As a champion of diversity and inclusion in the business world, Christiane Bisanzio, of AXA, is one of the Top 50 Diversity Professionals in the Economist’s Global Diversity List and she was recently featured in an interview on People Matters’ website. Bisanzio shapes her company’s agenda for inclusion by ensuring that inclusion is embedded in all its business.
Bisanzio asserts that a strategic high-level view is necessary to be a leader in the areas of diversity and inclusion. She believes that diversity is essential in part because “you cannot be what you cannot see.” Having role models who share some of their characteristics broadens people’s perceived career options. To support inclusion of employees with disabilities, you need accessibility and acceptability. Rather than matching disabilities to job roles, companies should make sure that they have accessibility strategies in place—and that they work. For example, AXA provides a captioning service for its conference calls that has been very successful. Many modifications to physical workspaces may not be truly accessible if they haven’t been tested properly and involved the input of people who use them.
Bisanzio stands by the idea that a company that does not reflect the diversity of society cannot be truly successful as a profitable business or as an appealing employer. Read the full interview here.