To celebrate and recognise National Inclusion Week, and to announce becoming an Inclusivity Champion for the Vertas Group, we recently sat down with Kim Sale – Marketing Assistant at Opus People Solutions, part of the Vertas Group. Kim has been part of the Vertas Group for over three years after joining Opus in September 2020.
Kim shares her story as someone living with a disability and gives perspective on the significance of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Why is being an Inclusivity Champion important to you?
I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, when I was 13 and I unfortunately ended up losing my leg at the age of 14. It was an incredibly traumatic experience which completely changed my life and I suddenly had to adapt to living with a disability and learn how to walk again. My rehabilitation journey was difficult, but I am grateful to still be here and this experience changed my perspective on life.
I have had to overcome challenges, stereotyping, and face barriers in my personal and professional life since then, and I believe that everyone, regardless of their background, should be treated with fairness and respect so I am dedicated to breaking down barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential. Our differences are what make us unique.
What are the goals of the IC group?
This group was created with the mission to enhance our equality, diversity, and inclusion culture and to take action ensuring that our objectives are achieved. The aim is to make inclusivity an everyday reality for all of us. Our initial goals are to increase awareness and understanding of what E,D&I (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) means and why it is so important across the Group.
We’re here to make Vertas Group a more inclusive workplace, and with the implementation of this group, I think it’s a massive step in the right direction. It’s a chance to make real change. We have been working on this behind the scenes for many months so now that we are able to launch to everyone, and I’m excited to get started and encourage more volunteers to become Inclusivity Champions.
What does, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?
Equality to me means that every individual, regardless of their abilities, background, or characteristics, should have the same opportunities, rights, and access to resources as anyone else. In the context of disability, it means that I should not be disadvantaged or discriminated against because of my disability.
Diversity acknowledges and celebrates the uniqueness and differences among individuals and embracing the value in the perspectives, experiences, and contributions of everyone.
Inclusion is the practical application of equality and diversity. It involves creating environments, policies, and attitudes that ensure all individuals are actively and fully involved in all aspects of life. For me, inclusion means not being excluded or marginalised because of my disability.