A new programme to support and develop senior leaders with a disability has been launched today by the government. The new scheme, called the Catalysts Programme, will bring senior leaders with disability together from across the public sector, with the aim of developing them to CEO level in their respective fields.
With over 15% of the population disabled and employment in corporations running under 5% there is lost and missed talent available for development driving excellence, operations, customer service and profitability in government and corporations.
In launching this initiative, the UK government takes a lead role in embracing 1.85 billion people world-wide which is over 15% of the worldwide (#WeThe15) working population with a spend along with their families of $13 trillion annually. Many global countries will take the UK lead to embrace change to make a positive and inclusive accessible difference to so many in our world benefiting 1 in every 5 global families.
We at Kaleidoscope want to see and promote more disabled leaders in government and corporations, both across the UK and Globally. Neurodiverse talent like Stephen Hawking & Elon Musk create light from the darkness and save the world reducing carbon emissions and new strategies that are life enhancing for the betterment of the world and us all for tomorrow to exist.
With 1 in 5 of the UK population having some form of disability or long-term health condition, it is important that we are representing that consumer base at senior leadership levels. Everyone has their own story or perspective on how disability and mental health issues are present in their lives. Personally, having hearing loss on one side has made me acutely aware not only of the challenges a disability or health issue may present, but also of the additional skills and capabilities that can be developed in response to these challenges.
The words ‘diversity and inclusion’ are often associated with corporate social responsibility. But creating a government & business environment that is accessible to everyone and truly embraces the differences that make us all unique is about more than simply doing the right thing. The value of board members is to look at issues from a different, impartial perspective and scrutinise performance dispassionately. An objective view at the available evidence tells us that promoting inclusion is not an optional activity; it makes great business sense. Around one in five of adults have a disability of some kind. The questions government departments & businesses need to be asking themselves therefore are: can you afford to miss out on the custom of over 14.1 million people in the UK who – together with their families – have an estimated spending power of around £274 billion?
Are you confident that you are attracting the very best people to work for you, and are you maximising the talent of your colleagues once they join you?
The UK Government has set a goal of getting 1 million more disabled people into work in the next 10 years.
On the back of the National Disability Strategy announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July 2021, that took 5 years to develop, all 13 government departments have been challenged to embrace disability and accessibility to the benefit of UK in government, communities, corporations and more than 1 in 5 of the population. (14.1 million of 67.1 million population)
Pamela Dow, Executive Director of the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit said; “The National Leadership Centre helps the country’s most senior public service leaders develop the skills, knowledge and networks required to address society’s most complex strategic challenges.”
“We are proud to be expanding our programmes to further support leaders with a broad and varied experience to continue rising through the ranks.”
The government best serves the public when it draws on the talents of all its citizens and understands their needs deeply. That’s why the NLC has created the Catalyst Programme, which will bring together 20 public service leaders from across the country.”
Steve McGuirk, Advisory Board Member for the NLC, added:
“The diversity challenge is complex and, in many respects, the work to understand and support the problems facing disabled leaders is much more limited and even less well understood.”
“The Catalyst programme seeks to help those leaders with a bespoke programme designed to empower disabled people to push for – and break through – the highest levels of public leadership in the same ways as non-disabled leaders. Catalyst will create a network of people to sustain peer support and peer mentoring and create the opportunity for people to share their experiences about what works and what doesn’t.”
“It will encompass similar content to the other NLC programmes, as well as exposing delegates to inspiring case studies and inspiring people. Most of all, I believe it will be, as the name suggests, a catalyst for liberating a pool of enormously talented leaders who will make a huge difference to the way the public services are delivered in the next few years.”
How are Kaleidoscope Group Working with the Government to Make a Change?
Kaleidoscope Group & The Kaleidoscope Foundation are proud to be working with -The Right Honourable Boris Johnson, PC, MP Prime Minister , The Government Ministers – The Right Honourable Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work and The Right Honourable Therese Coffey MP, Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, plus a wide range of partners in business, politics, and the broader community who share our belief that creating a more inclusive society is both the right thing to do – and a social & commercial imperative, for a better life-enhancing world.
What we realise is that there is plenty of great advice already available around the day to-day, practical things that can make life easier for disabled customers or colleagues, not much is targeted at the senior leaders responsible for setting the strategy and changing cultures. This realisation led to Leading from the Front, a review of current research and best practice in the field of disability. Our collective experience as well as that of other leading organisations which are setting new standards for inclusivity make a difference in supporting the government. It is important to reflect the importance of senior leadership in setting both strategic direction and the public arena agenda.
Kaleidoscope Group and The Kaleidoscope Foundation is a disability inclusive organisation – empowering talent and ambition for ability with disability. We embrace and promote change to enhance life for a significant percentage of the National and Global Population. The benefits presented through disability in government, life and business added value affects consumers, employees, and across all the communities. Finally, we see many practical next steps and considerations for the future with and through disability inclusion. We look forward to building a more inclusive and accessible future with you, embracing ability, empowering ambition, and talent, across our United Kingdom, Our One World & 1 Blood Colour.
At Kaleidoscope Group we have teams of able people who can assist in development, investment, mentoring and advising talent disabled leaders into more senior positions through development and promotion, recognising and honing talent that adds value to government administration and embrace for betterment of the communities in which we live and work.
Over 12 months, it will provide delegates with intensive residential courses, coaching, a diverse range of speakers from different backgrounds and a network of peers to learn from and grow with. The programme will be run by the National Leadership Centre (NLC) which was launched by the government in 2019 to support public sector leadership. This will be the third such programme to support leaders with a disability or long-term health condition, both seen or unseen.
Recruitment for both the Accelerate and Catalyst Programmes is now open and will close on 24th September 2021. To find out more and to apply, head to NLC’s website: https://www.NationalLeadership.gov.uk
The National Leadership Centre is a team within the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit in The Cabinet Office. It supports the most senior leaders of the public sector to develop the skills, knowledge and networks required to address society’s most complex strategic challenges.
Both the Catalyst and Accelerate Programmes deliver on the Declaration on Government Reform https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/declaration-on-government-reform commitment to make sure ethnic minority and disabled citizens “flourish in public service”, and were trailed by The Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office, Julia Lopez MP, in the Public Leaders Report 2021. https://www.nationalleadership.gov.uk/public-leaders-report-2021/