Aramco celebrates Day of People with Disabilities
Company working hard to create an environment where all can thrive.
On December 3rd of every year, the world celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities (PwD), and at Saudi Aramco we are no different. With a growing workforce around the world and a commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment, the company continues to enhance its policies and create an environment where all can thrive.
“We are pleased to celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities at Saudi Aramco,” said Nabil Al-Dabal, vice president of Human Resources. We fully recognize the talent, potential, and benefit that People with Disabilities bring to our company and our country. By continuing to celebrate the diversity of our employees, we make Saudi Aramco a more inclusive place for all.”
Equal Opportunities in the Workplace
Currently, 15% of the world’s population are living with disabilities – that is over one billion people. And while awareness has been rising steadily on the needs and rights of People with Disabilities, they still face considerable barriers to equal opportunities in the workplace.
“There is an ecosystem that we need to tackle to ensure the inclusion of People with Disabilities in the workplace,” said Wael Al Amri, the company’s Disability Inclusion Program lead. “Accessibility is a major issue: to education, to suitable job opportunities, to accommodations for those employed to aid in their professional development.”
Al Amri’s own experience with disability has helped him step into this leadership role and support a company-wide strategy to advocate for and drive the inclusion of People with Disabilities. “Our ultimate goal is to make Aramco the number one choice for People with Disabilities, to have more opportunities within the company not just in hiring and recruitment but also to excel on the leadership ladder,” he said.
There is an ecosystem that we need to tackle to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.
— Wael Al Amri, Aramco's Disability Inclusion Program lead
Diversity Helps Companies Grow
Al Amri has been working with the Staffing Department on an updated GI 101.001 to help define the term “People with Disabilities.” Including such a definition is important because it protects the rights of employees with disabilities and ensures their access to services. Al Amri explained that a person with a disability cannot work for a company that doesn’t have a clear policy and isn’t ready to provide reasonable accommodations.
“Of course, no policy is one-size-fits-all,” said Al Amri. “But it’s important for every company to have the willingness to create a culture of inclusion. And these efforts of diversity and inclusion generally have a positive impact on companies.”
Accessibility is Key
The company increased transportation allowance for People with Disabilities in 2018 to cover for their expenses, in addition to introducing a reduced work schedule for persons with disabilities in April, 2019. “Our employees are entitled to adjustments or modifications to make the office more accessible to them as well as additional equipment, and in some cases, flexible work schedules,” said Al Amri.
People with Disabilities face a challenge in the workplace because of common misconceptions. “The mindset is that People with Disabilities are always on medical leaves or that reasonable accommodation will cost a fortune but working remotely is one of the best solutions to hire more People with Disabilities and we’ve seen how quickly and efficiently companies adapted to allow employees to practice that option,” said Al Amri.
Working for the Silent Majority
The Diversity and Inclusion Division provides awareness sessions, webinars, and workshops such as “Ready and Able” that help in including People with Disabilities and explaining barriers that keep People with Disabilities from excelling in the workplace as well as how to provide reasonable accommodations.
To help employees better understand the experience of People with Disabilities, how to communicate effectively, and how to promote inclusion, the Diversity & Inclusion Division has published a communications booklet titled “Inclusion for All: A Conversation about PwD.”