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DRUK speaks on diversity in employment at Recfest

15 July 2019

We were invited by Hired, a recruitment agency specialising in the tech industry, to put forward a speaker for RecFest, the largest independent event on the planet for in-house recruiting, resourcing & talent acquisition.

DR UK’s new ambassador Yasmin Sheikh was part of the panel discussion on 'Nailing Disability: The Art of Thinking Differently Together' and CEO Kamran Mallick attended the event. Founder of Diverse Matters, Yasmin was a personal injury lawyer who suddenly became disabled at the age of 29. She is a wheelchair user and uses her lived experience of life both as an active non-disabled person and as a wheelchair user facing barriers and people’s negative attitudes. The panel discussed issues including the unconscious bias that we can all be guilty of, that the true value of diversity needs to be recognised. Yasmin spoke from her own experience that disability is always the last equality strand to be considered. When she tried to return to work after treatment her manager said “you know what Yasmin if everyone we employed was like you, the business would go under”.

The UK’s £32.2 billion recruitment industry fills almost a million permanent jobs per year and handle 1.3 million agency workers every day. The industry is therefore an important focus for DR UK’s key objective of opening up the world of work for disabled people. Recruitment agencies often have to work at great speed which makes it difficult to put reasonable adjustments in place and they have a built-in incentive to please the clients (the recruiting companies) and may be tempted not to put forward disabled candidates.

DR UK will be working with Hired to improve their offer for disabled people and to learn lessons that can be applied to the industry as a whole.