Standard Chartered reiterates commitment to diversity, inclusive banking


By Sandra Agyeiwaa OTOO

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank, Mansa Nettey, has reaffirmed her outfit’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusive banking, with a focus on persons with disabilities (PWDs).

She believes that accepting all abilities promotes a competitive edge, fosters innovation and ensures equitable opportunity at work.

This is particularly key, as the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is becoming more widely recognized, necessitating strong and intentional efforts to remove barriers to disability inclusion and full and equal participation of people with disabilities.

She said this at the 2024 Career Fair for persons living with disabilities, themed, ‘Empowering Inclusivity’. The two-day event, organised by Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, forms part of the effort to advocate disability inclusion at workplaces.

It is also consistent with the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy, which advocates disability inclusion as a human right and an economic necessity.

“As a bank, we are committed to diversity and inclusion. We believe that a culture that embraces diversity will enable us to get the best out of the broadest section of people to sustain strong performance and competitive advantage. Our work environment and improvement processes are free from discrimination on the basis of disability,” she stated.

The Career Fair was organised in collaboration with the Ghana Federation for Disability Organizations (GFD) and other national and international partners such as the British High Commission, British Council, Altruistic Foundation, United Nations Ghana, Promoting Equal Rights for Women and Girls with Disabilities in Ghana (PERD), Orica West Africa, Sightsavers, UKGCC and the Multimedia Group.

The fair plays an important role in advancing inclusivity in the workforce by connecting people with disability to employment opportunities and empowering companies to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces.

“Our premises have the necessary physical modifications to accommodate the specific needs of differently abled persons. This includes designated parking slots, washrooms, special teller areas and our ATMs have braille keyboards for the visually impaired. All our floors are equipped with emergency flashlights to assist colleagues with visual impairments during emergencies,” she revealed.

Commenting further, she said: “We are passionate about this fair and appreciate the benefits it offers to those potential employers and employees. We are committed to promoting equality at the workplace and creating an inclusive and flexible culture. Everyone can realise that their full potential can make a positive contribution to our organisation. This in turn helps us provide better support to our broad-based clients.

“We continue to engage persons with disabilities and ensure that our recruitment processes do not exclude qualified persons because of their challenge. We also ensure the workplace is disability friendly providing a conducive environment to thrive and grow.”

The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, in a speech read on her behalf, noted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are aiming for a better, fairer and more sustainable world by 2030, are struggling with various obstacles.

“The SDGs, which serve as a roadmap for achieving a more robust, equitable, and sustainable global future by 2030, face significant challenges. According to the UN, our progress towards these goals is currently at risk due to the climate crisis, ongoing conflicts, a challenging global economic environment and the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she noted.

She indicated that in Ghana, around 38.5 percent of homes with disabled people live below the national poverty level -poverty is more prevalent in households with a disabled person than in households without one.

The High Commissioner underscored the crucial need for poverty reduction methods and economic empowerment opportunities, such as the Disability Career Fair, to help households lift themselves out of poverty and contribute to the country’s long-term economic development.

Prior to the Career Fair, over 50 people with disabilities participated in a boot camp. The bootcamp engaged the candidates and discussed job hunting tactics. It also included an entrepreneurial seminar on how to successfully operate a firm, budgeting, inventory management and business planning.

The two-day annual Disability Career Fair offers a unique opportunity and platform for young people with disabilities to not only improve their employability and entrepreneurship skills, but also contribute to the country’s long-term economic development.

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