When Kristine Maciolek Small, director of Diversity and Inclusion and Talent Management, came to work at PPL in 2013 she chose not to identify as a person with a disability.
Although she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2002, it wasn’t until she got involved with PPL’s business resource group REACH, which supports individuals with disabilities in our workplace, in their families and in the community that she chose to self-identify as a person with a disability.
“It took a little while for me to realize that what I called ‘my condition’ is actually a disability,” said Maciolek. “PPL has provided an environment where I feel supported, which has allowed me to be honest about my disability.”
PPL supports employees with disabilities and their families in a number of ways. The company has a team of people who assist employees in creating individual accommodation plans to adjust the work environment to their unique needs. In addition, PPL employees have access to an Employee Assistance Plan that offers individualized consultation on everything from maximizing effectiveness at work to navigating family and relationship issues.
For its commitment to promoting inclusion, success and understanding of people with disabilities in the workplace, PPL received a high score of 90 percent on the 2018 Disability Equality Index® (DEI), making it one of the 2018 Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion. The DEI is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN). The index measures key performance indicators across organizational culture, leadership, accessibility, employment, community engagement, support services and supplier diversity.
This is the first year that PPL has responded to the DEI survey, which was coordinated by the members of REACH. Going forward, the DEI will serve as a gauge of where to focus improvement efforts.
“We want every employee to realize their full potential and no barrier — visible or invisible — should get in the way of that,” said Bill Spence, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are committed to giving all employees a level playing field by providing the means to help employees overcome challenging situations.”
For more information on the 2018 Disability Equality Index, visit disabilityequalityindex.org.