A group of Autodeskers in France recently participated in DuoDay, an initiative focused on disability inclusion in our working environment. Through this program, individuals with disabilities are invited to spend an entire day at a company to experience what it’s like to work there – actively participating, learning about different roles, and meeting various people throughout the organization.
We designed our Autodesk DuoDay experience around our candidate’s expectations, motivations, and backgrounds. Our candidate, Adrian, had the opportunity to connect with Autodeskers in NA Sales and Territory Account Sales, as well as with a Marketing Manager, a Tech Center Manager, a Workplace Planner, and a People Consultant.
We had a hybrid lunch where Adrian met even more people, including employees engaged in our Country Council, which promotes an inclusive environment. He also spoke with one of our recruiters to better understand the skills that are key to thriving at Autodesk. It was a great day of learning, networking, and creating social connections – for everyone involved!
The importance of disability inclusion
Disability affects everyone in one way or another over the course of one’s life. It is estimated that more than a billion people, or about 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability. Further, 80% of those have “invisible” disabilities, meaning it might not be readily apparent to others that the person has a disability. Due to stigma and discrimination, many people don’t feel comfortable sharing this aspect of their life experience or identity. This is why it’s important to have education and representation to ensure everyone can feel understood, embraced, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work.
In the United States, people with disabilities are three times less likely to be employed than people without disabilities. There are 15.1 million people of working age living with disabilities in the U.S. alone, and research suggests that if companies embrace disability inclusion, they will gain access to a new talent pool of more than 10.7 million people.
Autodesk is committed to fostering a culture of diversity and belonging by providing resources, support, and advocacy. Our MIND Network employee resource group (ERG) is launching in 2023 and will bring together Autodeskers around topics and communities pertaining to Mental Inclusion, Neurodiversity, and Disability. The MIND Network’s mission is to serve employees with neurodivergence and disabilities of all kinds.
Participating in initiatives like DuoDay helps highlight how inclusion makes the workplace better and that there are many kinds of people with disabilities – both visible and invisible – who belong in the workplace!
The more we talk about it, the more we can help advance disability inclusion in our society. By reducing stigma around those with visible and invisible disabilities, being more mindful of what disability means, and being aware that some of our colleagues may have disabilities we don’t know about, we can raise awareness among all employees and managers to help promote the future hiring and retaining of workers with disabilities – helping shape a thriving future for all.