The reality on the primary labor market is also often still frightening: companies with 20 or more employees must hire at least 5 percent of people with severe disabilities. Yet current figures show that 95 percent of German companies buy their way out of this regulation. Overall, only 16 percent of people with disabilities work outside of sheltered workshops for the disabled.
That is why the recent foundation of the German Association "Executives with Disabilities" seems all the more important. The foundation of this association was supported by the "Leadership Berlin – Network Responsibility" organization. Janis McDavid is one of those people who was actively involved in the run-up. "Due to time constraints, I deliberately passed on a boardroom position in this election. Having said that, I continue to take an active role in the founding team and assist wherever I can," says McDavid. Among others, the founding board members include Dr. Peter Sdorra, Sascha Lang, Christian Habl and Detlef Kahl as well as seven other founding members.
The primary goal of the association is to serve as a communication platform for executive managers with disabilities. All active members also want to effectively counteract the often deficit-based perspective of disability. After all, companies are even less likely to expect people with disabilities to handle leadership positions than jobs without this type of responsibility. Many of the association members draw on first-hand experiences – whether that‘s Janis McDavid, who is a motivational speaker, book author and works as the director of a non-profit organization, or Patricia Carl, president of the "German Association of Little People and Their Families". Her full-time job is at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and she knows what it’s like not to be taken seriously because of her size.
To handle these reservations in the future, the Federal Association is dedicated to lobbying for the interests and needs of managers with disabilities by offering educational opportunities and by being a communication platform – in the hope of achieving more inclusion in our society.