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Adam Hyland

Director of Accessibility and Inclusion, Diversity and Ability

Companies can gain invaluable insights into product development and potential markets through intersectionally inclusive recruitment.


The lived experiences of people from a range of backgrounds and abilities can play an invaluable role in shaping the outlook of organisations. Core to this is intersectionally inclusive recruitment and retention strategies, an approach that acknowledges the intersecting identities of employees and their varied experiences.

Disability campaigner Adam Hyland notes: “Individuals do not fit into one box. We all have diverse identities, made up of many different facets, which all interact in unique ways. Lived experiences are very important to inform change in society.”

Inclusive recruitment strategies

Hyland is Director of Accessibility and Inclusion at Diversity and Ability, a social enterprise driving intersectional disability and neurodiversity inclusion within society. It offers support to educational institutions, workplaces and international bodies. “When thinking about barriers for disabled people in recruitment, we cannot look at it through one lens,” he insists.

We know that customers want to see innovation within the organisations they buy services from, so we need different ways of thinking and working.

Access to diverse markets

Organisations employing people from diverse backgrounds and disabilities gain a perspective they may not otherwise have. “We know that customers want to see innovation within the organisations they buy services from, so we need different ways of thinking and working, and the lived experience of the whole of society will inform the world we live in,” explains Hyland.

“When organisations have that representation, it will increase the relevance of products and services because the lived experience of the workforce will inform how they improve services and market them to different communities.”

Policies providing support

Hyland believes an inclusive and anticipatory approach to recruitment and retention is invaluable.

“We cannot wait around and suddenly be surprised that some of our workforce are impacted by mental health challenges, for example.

“We have to anticipate that people will face barriers during their working career; and when people join organisations or experience a barrier, they know that they are in an organisation that already has strategies and policies in place to support them and ensure they belong in that organisation. We cannot be reactive anymore to diversity.”

Diversity and Ability is a disabled-person-led organisation. They deliver training and consultancy on how to take an anticipatory approach to inclusion.

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