Nothing about us without us – At TotalEnergies, employees with disabilities are making a difference

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4 Jan 2023

In France, Michel, Jean-Luc, Nathalie, Eric, Sacha and Françoise… are among 38 employees with disabilities who have accepted the role of “Ambassador” and are involved daily  in working groups on hearing, vision, chronic health conditions, digital accessibility and neurodiversity.

These employees are committed to bringing the topic of disability to company colleagues, by communicating openly about their disabilities, ultimately encouraging people to change the way they view people with disabilities.

For Fanny, “being an Ambassador makes me even stronger, accepting my disability allows me to listen to and help others”.  Jean-Luc confirms: “I fundamentally believe that a first informal contact, between colleagues, on the taking into account of disability by the company, can make it possible to remove certain brakes and certain taboos. The dynamic established within the company seems to confirm this”.

Within the “Hearing working group”, they lead discussions on the professional experience of deaf or hard-of-hearing people. Their newsletter “News from the Silent World of TotalEnergies”, provides information on innovations in the field of hearing. With “Mission Handicap”, they organize awareness-raising events and have also added their experience to the hearing guides published in October by the JNA association during Hearing Health Week.

For Sacha, a member of the “Neurodiversity working group”, the personalized support she received “has changed her life”. Now she feels comfortable to regularly talk about the challenges she faces and the solutions she uses to overcome such challenges. This working group meets every month and invites experts to discuss and promote the talent of neurodivergent people in the workplace.

Some people are involved in the communication campaign led by “Mission Handicap” on the topic of declaring their disability. These personal testimonies, “Faces Uncovered”, have a strong impact on their colleagues by helping break down prevalent prejudices about people with disabilities.

The commitment to disability inclusion by the French version of the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) established in Anglo-Saxon companies, is reinforced by the trust shown by the “Mission Handicap” ecosystem, referents, managers, human resources professionals, among others. “Nothing about us without us”, the motto inspires this co-construction approach, promoting a climate of trust and collaboration – ultimately giving a voice to people with disabilities and making them more included in the world of work.