PIONEERING DISABILITY MANAGEMENT IN AUSTRIA
Monday 19 October 2020
UniCredit Bank Austria celebrated D&I Week with several online events focused on how to support people with disabilities
UniCredit Bank Austria created its own Disability Management Team 10 years ago. The team, which focuses on both employees and customers, has received several awards and was recently recognised for championing disability at the Financial Times’ Diversity in Finance Awards 2020.
Diversity management – inclusion as a unique selling point
Talking to an online audience of 220 employees, UniCredit Bank Austria’s Christian Schinko (Head of Disability Management), Sonja Bergaus (Disability Management) and Christoph Bures (Central Disability Trustee) outlined the work of the team over the last ten years.
AsChristian Schinko said: “Inclusion and accessibility are not only a question of social responsibility, but also a question of economic necessity. This why UniCredit Bank Austria started offering all its services in an accessible format already ten years ago. The key success factor for sustainable inclusion are the commitment of the top management and acknowledgement from employees of the needs and obstacles of people with disabilities.”
Understanding the challenges of those living with a disability
A ‘sensing journey’ gave all participants a glimpse of what it is like to live with a disability. Colleagues who participated in the Disability Session with Julia Moser, Senior Advisor at my Ability, had the opportunity to experience the challenges that people with disabilities face in everyday life during an innovative session which opened the eyes of many participants.
“For me, it was a real ‘awareness’ of how valuable health is and an experience of the limitations and challenges that everyday life can bring,” said Burak Yilmaz, UniCredit graduate in I&C Bank Austria.
“The event has shed light to the small things and trivialities that can present a major challenge for people with disabilities,” added Jasmina Punek, who works for Human Capital Inclusion and Culture Coordination in Bank Austria.
Disability can affect us all
Finally, Stephan Böhm, professor at the University of St. Gallen, explained why companies are actively working on diversity and inclusion in times of crisis. “Disability and ageing are closely linked. The older we get, the higher the probability that we will develop a disability ourselves. It can affect each and every one of us on every single day,” emphasised the professor in his keynote speech.