In recognition of International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) on Dec. 3, Kellogg Company employee, Deirdre O., shares why she is a passionate co-chair of Kellogg’s Business/Employee Resource Group (B/ERG) Kapable, dedicated to ensuring Kellogg is a welcoming and inclusive environment for current and future employees and supporters of those who are disabled. IDPWD exists to ensure that environmental and social barriers are identified, and to help everyone to work together to overcome them.
Deirdre, Kellogg’s Innovation Platform Technical Lead, is also a caregiver to both a child and a parent, and is committed to overcoming limits. To learn more about her, and how Kellogg is working to unlock barriers, Deirdre answers a few questions about the company’s commitment to equity and inclusion.
What inspires you to work so hard for people with disabilities?
I’m so passionate about this because, for me, it’s personal. Actually, I think it’s personal for almost everyone – so many of us are affected in one way or another by disabilities. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 61 million adults in the U.S. are living with a disability, or approximately one in four people. I believe working toward an accessible future is everyone’s responsibility, and I’m just doing my part. I believe if you value people with a disability, you’re more likely to value people who are different than you. There is an opportunity for compassion that we need to embrace and there’s always more work to be done.
How are you helping to unlock barriers in the workplace?
Kapable works to create possibilities so that people with disabilities can succeed in their personal and professional lives. We advocate for opportunities – big and small – that eradicate barriers such as increasing mental health benefits, creating more accommodating work arrangements, and recognizing the need for programs on stress management techniques and suicide awareness and prevention. We want to help unlock even more barriers to success in the workplace for people of all abilities.
How has Kellogg removed barriers in the marketplace?
Research shows nothing prepares kids more for going back to school than love and support. Our Rice Krispies Treats® “Love Notes” includes a space for families to write notes of encouragement and love to children on the packaging. We know that every child is unique in how they express and receive love, so Kapable collaborated with our Rice Krispies Treats® team to expand the accessibility of the Love Notes to ensure every child could receive a message of love from their parents at lunchtime. Together, we partnered with the National Federation of the Blind to offer Braille stickers, as well as Autism Speaks to launch touch-and-feel Sensory stickers for kids on the autism spectrum.
What motivates you to come to work each day?
As a Kellogg employee for 23 years, I’ve been proud to work for the company since day one. I believe in our vision to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. And, I believe in our purpose to nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. I also believe our mission is to provide people with our foods, and the wholesome grains, that nourish both our physical and emotional wellbeing.
I’m incredibly proud to work for a company that is firmly committed to equity and inclusion in our workplace, marketplace and in the communities where we work and live. And, I’m excited to see how together with Kapable, we can continue to be instrumental in seeking initiatives for embracing inclusivity, encouraging possibilities and creating a sense of belonging for all.
Click here for more on Kellogg’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts.