Raytheon UK has announced it has become the first UK technology company in the defence and aerospace sector to join Business Disability Forum (BDF) in tackling the disability employment gap.
The company, a unit of Raytheon Technologies, said it has partnered with BDF to become more “disability-smart”.
John Dickinson, head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Raytheon UK, who joined the company in December 2020, said, “Our partnership with Business Disability Forum is an important milestone in our Inclusion journey and a fundamental catalyst in supporting us to become a more disability-smart organisation.
“We must ensure that we develop a culture that is conducive to enabling all colleagues to deliver the best work of their lives, not just the majority,” he said. “To achieve this, we must ensure that we consider people with disabilities and the adjustments required throughout the design of our physical and digital estate, our policies and processes, our end-to-end colleague lifecycle and, of course, ensure that our leaders have the confidence and capability to support our colleagues with disabilities.”
A 2020 study from trade union TUC showed that non-disabled workers earnt £2.10 (19.6%) more per hour than disabled workers in the UK. In 2020, the employment rate for disabled people was calculated at 53.7%, compared to 82% for non-disabled people.
Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Disability, Dr Lisa Cameron MP, commented: “It’s great to see Raytheon UK taking active steps to ensure that they are disability aware and helping to bridge the disability employment gap across the UK. More needs to be done to ensure companies throughout the country are disability-confident, and I welcome today’s announcement that Raytheon UK are taking on a leading role within the aerospace and defence sector.”
Raytheon UK managing director and executive sponsor of Raytheon UK’s Alliance for Diverse Abilities group, John Gallagher said: “As a leader in the defence sector, we understand the true value that a diverse workforce has in our ability to develop innovative products and solutions for our customers.
“The skills and experiences of the disabled community are fundamentally important to our sector and we must work together across the sector to unlock their talent and potential and develop more meaningful opportunities to reduce the disability employment gap.”