The Success of Combining Management and Disabilities

Launched three years ago by Grenoble Ecole de Management, the certificate for management and disabilities is implemented in partnership with the national association CED and major companies. The certificate shines today thanks to its attractiveness to students and companies. What are the reasons for the success of this pilot program in France?


Given the many regulations in place, the challenge is to train players who will be able to efficiently implement a company's policy on disabilities. "The stakes go beyond what is set out by the law, which requires that 6% of a company's workforce be comprised of disabled workers. Learning the laws and regulations isn't enough." highlights  Sylviane Chabli, in charge of the certificate at Grenoble Ecole de Management.

Recognizing the stakes

The certificate trains and raises awareness among volunteer students in the Grenoble Ecole de Management Grandes Ecoles program. The goal is to provide students with two skills: First, to train managers who will be able to concretely act to integrate a disabled employee in the workplace. And second, to allow future managers to help create and implement a company's policy on disabilities.

A key strong point of this certificate is its partnership with CED, a national association comprised of a network of partner companies that are committed to the professional integration of employees with disabilities (CNP Assurances, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Capgemini, IBM and Thales, among others). The CED also manages the recruitment platform for disabled employees, Hanploi, which is a leader in France.

Changing attitudes and positions

The ambition is to break away from stereotypes about disabilities and share operational management tools. In 2014, Hugo Viard-Gaudin was the first student to receive the certificate at Grenoble Ecole de Management. Today, he is a recruitment consultant at Michael Page France:

"In concrete terms, I spend every day defending the goal of recruiting solely on the basis of skills. Whether it's about overcoming perceptions about disabilities or other discrimination, I convince our clients that taking such an objective position in fields such as finance or accounting is really a strong point for the company. It's an opportunity to recruit profiles that receive much less attention."

Mobilizing business participation

To help encourage real change in the field, Grenoble Ecole de Management pedagogy has innovated by relying on mentors who work at partner companies. "The mentors receive training on the goals of the certificate. Students can then meet with a manager for a total of five hours in order to exchange with them on their experience managing disability issues." explains Syvliane Chabli.

The goal is for students to be able to imagine their operational role in future situations. The partner companies are also involved in the validation of the learning diary kept by each student during the certificate. "When we launched the certificate in 2013, Grenoble Ecole de Management certified one student. The second year, we had ten students. For 2015-2016, we have 33 students registered. The goal is to engage almost the entire student body. As a result, we are able to have a real impact on our partner companies and their management of disability issues." concludes Sylviane Chabli.

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