: 3 min
Safran and disabilities: working closely with outside agencies
All too often, young people with disabilities give up on their education for fear they won't realistically find a job, or their employer won't provide the accessibility and other support measures they need. Emilie Tejedor, 27, had exactly this kind of negative experience. Now, however, she's doing a work-study placement as a disabilities and diversity officer at Safran's CSR and Diversity department. "I wanted to study chemistry, but I was talked out of it because of my disability," she says. "So I took a broader-based route, earning a degree in political sciences and a master's in sociology at the University of Paris VIII. I'm glad I did, because part of my course was about the inclusion of students with disabilities in the workplace — and I found my vocation. I'm now completing a specialized postgraduate degree in Human Resources management through a work-study placement at Safran and I'm hoping to pursue a career in helping bring people with disabilities into the workplace."
Keep calm and carry on studying!
As part of her role, Emilie liaises between Safran and the partner nonprofit agencies we work with to support the integration and continued employment of people with disabilities. Hanvol was set up by GIFAS, the French aerospace industries association, to help people retrain for jobs in aviation and space. Similarly, Tremplin, @talentEgal and Atout pour Tous support young people and encourage them to take their education further. "The main issue with hiring candidates with disabilities is their relatively low level of qualification," explains Emilie. "By finding them an internship or placement with a qualification at the end, these agencies are helping make them more employable. Beyond our commitments as a responsible corporate citizen, Safran is partnering with these organizations to create a talent pool to meet our recruitment needs."
Fostering closer relations
Emilie's main role is to collate the applications sent in by partner agencies and forward them to the relevant Group companies, based on the geographic mobility of candidates. "I also pick up the applications received via Safran's school relations department and corporate website." In addition, she coordinates a range of actions to help build relations between Safran and partners throughout the year, such as our involvement in events organized by nonprofit entities — disability/employment forums, the Tous HanScène® competition, etc. — as well as guided tours of our facilities. "We also encourage local networking between Group companies and partners, the Cap Emploi* placement agencies and schools in each area." Once a person is placed, the agency continues to work with the company to help ensure they settle in at their new job.
Through these tangible actions, Safran is actively expanding our network of partners beyond the agencies to involve local school and university disabilities officers. Our goal is the same: encourage young people to continue their education. "We also need to reach out directly to high school pupils," concludes Emilie. "It's one thing to be encouraged by the disabilities officer at your school or a representative from a nonprofit organization, but when it comes from a real-world company and the people who actually work there, the message has more impact and is more reassuring!"
*National network of specialist agencies across France helping people with disabilities into the world of work.