Episode 214 - Empowering Accessibility in the Workplace: A Conversation with Briar Harte on International Day of People with Disabilities
Diversity and inclusion are increasingly recognized as pillars of a successful corporate culture, the importance of accessibility in the workplace cannot be overstated. As we approach the International Day of People with Disabilities, The Job Hunting Podcast had the privilege of hosting Briar Harte, an esteemed accessibility advocate and transformation leader. In this enlightening episode, Harte shares her invaluable insights on fostering an accessible and inclusive work environment.
The Imperative of Workplace Accessibility
Briar Harte’s journey is not just inspiring but also a powerful reminder of the necessity of inclusive practices in the workplace. After becoming disabled, Harte’s perspective on accessibility shifted profoundly, fueling her passion for making workplaces more accommodating for people with disabilities. Her role, Briar leads initiatives to enhance accessibility, not just for employees, but also for customers, partners, and communities.
Here are the key take-aways from our conversation:
There is a strong business case for enhancing accessibility in the workplace: One of the significant takeaways from our conversation is the variety of strategies companies can implement to improve accessibility. Briar emphasized the importance of empathy and understanding in designing workplaces that cater to the needs of all employees. Simple yet effective measures can include ergonomic adjustments, flexible work arrangements, and accessible technology. Briar articulately makes the business case for accessibility, debunking the myth that inclusive practices are costly or secondary. By fostering an inclusive environment, companies can tap into a broader talent pool, enhance employee satisfaction, and improve their brand reputation.
Empowering employees with disabilities is the first step: A crucial part of our discussion revolved around empowering professionals with disabilities. Briar provided practical advice for individuals to advocate for their needs effectively. She stressed the importance of open communication and the role of leadership in creating an environment where employees feel comfortable and valued, regardless of their abilities.
There is an important role for peers and colleagues: Briar also touched on the responsibility of colleagues in fostering an inclusive environment. Simple actions like being mindful of language, offering support when needed, and advocating for accessibility improvements can make a significant difference in the workplace culture.
Looking Ahead: The Future of Workplace Accessibility
As we wrapped up our conversation, I couldn't stop but wonder what the future is going to look like when it comes to workplace accessibility. It's wonderful to envision a world where accessibility is not an afterthought but a fundamental aspect of corporate strategy and design. For this vision to become a reality, both individuals and organizations must take proactive steps towards inclusivity.
I hope this conversation with Briar Harte becomes a call to action for professionals and companies, helping us all reflect on how we can contribute to making our workplaces more accessible and inclusive. The insights shared by Briar Harte are a valuable resource for anyone looking to champion these initiatives in their professional sphere.
About our guest, Briar Harte
Briar Harte is an advocate for a more inclusive and accessible world. As the Accessibility Strategy & Transformation Lead at nbn Australia, Briar is pioneering initiatives to enhance accessibility across the board - for employees, customers, partners, and the wider community. Her leadership and strategic vision stem from over a decade of experience in customer-led transformation, spanning various industries and markets. Briar's expertise is deeply rooted in design thinking, data analysis, insights, and organizational change, making her a vanguard in the realm of corporate accessibility.
Her journey is not just professional but also deeply personal. Following her own experience with disability, Briar transformed her life's challenge into a catalyst for advocacy and change. She is on a mission to showcase the business and social imperatives of accessibility and inclusion. Briar's approach uniquely combines her technical acumen with her lived experiences, enabling her to craft and implement programs that are effective and resonate with those they are designed to help.
Resources mentioned in this episode
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