We know that diverse perspectives make us stronger as a company and being able to bring your full self to work is a must.
A few months ago, our HR teams in France and in Belgium participated in “DUOday,” a European initiative meant to raise awareness in companies and public institutions about people with other abilities, and to build bridges between employees, people with an occupational limitation and service providers.
The way the program works is that jobseekers with other abilities form a duo with an employee within a company or organization. The employee has an opportunity to better understand the skills, commitment and possibilities of jobseekers who happen to have an occupational limitation. And the jobseeker has a chance to show their talents and can test their perception of a certain job against reality.
The French team welcomed five people with other abilities – one joined the OTC (Order-To-Cash) department, another joined Human Resources and three others joined a French Levi’s® store. In Belgium, other jobseekers joined employees in three store locations while a DuoDay coach joined the HR department to facilitate sessions on conscious bias and their realities.
The event not only resulted in valuable insights, it also led to new hires. In France, one participant is set to return for a longer internship in one of our Levi’s® stores while another was just hired on at the Brussels Levi’s® store for six months as a stylist.
“What did I gain from this experience? For starters, a new employee! He puts in a lot of effort to do the best he can at his job, and this is something I love about the talents I hire,” said Rosa Jorro Mulet, the Levi’s® Brussels Docks Store Manager. “He is aware of his limitations, but he does everything to overcome them. It is a good example and inspiration for the other team members.”
Teams have been so enthusiastic about this initiative that the HR teams are planning to hold another event in 2020 and will look for ways to extend it to more teams.