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'This is Me' in India

Focus Area | Tackling Workplace Inequality
Promoted in partnership with DIAN India, ‘This is Me’ centres on the sharing of stories and lived experiences as a way to challenge the stigma and open up conversations about disability and mental health in the workplace.

With a growing appreciation of the business case and a general desire to go above and beyond the requirements of the Disabilities Bill, creating more inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities (PWDs) is increasingly a priority for leading companies in India.

Yet, for many, the greatest obstacle is bringing about a culture change – overcoming the stigma and challenging limiting beliefs about the capability of those with disabilities, including those with mental health conditions.

At the same time, current or potential employees with a disability or long-term health condition may be reluctant to open up to their managers or employers for fear of being discriminated against or treated less favourably than others.

Sharing real-life stories of those with personal experience of disability can be key in this respect – broadening perspectives, challenging mindsets and creating a more open and supportive work environment for all.

Leveraging experience from other markets, most notably the UK, Community Business is partnering with its leading DIAN India network to promote the highly successful and widely acclaimed This is Me campaign in India

About This is Me

This is Me, an initiative first pioneered by Barclays in the UK in 2013, centres on the sharing of personal stories and lived experiences of disability and mental health as a way to challenge the stigma and open up conversations on these sensitive issues in the workplace.

Now adopted by hundreds of organisations, This is Me has had a huge impact on changing attitudes towards disability and mental health in the workplace.

“This is Me has already had a fantastic and transformative impact in many organisations, with some saying it is the “most impactful” diversity campaign they’ve ever done!”

 - Dr Andrew Parmley The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London

“Absolutely incredible. Of all the many diversity campaigns we have run, this has had the most impact. It raised awareness and opened an entirely new dialogue.”

 - Organisation participating in This is Me

Why This is Me

Research shows that storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to bring about cultural and behavioural change. Attitudes, knowledge and behaviour towards people with disabilities, including those with mental health problems are more likely to improve if people are given the opportunity to learn from someone who has a personal experience to share.

At the same time, seeing other people share their stories, gives people encouragement to tell their own, empowering employees to be more honest with each other and fostering a more open and supportive culture that benefits all.

This is Me in India

Findings from Community Business’ 2019 D&I in India Best Practice Benchmark reveal that companies in India are not doing enough to build disability confidence. Our in-depth research Embracing Mental Health in the Workplace in Asia highlights that whilst mental health is a significant issue in India, addressing it in the workplace remains largely a taboo subject.

Recognising the opportunity to leverage the power of business to drive social change, Community Business is partnering with its leading DIAN India network to promote This is Me in India.

Companies committed to reducing the stigma, opening up the conversation and creating more inclusive workplaces for those with a disability and mental health issues are invited to get involved.

Join our forthcoming event, The Power of Storytelling on Wednesday 26 June in Bangalore to find out more. Registration is free.

India Taskforce

Community Business is grateful to the members of its DIAN India Taskforce for helping to shape and champion the promotion of This is Me in India.