Disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people are, according to the charity Scope. These are people who are being ignored by businesses from both an employee and a consumer perspective. Indeed the collective spending power of the more than 1.3 billion people living with disabilities and their families is over $8 trillion, according to The Valuable 500.
While there has been many a discussion had around the gender or ethnic recruitment gap, not much time has been given to exploring the disability employment gap in the UK. TBWA\London’s new campaign for BECO. aims to do just that by encouraging business leaders to ‘Steal Our Staff.’
BECO., a social enterprise that makes environmentally-friendly toiletries with an 80% visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged workforce, aims to disrupt outdated workplace attitudes towards people with disabilities with a very different kind of recruitment ad. BECO. are actively encouraging British businesses to recognise each individual’s aptitude for the roles and hire their staff.
Part of the campaign sees BECO. staff CVs printed onto products’ packaging, which is being stocked in Boots, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Alongside the CVs are messages inviting other businesses to employ these individuals.
The campaign also includes an open letter in which BECO. challenges employers to take a stand when it comes to hiring people with disabilities. A series of films, supported by Channel 4, bring the campaign to life, with real BECO. staff as the stars. The films play off TV’s audio description function by giving employees the space to talk back. In one, a blind man with his dog is accompanied by a voiceover that says, “A man with a guide dog stands on the factory floor looking sad” to which the man responds, “Not as sad as the 1.1 million disabled people struggling to find work, voice man.”
The CVs will also feature as part of OOH ads situated near high profile businesses giving a platform to those staff with the most appropriate skills for that business. BECO.’s website, acting as a recruitment hub, will share information to help employers actually steal their staff, after TBWA\London partnered with Scope, The Valuable 500, Open Inclusion and Virgin Media to pull together the appropriate resources for the site.
This expansive and truly integrated campaign highlights the power and influence that one business can have on others around them. As the conversation shifts from diversity to inclusion, campaigns like this and companies like BECO. are ensuring that the focus remains on every part of the inclusive conversation.