Insights & Opinions Reports Research Disability Leadership Society

Disability in Leadership Toolkit Launch

On Monday 9th September 2019, Inclusive Boards launched the first in a series of Disability in Leadership Toolkits at the House of Commons. We were joined by Dr Lisa Cameron MP, chair of the APPG for disability, and Debbie Abrahams MP former Shadow Minister for Disabled People who gave the opening and closing remarks at the launch. 

Our panel of speakers included Entrepreneur and Business consultant Neil Barnfather MBE; Founder of the Diversibility card and Disability Programme manager at Virgin Media Shani Dhanda; BBC Disability Lead Allan Mackillop and Disabilities & Visual Awareness expert Seema Flower.

As part of the project, we launched a call for evidence aimed at gaining the perspectives of disabled people who had worked in senior leadership or Board positions as well as insights from disability organisations and charities. We received over 50 submissions via phone interviews; face to face interviews and written submissions. The process was open and allowed individuals to submit any evidence they felt was relevant to the project. We would like to sincerely thank the stakeholders that contributed to the project.

We also undertook extensive desk research into the UK disability landscape and into organisations which were widely praised for good practice in relation to key issues we discovered throughout the project. Finally, we ran a poll with Survation, asking over 1000 business leaders about their thoughts on disability and senior leadership, shockingly just 11% said they would not be at all apprehensive about recruiting a disabled person to a senior position.

The toolkit makes a number of recommendations to organisations and sectors to aid them in increasing the disability diversity of their Board and senior leadership teams.

The recommendations fall into six key sections : 

  • Recruitment (practices and packs) 
  • Working Environments
  • Progressing Talent 
  • Engagement and Communication 
  • Technological Solutions and, 
  • Recommendations for Government

Each section has a checklist of steps for organisations and sectors to take as they work to improve the representation of disabled people at Board and senior leadership level. We recognise that organisations want the practical tools to support their efforts to improve disability diversity and this is where the toolkit can provide the much-needed guidance and reference point. 

Inclusive Boards will be producing series two of the disability in leadership toolkit next year with a focus on addressing the challenges faced by those with hidden impairments. 

To download the toolkit click here.

We will be launching the toolkit regionally to continue the important discussion our London launch event started . If you would be interested in partnering with us on any of our future disability initiatives contact Sam Carey at or on 0115 934 8437.