By Cathryn Gabor, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, CEVA Logistics, Americas and Glaucia Teixeira, Vice President, Human Resources, CEVA Logistics, Latin America

Our team in the Americas has been working to remove barriers that face people with disabilities at work. Key programs that have proven successful over the past year include our Global Diversity Council (GDC) and “CEVA Inspire” program.

Our global network includes 51,000 employees in 170 countries. With that substantial population, the GDC serves a crucial role in raising awareness of diversity and inclusion. Through encouragement from the GDC, our team in Brazil was able to raise awareness in the company and community to increase hiring of disabled employees by 78 percent in 2012. In Brazil, the law requires businesses to hire disabled workers but businesses often struggle to attract the disabled population. By working with local nonprofits and HR partners, CEVA was able to communicate the value of having a career with a multinational company. In order to maintain that level of acquisition and retention, the GDC is assisting the Brazilian team by standardizing diversity training to share across the entire region.

Employee working groups engage team members to emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion. One program that has been successful with employees in the Americas is “CEVA Inspire,” a predominantly employee-funded program created to help employees in need of financial assistance and support local charitable organizations. CEVA Inspire is funded through direct contributions from our employees, vending machines proceeds, and fundraisers. The program also receives contributions from other CEVA locations globally. CEVA Inspire plays a role in supporting our disabled employees, especially in times of need. The program provides emergency financial assistance to employees who suffer damage from natural disasters, bereavement assistance, and reimbursement, to employees who face unexpected medical conditions and expenses.

A diverse and inclusive environment challenges our way of thinking by bringing together a variety of talents, backgrounds, and experiences, and serves as a catalyst for new ideas and innovation. As the disabled population represents an important population in the Americas, we understand the importance of being a welcoming employer.