Best Partnership Finalist: The Dow Chemical Company

The Dow Chemical Company: Focusing on Abilitites

Through its partnership with MyHandicap, Dow is helping the disabled improve their access to the workplace through innovative training and online information.

Overview

MyHandicap and Dow have entered a multi-year corporate social responsibility project. The cooperation focuses on improved measures to integrate people with disabilities by improving their employability.

As a global company, Dow thrives on diversity, on the creativity and competence of all employees. This includes the hiring, retention, and development of people with disabilities. According to Dow, everybody, without exception, needs to be challenged, rewarded, and developed. It also makes good business sense to create a diverse and inclusive workgroup as a means to fuel innovation, the lifeblood of growth.

What Dow Has Accomplished

The Dow and MyHandicap partnership believe companies, administrations, and organizations will benefit when educated on the viability of the abilities of those with disabilities.

Based on that principle, Dow and MyHandicap identified their business case and identified the areas of strategic focus for their cooperation.

MyHandicap receives operatiions and financial support from Dow Europe for the implementation of its activities:

  • Job training for people with disabilities with a focus on the application process. This includes dialogue with Dow leaders on job and market situations;
  • Coaching of Dow leaders and HR specialists;
  • Expanding the MyHandicap internet platform for several European countries;
  • Establish a direct online dialogue/career orientation forum.

Since 2011 Dow and MyHandicap have held three workshops for people with disabilities in Switzerland and Germany. The workshops were jointly promoted by Dow-MyHandicap, using flyers, MyHandicap website, and social media outlets, as well as direct mail from MyHandicap.

In these workshops, the participants learn how to present themselves at an individual and professional level, and how to prepare themselves for a job interview with a potential employer. These workshops also train Dow leadership and Dow employees by enhancing awareness about people with disabilities and their abilities; teaching basic rules for a correct behavior; and advice in dealing with various handicap types.

So far, 64 disabled people participated in the workshops, and more than 200,000 visited the job website in 2012.

Why This Project Makes Sense

The Dow – MyHandicap partnership adds valuable training modules to the company’s integrated global curriculum that incorporates diversity and inclusion training for employees at all levels, aimed at cultivating an inclusive work environment at Dow.

For MyHandicap’s stakeholders, having input and insight into an international company and its HR expertise is extremely valuable. Through application workshops and their interaction with Dow leaders and employees, stakeholders  can experience an excellent example and confirm that companies are often very accessible for people with disabilities.

Input from the visitors to the MyHandicap on-line platform, workshop participants, and from the project team makes clear that very often, the same issues occur in different countries. This validates the need for international outreach and the sharing of information and contacts.

The direct dialogue between Dow and MyHandicap and the joint prohject team’s work  has enabled awareness of resources and challenges and has assisted in setting realistic goals and a realistic level of expectations on both sides.