Today, the national charity AboutFace announced the launch of a comprehensive employment campaign aimed at addressing workplace barriers for people with facial differences. The launch coincides with September’s Craniofacial Acceptance Month.
Featuring the tagline “My Difference Should Make No Difference,” the campaign focuses on building workplace understanding and inclusivity, says Danielle Griffin, AboutFace’s Executive Director.
“Only 30% of respondents in our recent survey noted that their workplace clearly included facial differences in their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies, revealing a significant gap in protections. This campaign is the first big step in addressing this gap,” says Griffin.
In addition, recent AboutFace research revealed that about 3 in 5 people with a facial difference reported being negatively impacted at work due to their facial difference, including:
• Staring or gaping from co-workers
• Uncomfortable experiences during the recruitment process
• Lack of opportunities or career progression
• Bullying or harassment
• Erasure – denial of a facial difference or its impact
• Feeling unseen/unheard
The My Difference Should Make No Difference campaign features first-person photo and video stories and is supplemented by resources for HR professionals, such as webinars and customized training that focus on best practices employers can use to incorporate facial differences into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies.
According to AboutFace Vice-Chair Alim Somji, a participant in the campaign, “the issues and challenges that those with facial differences have might be unique, but the solution is the same – a welcoming workplace environment and awareness of what comes with having a facial difference. The new awareness campaign, resources, and training will be important in helping employers build these welcoming spaces.”
Griffin agrees, saying “this focus is critically needed and will go a long way in helping ensure that people in the facial difference community can thrive professionally in workplaces that recognize facial differences and provide equitable opportunities and support.”
To view the My Difference Should Make No Difference campaign, read the stories, and access HR resources, visit www.aboutface.ca/hr.