Danske Bank will be sharing its experiences as a disability confident employer at an international summit which is being held in Northern Ireland for the first time this week (7-8 June).

The Harkin International Disability Employment Summit 2022, which is being supported by the NI Executive’s Department for Communities, will draw hundreds of delegates from around the world to the ICC Conference Centre to discuss how organisations can approach, support and enable persons with disabilities to achieve their career goals and aspirations.

Danske has been invited to share its experience as an employer of the benefits of integrating disability within its diversity and inclusion programmes, having won a number of awards for its work in this area and recently being recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s top ten Best Companies to Work For*.

The Bank is currently working with a number of partners to provide people with learning difficulties, autism and other disabilities with work experience and employment opportunities.

Two such partners, the NOW Group and Stepping Stones NI will join Danske Bank to share their perspectives in the session. Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive of the Business Disability Forum, will also join the session, an organisation that exists to transform the life chances of disabled people working through and with business to create a disability smart world.

Stephen Matchett, Deputy CEO at Danske Bank and the founder and senior sponsor of Enable, the bank’s disability network, will speak at the summit. He said:

“I’ve heard it said that ‘people who see the world differently are the ones who can see things we never do’. That’s absolutely been Danske’s experience.

“We’ve developed excellent partnerships with organisations such as Stepping Stones and the NOW Group to create strong pathways into employment. We’re already benefitting from new placements and roles in branch, and in our mortgage support and automation teams, and I hope that other employers at the conference will be encouraged by how our colleagues and customers have benefitted from this approach.”

Jenny Moore, Employment Counsel at Danske Bank, leads the bank’s Belong strategy. At the Summit she will share the Bank’s approach to fostering an inclusive workplace in which all colleagues feel as though they belong. Jenny said:

“Diversity and inclusion are key values for Danske. Enabling our colleagues with disabilities or long term health conditions is an integral part of our work in this area. Our experience is that diversity and inclusion are good for colleagues and good for business. At Danske Bank, we see diversity as a strength, and research bears out this perspective. Diversity is a source of insight and adaptability, generating better business ideas and high-quality service for our customers.”

Danske Bank is a founding member of Neurodiversity in Business, a new UK-wide business-led forum. The Bank is also signatory of The Valuable 500, the Equality Commission NI’s Every Customer Counts charter and is recognised as a Disability Confident Committed** employer.

*From Best Companies UK Q2 2022 results.

** Disability Confident employer scheme - GOV.UK

For more information on the Harkin Summit please visit their website.