While your company may have a diverse workforce which includes PWDs, it's also important to strive to have PWDs equitably represented in different occupational categories and levels in your workplace.
So make it your aim to remove any factors that may hinder PWDs from advancing in their careers.
Avoid these six obstacles to the career advancement of PWDs
Obstacle #1: Tokenism
Don't hire PWDs just to 'look good'. 'Employers who have this kind of 'charity mentality' miss the potential of PWDs and give little thought to long-term career plans for them,' says Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.
Obstacle #2: Inaccessible physical environments
Very few South African organisations have fully accessible workplaces in relation to the different disabilities. While old buildings can be hard to adapt, even new buildings forget the basics, for example:
Obstacle #3: Misconceptions and ignorance
Employers are seldom experts on disability and they often lack basic knowledge of certain disabilities.
For instance, they may think a particular disability makes the disabled person ideally suited to a specific type of job. Misconceptions like these can lead to inappropriate decision-making when it comes to promotions.
Obstacle #4: Acceptance of the status quo
Don't follow the same procedures only because it's been done like that for years.
Obstacle #5: Us-them thinking
Don't segregate your workforce by gender, race, culture and language. The best business results come from teamwork. 'When it comes to disability, a non-disabled person could become disabled at any time as a result of a medical condition or injury.
Us-them thinking can make it difficult for employees who become disabled to reenter the workplace,' says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.
Obstacle #6: Inaccessible company communication strategies
Make all communication accessible to PWDs. If they don't have access to intranets, newsletters, poster boards and other strategies, they may miss out on promotional opportunities.