Oracle is committed to creating a workplace where all kinds of people can succeed without barriers. Why? Because we know that in order to tackle the world’s most important problems, our workforce needs to be reflective of the billions of people that use our technology.
In that sense, being inclusive isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good business. By increasing access to people with differing abilities, we open ourselves up to new ways of thinking and even higher levels of innovation. Read on to find out all the ways we’re making abilities matter—for all the right reasons.
Hiring and supporting people with disabilities
We don’t just talk the talk when it comes to diversity. We make it a reality by putting a huge amount of focus on our diversity recruiting efforts and partnerships with organizations like Tech Inclusion and the National Federation of the Blind.
Then there’s our custom Disability Resource Guide. It helps our employees learn about disabilities and our specialized tools that can help people of all abilities be effective. Take for example Joey Bishop, a Customer Success Manager and US veteran who brings his emotional support animal to work to help him cope with his invisible disability—PTSD.
“My leadership team have been a major support. They’ve been completely receptive to my needs and instrumental in getting approval for any and everything I’ve found helpful,” says the former Marine.
Fostering a culture of inclusion
Above all, our company-wide culture of disability inclusion is what really ensures that everyone can contribute to our organization in a meaningful way. Our internal communications, Employee Resource Groups and inclusive events help our employees embrace what it means to be different while also creating an open dialogue about the best ways to support our colleagues with disabilities.
During their office-wide Diversity Week, Oracle Ireland hosted an interactive disability awareness course, to open up our eyes to the struggles that many face on a daily basis. Our colleagues also tapped into the power of storytelling, and designed a safe space for people to share their personal experiences and perspectives of diversity.
Project Manager at Oracle Digital, Eva McEneaney, told us that she found the experience extremely constructive, “I was honored to help organize our first ever Diversity Week. Sharing my story of living with spina bifida has made me more confident and comfortable in my work. I’m delighted it encouraged more people to share their stories.”
Meanwhile, in Brazil, we hosted an engaging workshop for business leaders, recruiters, and professionals with disabilities. It focused on how best to hire people with disabilities, remove the perception of barriers, and how to shift mindsets in the workplace. Business Analyst, Erica Nunes, says that these kind of efforts are crucial.
“Events like these are extremely important to both people with disabilities and without. Not only do they give us access to information, they give us the opportunity to strengthen our relationships with dialogue, understanding, and respect. That’s why we’re so lucky at Oracle to have leaders that advocate for diversity and inclusion.”
Creating accessible technologies for all
We’re not just taking action in the office. Our commitment to accessibility is paramount to our technology too. As Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect, Edward Screven, says, "Oracle's business is information—how to manage it, use it, share it, protect it. Our commitment to create products that simplify, standardize and automate extends to all users, including those who have a disability."
Our Accessibility Program Office is responsible for setting these kind of standards, and training employees so that they can build products that everyone can use. As a leader in accessibility technology, we regularly share our advances in this field and shine a light on how to integrate accessibility into the development process.
Making a difference in society
Our advances in the cloud are helping inclusive organizations advance their mission to create more opportunities for people with disabilities. For example, Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IBVI) is a company that has a very unique workforce, in that 80% of its direct-labor employees are blind or visually impaired.
That used to mean that visually impaired employees required guidance from a sighted employee. But now, thanks to the accessibility of Oracle Cloud Applications, these employees can be successful in their roles and have greater independence. This has opened the door to new careers in finance, HR, and customer service.
The secret to working successfully with colleagues of all abilities
When it comes to working well with people, we’ve learned that there’s no one size that fits all. So we wanted to leave you with a piece of wisdom from one of our many inspiring employees, Harrison Greanias. He’s a superstar Regional Sales Manager who also happens to be legally blind.
“Sometimes people ask me for advice on the best way to work with their disabled colleagues. What I tell them is that curiosity is a good thing. Don’t be afraid to ask them how to best work and communicate. In my experience, finding new ways to communicate and accomplish something often leads to a more effective work environment for everyone.”