Jon Davies has been announced as the Executive Sponsor for the Ability Network in Compass Group UK & Ireland. ‘Ability’, has been launched alongside our other colleague networks, with the aim of supporting awareness and inclusion of those living with disabilities. Jon is the Managing Director of Levy UK + Ireland, which specialises in catering and hospitality services across stadia and the entertainment industry.
What is your role in the Ability network?
I am the Executive Sponsor and proud to represent the Ability network, both within Compass and externally. This is an area I am really passionate about and I want to create an honest and open culture within our organisation, where everyone is welcomed and feels safe.
It is a great privilege to be leading this network to help drive change in attitudes and raise awareness of both hidden and more visible disabilities.
The network and my role is important, to ensure we are better represented at all levels and bring those with disabilities into the organisation and help them flourish.
What is the aim of the Ability network?
The network offers a safe space for discussion, raises awareness, offers sources of support and is a collective voice to inform change and create solutions. Through this new network we want to encourage people with nonvisible and physical disabilities to understand there are opportunities to come into the workplace, develop and thrive.
More than 4.7 million disabled people are in work. The employment rate of disabled people is 53%. Compared to 82% of non-disabled people. Disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people, and 3 times as likely to be economically inactive. *
These stats need to change and we can provide an environment where everyone feels safe and nurtured. As a business we have to challenge the norm - from how we design our workspaces, how we recruit and how we induct. I think the more diversity we welcome into our business, the better and stronger we will be.
What’s next for Ability?
To make progress you first need to understand your current position. With the core working group we need to understand what does our current workforce look like? It is important for us to educate and inform our people, and we want to ensure we help those currently in the organisation. Once we have a baseline, we can then challenge ourselves to set targets to drive change. This network ensures we will have ambassadors across the business to move the agenda forward in the way we want to.
We have a great opportunity to make real change and have a big impact on the lives of the people we employ.
I look forward to working with this network, growing the group of people involved and driving our inclusion for all agenda forward.