Disability: an approach that respects the specific features of every affiliate

12/02/2022

TotalEnergies has been a member of the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network for four years now and is committed to particularly promoting five of the ten key principles in the Charter. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on December 3rd, represents the ideal opportunity to shine the spotlight on this partnership and how that commitment has been put into action. Joint interview with Camille Manceau, Head of Diversity & Inclusion – People & ESG within the People & Social Engagement Division, and Jürgen Menze, ILO Global Business and Disability Network Manager.

What challenges does TotalEnergies face when it comes to supporting employees with disabilities?

Camille Manceau / We need to continue our efforts to create an inclusive work environment where everyone feels respected and at ease. This applies to all the things that make us different, and that obviously includes disabilities. On this particular topic, we need to make sure that employees with disabilities feel comfortable enough to disclose and talk about them with HR, their manager and their colleagues. On a practical level, the challenge is obviously ensuring that workstations are adapted whenever necessary. That might involve hardware and equipment, but that is not all. Digital accessibility is another major issue that we are currently addressing. Finally, there is the real challenge of drawing attention to the issue and ensuring that it is clearly understood, especially with an international group like our Company. Not every country sees or defines disabilities in the same way.

How has the Global Business and Disability Network helped you tackle these challenges?

C. M. / First of all, it has given us chance to talk with other members of the network and learn from their experiences. It has also helped the topic gain traction within the Company. In 2018, we invited our affiliates to engage with five of the ten principles in the ILO Global Business and Disability Network Charter [see box]. To date, 41 affiliates have stepped up to the plate. These principles provide a framework for working together in defining a progressive strategy that respects the specific features of each country.

Jürgen Menze / That is precisely the spirit behind the network, which currently has 35 multinational enterprise members. The network aims to promote the inclusion of disabilities in workplaces around the world. We have implemented a set of initiatives to encourage our members to share their best practices and learn not just from one another but also from other stakeholders, such as NGOs. The network's international scale, and its many local networks, is a real opportunity for companies like TotalEnergies to broaden and adapt their disability inclusion policies in the countries where they do business. We have also developed a range of practical solutions, such as a self-assessment tool that will also soon be applied within TotalEnergies.

Can you tell us more about the self-assessment tool?

J. M. / It contains 47 questions that have been designed to allow companies to determine their disability inclusion performance in four areas, namely non-discrimination, inclusion culture, customer service and leadership. The aim is to detect the opportunities for improvement using a score-based system. I think that TotalEnergies will find the self-assessment tool extremely useful for identifying the success stories that are common to certain affiliates and determining which priority actions need implementing for each country. 

C. M. / I would like to add that the tool is an opportunity to get all the stakeholders to join forces, whether Procurement, Human Resources or Communication, and work together in addressing the topic of disabilities and taking on-the-ground action to really move the issue forward.

Jürgen, what do you believe that TotalEnergies brings to the ILO Global Business and Disability Network?

J. M. / Since TotalEnergies joined us in 2018, they have been one of the most active companies in the network. They have developed a highly collaborative approach towards the other members and shared several best practices. One example that comes to mind is an initiative that they recently shared with us, which involves training employees with disabilities about digital accessibility, so that they in turn can advise other companies on the issue. This seems to be a highly promising approach, which could easily be adopted by other members. Basically, it's a win-win partnership!

Camille Manceau,
Head of Diversity & Inclusion – People & ESG, TotalEnergies

Jürgen Menze,
ILO Global Business and Disability Network Manager

TotalEnergies is committed to supporting five key principles in the ILO Global Business and Disability Network Charter:

  • Promote and respect the rights of persons with disabilities by raising awareness and combating stigma and stereotypes faced by persons with disabilities.
  • Develop policies and practices that protect persons with disabilities from all types of discrimination.
  • Progressively make the company premises and communication to staff accessible for all employees with disabilities.
  • Undertake appropriate measures to enable current employees who acquire a disability to retain or return to their employment.
  • Respect confidentiality of personal information regarding disability.