Pankh & American India Foundation joined hands to organise the 1st edition of the ‘Retail Inclusion Summit- Driving Inclusion at the Workplace’ The first edition of the Retail Inclusion Summit was held on January 20th 2017 hosted by Pankh (TRRAIN-Youth4Jobs Foundation initiative) & American India Foundation (AIF).
Through this summit, Pankh aimed at educating and endorsing hiring persons with disabilities as a step forward to put an end to disability being the key reason to put the less abled at the bottom of the hierarchy. The summit addressed the issue many managers face, in terms of seeking solutions to communicate, train and sensitize their teams, encouraging team work and career progression for the disabled. The Retail Inclusion Summit provided and discussed solutions to the issues that arise whilst connecting retailers with leaders/experts who know how to overcome these challenges.
It acted as a platform that encouraged employers, leaders and NGO’s working in the field of inclusion to exchange ideas on hiring Persons with Disabilities (PwD’s) and promoting an inclusive workplace. The Chief Guest & key note speaker was Dr.Surendra Bagde- Secretary Social Justice & Special Assistance Department, Government of Maharashtra who highlighted the need of sensitizing the employers regarding the issues that arise about persons with disabilities and driving an unbiased work environment in a true sense.
The key highlight was the launch of the handbook, ‘Inclusive policy guidelines for Persons with Disabilities in the Retail Sector’- that provides guidelines that will serve as recommendations for hiring persons with disabilities in the retail sector.
The summit saw many HR professionals representing the top retail brands, leaders & NGO’s in attendance. The first panel discussion, that included Aashish Kasad, EY Diversity & Inclusion Leader, India, Roopa Wilson- IBM, India Diversity Leader and Rita Tiwari- Accenture in India GU, Vice President drew insights on the best practices in the IT industry for including Persons with Disabilities in the workforce.
The second panel discussion had B Venkatramana- Group HR Head, Landmark Group, Aradhana Lal- Lemon Tree Sustainability Head, Bidisha Banerjee- Diversity Lead, Future Group & Priyank Rai, Sr. HR Manager, Café Coffee Day share their experiences of hiring PwD’s at their respective organisations.