This month ENABLE is celebrating its tenth anniversary as an Employee Resource Group (ERG) at New York Life! ENABLE is focused on raising awareness of disability issues and supporting an inclusive environment for people of all abilities. For 10 years, ENABLE has been raising awareness for employees of issues related to disabilities through educational programming, volunteer opportunities, external guest speakers, and multi-channel communications.
ENABLE has also worked closely with company leadership to make recommendations and take action on business-related activities such as:
• Worked with Human Resources and Building Management in 2016 to assess the accessibility of the Home Office and also launched an effort to refine the process for sourcing and securing employee accommodation requests.
• Partnered with Human Resources in 2017 to add self-identification into HR Central for employees to self-identify as someone who has or has had a disability.
•Partnered with the New York Life Foundation in 2018 to award $150,000 in grants to support special needs and disabled children.
• Partnered with the New York Life Foundation in 2019 to create grants for people with disabilities.
• Collaborated with the NYL Ventures team in 2017 and 2020 to include a disability/ accessibility challenge for our annual NYLHack hackathon.
• Collaborates with our Supplier Diversity Program, which advocates for the inclusion of disability-owned businesses in our procurement process.
Perhaps the most memorable event ENABLE hosts annually is the Beyond Disability Employee Panel. During this event, three employees, each of whom either have a disability or are a caretaker for someone with a disability, share their experiences through an intimate and personal dialogue. Stories shared have ranged from elder care for an ailing parent, visual impairments, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, mental illness, and parent of a child with special needs. No matter the disabilities that are featured, these panels always prove to be inspiring, emotional, and heart-warming. Our Walk in Someone’s Shoes workshop, which simulates cognitive, emotional, or physical challenges, is also an important ENABLE event.
In this video, ENABLE Executive Sponsor, Joel Steinberg, Head of Talent Management and Chief Diversity Officer, Kathleen Navarro, and several former ENABLE co-chairs offer their perspectives on how the ERG has evolved over the past ten years and each highlight what makes ENABLE special to them.
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