15th July 2023

A sporting and HR collaboration will highlight the benefits of hiring staff with disabilities.

Louise Hunt Skelley PLY, the former British wheelchair tennis player, is joining forces with HR expert Rachel Weaven. Together they’ll deliver an inclusivity workshop to highlight the benefits of hiring staff with disabilities.

Although inclusivity has been high on every company’s HR agenda recently, the language is always evolving. Further, the way people live and identify is evolving. As a result companies must be mindful of keeping up with what is a huge and ever-changing area.

A Sporting and HR Collaboration   - Louise Hunt Skelley and Rachel Weaven who are holding a workshop for employers and managers on inclusivity in the workplace focusing on disability. Picture taken by Barbara Leatham.
A Sporting and HR Collaboration – Louise Hunt Skelley and Rachel Weaven who are holding a workshop for employers and managers on inclusivity in the workplace focusing on disability.
Picture taken by Barbara Leatham.

The workshops

”The workshops will help people understand the benefits of hiring people with ‘protected characteristics’. That’s such things as age, disability and religion*. And what they can do to support them and help them to access opportunities,” said Louise.

‘Often these employees turn out to be the most loyal and the most committed. In particular those with disabilities because they may have struggled to get employment or have anyone take a serious approach to their expertise. It’s very easy for people to see only a ‘disability’ and not a committed and serious employee.’ (or similar)

Louise will deliver the workshop in partnership with Wiltshire-based HR expert Rachel Weaven, of face2face HR.

I like to take a proactive approach to inclusivity, focusing on more than the legislation. I want to promote the benefits of inclusivity in a fun and engaging way,’ Rachel said.

When introduced to Louise, we started talking about inclusivity. We clicked straight away, we are both so passionate about the area.’

Louise takes up the story: ‘Rachel has a history working in HR for different companies. She likes to make it cooler and less stigmatised for them to understand the benefits of hiring people with protected characteristics.

A sensible move


‘It made sense to combine our passions and help people embrace people for their different characteristics. It’s my belief that such characteristic will make them powerful and valuable employees.’

For the workshop on Wednesday September 20 , Rachel will bring her HR experience. Meanwhile Louise will bring her lived experiences of disability and the stigma around it.

Louise said: ”’ll be talking about disability and the reasonable adjustments that need making. And why it’s not something to worry about. Often the most simple changes can support a disabled employee to do their job with excellence.’

At length, Louise and Rachel plan to deliver workshops tailored to the needs of companies or organisations that want to learn more about how to become more inclusive across the board. Each workshop would focus on a specific protected characteristic.

Louise is clear though, that the workshop is not about pointing the finger at businesses and criticising their inclusivity policies.

‘We want it to be a safe space, an environment where people can ask questions that they may tend to be afraid of or discuss concerns around these areas. There will be no such thing as a ‘stupid’ question. We want to explain why hiring people with protected characteristics will help and why they don’t need to fear it.’

Louise and Rachel are holding the workshop on Wednesday September 20 at Cotswold Park Barns in Woodmancote.

There’s a limit of twenty attendees for this sporting and HR collaboration and tickets are available from https://tdy.lol/ImLez



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