• Leading global workforce solutions provider brings elite athletes, employees and partners together for first Global Sports & Inclusion Day

  • The Adecco Group highlights need to increase diversity, engagement and well-being in labour market

  • Global Sports & Inclusion Day is held on Nelson Mandela International Day to inspire change

Companies and governments are not doing enough to drive diversity in the labour market, excluding a huge pool of talent that can improve business performance and help to solve the skills crisis, according to The Adecco Group. The leading global workforce solutions provider, hosting its first Global Sports & Inclusion Day (GS&ID) for employees, elite athletes, partners and clients, also urged organisations to encourage healthier lifestyles among their workers to improve well-being, team spirit and performance. The GS&ID also unites the spirit of two of the Group’s global programmes – Win4Youth and the IOC & IPC Athlete Career Programmes (ACP).

The Win4Youth Programme encourages The Adecco Group employees to be healthier and fosters team spirit by participating in a chosen sport together to achieve a yearly target – e.g. for 2017, 4.3 million kilometres – linked to a donation by The Adecco Group to organisations that help disadvantaged groups find employment.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), in cooperation with The Adecco Group, have supported more than 35,000 athletes from over 185 countries with career counselling and job placement through the Athlete Career Programme (ACP).

“For businesses to be successful in a world where depending on others is critical, being inclusive is essential: Diversity of capabilities, experiences and perspectives gives you an edge,” the Adecco Group Chief Human Resources Officer Shanthi Flynn said at the inaugural event of the Swiss GS&ID at the Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil. “Governments and companies need to focus on the skills, education and experiences relevant to the jobs of the future. Being agile and adaptable to change will be necessary for survival. If we focus on what people can do, not what they can't, and are creative about adapting jobs to accommodate differences, our organisations will move faster".

Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Swiss Olympic heptathlete Ellen Sprunger, Swiss Paralympic cyclist Armin Köhli, Swiss Paralympic swimmer and Ironman triathlete Chantal Gavin and Swiss Olympic triathlon hopeful Florin Salvisberg, among other elite sports women and men, joined The Adecco Group teams and clients to raise awareness about the benefits of inclusive societies and workplaces.

Many athletes struggle to find work because of a lack of experience or qualifications, despite having many of the attributes and skills that companies require, such as adaptability, the ability to overcome challenges, and a goal-focused winning mentality. Paralympic athletes face further barriers because of discrimination and therefore lack of workplace experience as well as poor accessibility.

“Today is a big opportunity because people come here to do sports together, regardless of personal abilities or disabilities. Companies need to give people with disabilities more opportunities, and to seek to benefit from their abilities”, said Armin Köhli.

"A day like today is perfect to give the motivation to everyone to do sport. You are more productive and more efficient at work if you have the chance to do some sport alongside your work. A lot of companies should be doing more to make that happen", said Ellen Sprunger.

“Time and time again, the performances of Para athletes have triggered seismic shifts in attitudes and perceptions towards people with an impairment,” said IPC President Sir Philip Craven. “We hope that the day will come when no one will struggle to find or lose a job because of discrimination or limited accessibility”. The IPC is in full support of The Adecco Group’s new annual event as “an opportunity to highlight around the world the unique ability sport has to drive social inclusion”.

“The Adecco Group has been an outstanding organisation to work with for the IOC in delivering the international IOC Athlete Career Programme” said Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director. “The Global Sports & Inclusion Day is a great initiative to engage athletes and to promote inclusion through sport, reflecting the goals and values of the Olympic Movement. We are sure The Adecco Group will have a fantastic positive impact with this global event”.

More than one billion people or one in five, globally live with some kind of disability and every person at some point has a temporarily disability. This group can face prejudice on a daily basis, especially in the workplace. Yet research shows that companies benefit when they invest in diversity:

  • Increased employee engagement and motivation

  • Greater efficiency

  • More innovation and creativity

  • Better service and customer satisfaction

  • Access to new markets

Alongside supporting the IOC and IPC Athlete Career Programme, The Adecco Group placed more than 82,000 people with a disability in jobs around the world between 2004 and 2016.

To realise the social and economic benefits of sports and inclusion, The Adecco Group is calling on policymakers and organisations to:

  • Invest in skills training and apprenticeships for all

  • Actively employ more people from diverse backgrounds

  • Improve access to facilities

Note to Editors

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About The Adecco Group

The Adecco Group is the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions, transforming the world of work through talent and technology. Each year, The Adecco Group provides over 1 million people around the world with career opportunities, guidance and insights. Through its global brands Adecco, Modis, Badenoch & Clark, Spring Professional, Lee Hecht Harrison and Pontoon, The Adecco Group offers total workforce solutions including temporary staffing, permanent placement, career transition, talent development, and outsourcing. The Adecco Group partners with employers, candidates, colleagues and governments, sharing its labour market expertise and insights to empower people, fuel economies, and enrich societies.

The Adecco Group is a Fortune Global 500 company, based in Zurich, Switzerland, with more than 33,000 FTE employees in 60 countries and territories around the world. Adecco Group AG is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN).