do more to increase the inclusion of disabled people.

Following the event, Simon Blockley, Managing Director of RIDI, and panellist on the day, commented: “Events such as this most importantly keep disability confidence front of mind and top of the agenda. They offer insight in an open forum, wherever you may be on your own journey, by showcasing the efforts and learnings from other organisations who are breaking down the barriers faced by disabled job seekers. Crucially, they also help us all widen our professional network of likeminded, experienced contacts.”