According to the Olivenza Report, over half of Spanish citizens with some kind of disability are unemployed and at risk of social exclusion. Furthermore, there is the issue of age, which in most cases increases the difficulty in finding work.
Given these figures, on 17 October the National Disability Observatory published a special report to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, stating the need to implement measures to reinforce employment inclusion, deal with special cases of older people and consider disability in policies against social exclusion, to make it something transversal.
Recently the Public Employment Service presented a series of guidelines for employers to clarify and expand the information on employing people with disabilities. This document also highlights by law, at least 2% of positions in companies with over 50 employees must be held by disabled workers.
I say responsibility – not obligation – because it is a commitment for all of us to promote the integration of function diversity in the workplace. This requires providing all elements that may aid their professional performance, just as we do for any other employee, and creating a respectful, open working environment.
It is particularly important to be able to discuss diversity. For this reason the human resources and internal communication departments have such an important role to play. Both must generate a strategy for fostering communication tools to allow more dialogue between employees and promote interaction between colleagues.
Diversity also fosters something very positive for businesses, working environments and society in general, which is to create value through knowledge of other realities. This allows us to create a richer, more plural collective awareness that can adapt to all settings and provide opportunities for growth for everyone involved.
In the specific case of Enagás, we are setting up a series of initiatives to achieve this. These include our Integrated Diversity Plan and a set of corporate directives in this area which have taken the form of actions relating to the socio-labour inclusion of people with disabilities and, through our voluntary work, to bring our professionals closer to the reality of specific function diversity sectors.
In honour of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities held on 3 December each year, I would like to thank everyone who makes it possible to strive towards diversity at work, and in particular, to those who are fighting day after day to receive the acknowledgement that they deserve.