London, UK: Steve Thorn of CGI won the Executive Disability Champion Award at Business Disability Forum (BDF)’s 2016 Disability-smart Awards on 9 November.
These awards celebrate the work of organisations and individuals that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to employing, working with and doing business with disabled people. Steve has been recognised for his passionate leadership of a range of disability initiatives within IT services company CGI, a role he balances with his day job as a President of CGI’s UK operations.
Steve has led the promotion, renewal and revitalisation of CGI’s UK Capability programme and Capability Network, two schemes which enable employees to mentor and support each other throughout the company. He also chairs CGI’s Disability Working Group, which explores ways of embedding BDF’s world-renowned Disability Standard into the day-to-day running of the business. Steve was instrumental in persuading CGI to sign up to BDF’s Technology Charter, cementing the organisation’s commitment to good practice around IT and accessibility. He has also driven efforts to refine processes relating to workplace adjustments, recruitment, communications and procurement to make these functions disability-smart.
Steve has said his approach has always been to encourage members and senior colleagues to share their challenges and also to equip colleagues with initial training and support to be able to help others experiencing difficulties. Speaking about his award, Steve said: “It is an absolute privilege to be recognised by Business Disability Forum. I am passionate about widening the discourse around disability and accessibility and we have experienced some very encouraging progress at CGI.
“This award will redouble my determination to create a workplace culture that is truly disability-smart.” David Goodchild, Joint Interim CEO of BDF, said: “Steve has shown incredible energy and drive in promoting the disability cause across CGI. As a senior figure in the organisation he has led by example and driven efforts to fully embed accessibility at CGI.
“He has very effectively turned his hand to building robust networks, structures and processes which put disability first.”
Debbie Alder, HR Director General at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), was also highly commended by BDF for her work in championing disability and accessibility at her organisation.