How Baillie Gifford started its journey to employee inclusion

Internal employee training can boost employee morale, teamwork skills and employee retention and production. However, it is vital that the training material and activities are accessible to every employee.

Baillie Gifford, an investment management firm, was searching for support and advice on how to conduct inclusive and accessible internal training for its employees. 

After attending learning and development conferences and searching for the right support partner, the Operations Learning and Development Team approached AbilityNet. 

Baillie Gifford logo

Employee disability inclusion training 

Lynn Brand, Operations Learning and Development Manager at Baillie Gifford contacted AbilityNet as a training partner that could help her team plan and deliver inclusive accessible employee training.

To help Baillie Gifford learn about disability inclusion and best practices for accessible events, Lynn’s team undertook all five of AbilityNet's Don't Disable Me Lived Experience series of training. The Baillie Gifford team also attended training on how to run accessible, inclusive training sessions and events – a specialised adaptation of AbilityNet’s course on how to run accessible, inclusive hybrid events

The lived experience training course series shares workplace inclusion advice and tips from individuals’ lived experiences with sight loss, hearing loss, neurodivergence, physical disabilities and mental health.

Icon of a hand, ear, eye, a heart on a human head, and a brain
Feedback from the training session was very positive, with Lynn commenting "Whether it was neurodiversity or sight loss, there was an AbilityNet trainer who could discuss the lived experience of disability from their perspective. That was so powerful. And some of them should be on the stage because they were so engaging in the delivery!” 

“The individual sessions on Zoom were excellent,” Lynn continues. “Everyone who attended the training appreciated that there was a person who had lived experience of the disability to help us learn,” says Lynn.

Lynn also shared that although the training was initially for the Operations Learning and Development team, they “opened the training up to the rest of Baillie Gifford, so that they could learn about disability inclusion too”.

How to get started on your employee inclusion journey

By thinking about accessibility and inclusion from the start of any project, you can improve the experience for everyone.

The sessions helped change the way that Baillie Gifford plans and builds its training for employees. “We now think about the accessibility element from start to finish when building our learning programme, which is a step forward from where we were a couple of years ago,” Lynn shared.

Knowing how to get started on your employee inclusion journey is not straightforward. Lynn says, “As a team, we all knew that we wanted to do something, but we just didn't know what that was and what it would look like. The last thing we wanted was to do the wrong thing.”

“From start to finish, AbilityNet understood exactly what we would need and came up with a plan on how to help, guide and service us. After searching for someone to help us for a long time, I can't tell you how much of a relief that was,” continues Lynn. 

Start your employee inclusion journey – speak to our experts 

If you need help identifying what steps you can take to achieve meaningful change and growth, AbilityNet's Disability Inclusion Gap Analysis is a great place to start. 

Our expert workplace consultants will gather your employees' feedback to understand your organisation’s current culture. Then they'll work with you to evaluate improvements that would have the most impact and help you build a roadmap plan to implement improvements.

You can book a free 15-minute consultation now. 

Speak to our friendly workplace team about your project and we will advise on a bespoke workplace strategy to meet your specific requirements.

Video: How to remove disability barriers in the workplace 

Learn how to create an inclusive workplace with on-demand training: