Erasmus University Rotterdam elected most inclusive employer

Today the university was chosen as the most inclusive employer of 2021. The award was presented today on NPO Radio 1 at the Spraakmakers show. Judith Wiskie, responsible policy advisor for HR, accepted the award live there: "This is a great recognition of our efforts and we will definitely continue this. I would like to dedicate the prize to all managers and in particular to the colleagues with disabilities who dared to take this step."

The 'De Bart' award for 'most inclusive employer' is named after Bart de Bart, who through his own experiences founded the Stichting Studeren & Werken Op Maat (SWOM) in 2012. Their goal is to help young professionals with an occupational disability to get ahead in their professional lives and careers. By now, the organisation has helped more than 1,000 people with disabilities find a job.  Other nominees were the Police and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

"I am very proud that we have won the first "De Bart" award. This is a great recognition and also shows that we are on the right track. We will continue with this approach to connect more talents to our organisation, because we want to show that inclusiveness really works," said Ellen van Schoten, member of the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

EUR shows it can be done

According to de Bart, the EUR has 'given inclusive employment a face': "Many large employers say it can't be done, but the Erasmus University shows what is possible. In that respect, other universities could take an example." According to the founder, the award is meant to stimulate employers to help more people with a disability find work. He sees that many people are very highly educated. "At the EUR they are normal jobs and not created jobs. Nobody wants to be in a created job. The jobs stay and so do the people."

Invest in the familiarisation phase

Within the EUR, 54 jobs have so far been realised for people with disabilities and the goal for this year is 100 jobs, says Judith Wiskie. These jobs can be PhD students, but also policy support and stewards on campus. A clear plan of action was the basis. "No words but deeds, that's how we do it in Rotterdam." According to her, it is important to invest in the familiarisation phase and to properly guide managers in this.

Listen to the presentation and reaction of Judith Wiskie at Spraakmakers on Radio 1 (in Dutch).

More information

The photo at the top of this message shows, from left to right: Rick Brink (former Minister for Disability Affairs), Judith Wiskie and Bart de Bart of the SWOM Foundation.

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