“After women, people with disability are the biggest minority.”
D&I - diversity & inclusion - suddenly seems to be on everyone’s agenda. At MyCollective, our focus is often on the diversity part - but in disability activist, founder and public figure Raúl Krauthausen argues that what we should all be focusing on is inclusion, in the broadest possible sense.
“D&I actually used to just be called ‘inclusion’”, he tells me in this podcast. “And inclusion is essentially the acceptance and management of human diversity. It’s not something you can tick off a checklist - but something that develops over time. So we have to keep fighting for everyone to be thought of and remembered.”
For him, the cause of feminism - so central to our conversations about diversity - illustrates this perfectly: over 100 years after women fought for and won the right to vote, there still isn’t adequate female representation in our businesses or political leadership. “It's never over,” he says. “The further we come in the debate, the more injustices we uncover. 100 years lie between the female right to vote and today’s discussion about female quotas. Inclusion isn’t something passive. It means that someone with a disability can be the CEO.”
As founder of Sozialhelden, he lobbies for legislation to make this happen. It’s about removing barriers - both in the physical and in the metaphorical sense. With Sozialhelden, he developed “a kind of google maps for people in wheelchairs” - WheelMap - one of many examples that show how disability (or just a diversity of needs in general) can drive innovation: “Alexa, Siri, Kindle, the electric toothbrush - these are all inventions made with disability in mind. There’s huge innovation potential around creating access for people. We need to stop seeing disability as a deficit - it’s also a chance for a different perspective on the world.” ❤️
For companies who want to remove barriers and create more opportunities for different-abled people, he has some excellent advice (which incidentally works for anyone wanting to include more people from any kind of minority!):
👉 create job ads in a way that are more inclusive. Stop using language that might exclude certain groups and discourage them from applying.
👉 consider hiring for diversity and then providing training to get everyone up to standard. Those trainings are useful for everyone, he says: “We ask everyone, regardless of whether or not they have a disability, the same question: how can we remove barriers in your place of work? People always come back with a lot of ideas!”
I learned so much from and was so inspired by this conversation with Raúl that I can only encourage you to listen to it too (it’s in German):
And we’d love to hear from you too - what are your ideas to break down barriers?
Speaker: Raúl Krauthausen, Activist for Inclusion & Founder @SozialHelden
Music: sponsored by @Michaelkadelbach
Picture: Anna Spindelndreier / Raul Krauthausen
Graphic & Production: MyCollective
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