Lights, camera, action: Team from Ball’s Kettering plant mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities with short film

Staff at Ball Corporation’s plant in Kettering, Northamptonshire, have launched a new film and campaign to raise awareness about people with disabilities in the workplace.

Ball, the world’s leading manufacturer of infinitely recyclable aluminium drinks cans, opened its fourth UK based manufacturing plant in Burton Latimer, near Kettering, at the start of 2023.

This month, to mark the United Nations (UN) International Day of Persons with Disabilities [Sunday, 3rd December], Ball staff have come together to share their stories and promote their short film, which focuses on the importance of nurturing a workplace that is diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Neil Howitt, Warehouse Manager at Ball’s Kettering plant, who appears in the video, said: “This is the second year our plant has supported the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and it has proven to be the perfect opportunity to look back at the things we’ve done on our inclusivity journey so far, and to look forward at ways we can build on our progress.

“We are committed to truly listening to each other and having open discussions about the diversity of ability. We work closely with our local community and we use innovative and accessible recruitment methods to ensure that anybody who has the attitude and aptitude for working for us can do so – regardless of disability”, said Lauren Touré, Diversity & Inclusion Manager for Ball Beverage Packaging in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia region (EMEA) and Aerosol Packaging.

She added “It’s not just talk, we have taken action and I’m really proud of the work we have done and excited about the journey ahead.  There is more action to take and more physical and behavioural barriers to break down, but with our strong culture and focus on diversity and inclusion, I am confident it is something we can do as a team”,

Ball Corporation has a dedicated team of Executive Diversity Champions who use their positions of influence and experience to foster a culture of belonging and act as agents of change within their focus areas. One of them is Tom McCarthy, Vice President of Integrated Business Planning at Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA, who championed these discussions and the resulting film.

Lauren added: “We’ve seen this kind of sustained, positive influence bear fruit where colleagues with disabilities or long-term health conditions can now access any reasonable adjustments  more easily, if they feel they need them, on a confidential and one-to-one basis.

“The video provides a genuine snapshot of how talented people with disabilities can and are contributing their skills in a variety of roles to Ball’s global operations every day – often without their peers’ awareness of their unique ability.”

The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people – about 15% of the world’s population – experience some form of disability.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to spread awareness and understanding of disabilities that might not be immediately visible, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue and learning disabilities.

 

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