Presidents Group Events and COVID-19
March 10, 2020 update
Our team has reached a very difficult decision to cancel upcoming Community of Accessible Employers events, including the upcoming Accessible Employers 101 trainings. This action is due to the increased level of concern around transmission of COVID-19 and official public health recommendations to consider alternatives to large gatherings in close environments.
While we recognize that overall risk is still reported as low, we also recognize that many people who are at the centre of our work and would like to attend events face higher risk due to disability or compromised immune systems either personally or within their families. It’s our intention to hold events that are safe and accessible to all.
We will look forward to rescheduling our events once this current issue is resolved.
Interim, please visit https://accessibleemployers.ca/ to stay up to date on how we can work together to create accessible employment for British Columbians living with disabilities and help businesses thrive.
- Recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
- COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, from the BC Government.
- For more information and the latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter, or visit their website.
- For accessible versions of visual graphs and information, visit the National Network of Equitable Library Services’ COVID-19 page.
The Presidents Group Welcomes Our New Co-Chair
Last week, the Presidents Group bid farewell to Craig Richmond, CEO of YVR Airport Authority, s stepping down from his role as co-chair as he prepares to retire in June. He will be very missed!
Taking his place is Lisa Beecroft of Gabi & Jules Homemade Pies and Baked Goodness, alongside Kirsten Sutton of SAP Labs Canada.
Lisa Beecroft is the owner of Gabi & Jules, a small business delivering high quality baked goods in Port Moody. Lisa prioritizes all their baking in a collaborative environment, inclusive of individuals of all abilities. Inspired by daughter Juliana with autism, the bakery currently employs 10 individuals on the spectrum. With a workplace culture that adapts and thrives around their staff’s diverse needs, Lisa is an inclusive champion in our community, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to this senior role for the Presidents Group. Learn more about Lisa in her Leadership Profile.
Presidents Group Official Submission to BC’s Accessibility Consultation
On October 22nd 2019, the Presidents Group hosted a consultation for business on the BC Government’s framework for accessibility legislation in our province.
Sixty attendees, including members of the Presidents Group, our Community of Accessible Employers, and members of the broader business community, shared their perspectives on how the legislation should be designed, what would help businesses become more accessible and comply with standards or regulations.
The feedback, as well as the Presidents Group’s own 13 recommendations, have been included in our official submission. You can download a copy.
Presidents Group Announces Pledge to Measure
September 9, 2019
In celebration of Disability Employment Month, the Presidents Group announced today a new initiative to improve the representation of people with disabilities in the workplace. All 25 companies, which collectively employ over 50,000 British Columbians, will begin publicly reporting the number of employees and senior leaders with disabilities within their organizations. The first public report will be collected by June 2020, and released in the subsequent Fall.
“The Presidents Group has set a vision to make BC the province with the highest employment for people with disabilities by 2030,” said Kirsten Sutton, VP & Managing Director, SAP Labs Canada and Presidents Group Co-Chair. “Although there have been considerable efforts made by companies in recent years, there is still more work to be done to make workplaces even more inclusive. We know that British Columbia’s business community has what it takes to show the rest of the country what is possible.”
The announcement was made at a press conference featuring the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Hon. Shane Simpson and Presidents Group members. The audience for the announcement was a blend of senior leaders and employees with disabilities from many of the member organizations.
The speeches and presentation of a framed copy of the proclamation of Disability Employment Month, was followed by a celebratory lunch catered by Tacofino, and cake by Gabi and Jules.