Employers Stammering Network founder and co-Chair Iain Wilkie recently won the Disability-smart Award by the Business Disability Forum (BDF). Iain, a partner at EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young) was put forward by his employer in the Executive Disability Champion category and came through against very stiff competition. The award submission included highlights of the difference made to organisations and their employees by the Employers Stammering Network (ESN) since its launch in May 2013.
The Disability-smart awards are given to organisations that exhibit leading practice within the ten criteria of the Disability Standard. This year was the first that BDF have held a standalone awards scheme open to all organisations. The judging panel included leading experts in the area of disability, representatives from BDF's Member and Partner organisations and disabled opinion leaders.
Iain said, “One in five people available for work in the UK have a disability. At EY we believe that diverse teams lead to better business decisions and that our people with disabilities bring real strengths developed from navigating life with a disability.
He added that he was “delighted” that the BDF had recognised the firm’s work in making stammering a non-issue at EY, explaining that the condition “continues to go unrecognised by many employers”.
BSA CEO Norbert Lieckfeldt says "I am particularly pleased to see this personal recognition for Iain who has worked so hard to make our Employment Stammering Network a reality, and such a success. As I said at our House of Commons event in November, it all began with an accountant who had a dream - a dream of work as a place where it no longer matters whether you have a stammer or not."
"But it is also a great boost for stammering awareness - we're up against huge issues such as mental health, dyslexia, or physical disability. And yet, the judges have decided to recognise stammering in their award, a condition that many of them would not have considered previously".
In addition, EY's Paul Scantlebury (Co-Chair, Disabilities Working Group and a great supporter of the ESN) collected the award for Career Development of Disabled People; ESN members Shell won the award for Premises while our member Lloyds Banking Group romped home with no fewer than four awards.