Everyone has the right to be included. This means that people with and without disabilities should of course be able to live and work alongside one another, because disability and productivity are not mutually exclusive. People with disabilities should have equal opportunities, the right to self-determination and also be able to work alongside people without disabilities. This is anchored in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. There is sometimes a considerable difference between the legal inclusion of people with disabilities and their actual inclusion, but the first steps have already been taken: inclusion starts in the mind, which is why all participants are aware of its relevance and significance.
Inclusion action plan
RWE has already made some headway when it comes to integration; however, we do not want to be complacent. This is why RWE’s representatives for persons with severe disabilities, works councils, employee representatives, leadership representatives and employees across all of our companies set up an inclusion action plan in a number of different workshops, with the support of the Integration Office of the Rhineland Regional Council (LVR). The focus is not only on employment quotas for people with disabilities, but also primarily on equal opportunities, i.e. the opportunity for equal participation within the workplace. Maintaining equality – both in the workplace and in the minds of our colleagues – plays an essential role.
Diversity is our strength
Part of the action plan is to increase awareness of the topic of inclusion. Inclusion means that people with disabilities can still be “in the thick of it” when it comes to company operations. As a result, there should be no obstacles to their participation. This involves not only establishing barrier-free workplaces but also dismantling the barriers in people’s minds. The action plan covers a range of measures in order to do this. The topic of inclusion starts by changing the corporate culture and goes well beyond training for young people. For example, inclusion and the appreciation of diversity are both fixed aspects of our Code of Conduct, target agreements and performance reviews. Only by doing this can we live up to the principles enshrined in our corporate philosophy.
With our action plan, we can create the framework for the inclusion of all RWE employees. Diversity is our strength! And people with disabilities are part of this diversity.