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SercoUnlimited – stopping at nothing to embed real, sustainable change

“Serco thrives because of our talented, capable and diverse workforce. We believe that diverse teams, reflecting the communities we serve, provide meaningful and better service, and greater value to our customers. We actively encourage people with disabilities to join Serco, and we are constantly striving to provide inclusive workplaces for everyone to belong, have opportunities to thrive and where difference is valued.”
- Rupert Soames, Serco Group plc Chief Executive

In recent years we have poured new energy into diversity and inclusion at Serco, raising strong colleague community networks who are helping us draw on specialist partnerships and lived colleague experience to guide our actions and ambitions.

In January 2021, Serco was recognised as a Disability Confident Leader for our commitment to removing barriers and changing perceptions about physical and mental disabilities, impairments and health conditions, and joined the Valuable 500, a growing global movement revolutionising disability inclusion through business leadership.

Our journey to these key milestones has been made possible by the determination of our colleagues leading and participating in the Serco network for our disabled community, SercoUnlimited.

The members of SercoUnlimited are committed to ensuring that everyone in Serco is recognised for their performance and potential, and that the right level of support is in place for all disabled employees, managers and allies, and disability carers.

Dave Dacquino, Chief Executive for Serco Americas, is the Group Executive Sponsor for SercoUnlimited, while Faye Shaw, Managing Director of Serco Business Services, is the network’s Executive Sponsor in our UK & Europe region.

Co-chairing SercoUnlimited in UK & Europe and leading on its development globally are Julie Christie, Transformation and Operations Director for Serco Business Services, and Annette Moody, Group IT Governance Director.

“We work to embed real, sustainable change by challenging misconceptions, improving understanding and celebrating uniqueness,” says Annette. “Our scope is broad and inclusive – we recognise that not all disabilities are visible, and each person’s needs are different.”

In the last 18 months, the SercoUnlimited team have continued to increase the network’s reach and impact whilst working to improve support for vulnerable colleagues; help leaders become visible allies and role models; facilitate more frequent, open engagement on key issues at all levels; and host a schedule of celebration, awareness, education and support events.

“We strive to promote a culture of disability confidence and work closely with our disabled colleagues to improve our working environments,” says Julie. “We have continued working to become disability confident from the inside out, with specific strategic imperatives driving our pace and progress.”

Key action and achievements include:

  • ongoing work with Purple Space to develop and share best practice, joining their new global forum of experienced practitioners and thought leaders, focused on accelerating cultural change for disabled employees around the world, and moving from ‘starting out’ to ‘stepping up’ level in recognition of the growing momentum and maturity of the network;

  • working with the charity, RNID, to publish guidance on facemask challenges for deaf and hard of hearing colleagues during Covid-19;

  • launching the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme in Serco, enabling colleagues to signal less visible disabilities or health conditions discreetly;

  • working with technology partners to improve accessibility for people with visual impairment, hearing difficulties, neurological conditions and mobility challenges;

  • implementing a Disability Confident interview scheme, offering guaranteed interviews for disabled candidates who meet minimum role criteria;

  • sharing the lived experiences of our colleagues to demonstrate in a practical way how Serco can accommodate different skills and capabilities;

  • launching new disability awareness training (c. 3,000 completions in the first six months);

  • publishing the first volumes in a new suite of colleague resource packs to cover specific conditions such as autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dyslexia;

  • growing our celebration of key events in the physical and mental disabilities, impairments and health conditions calendar: World Autism Day, World Mental Health Day and International Day of Persons with Disabilities; and

  • strengthening our workforce data and the recognition of psychological safety in data disclosure for employees with disabilities, to improve performance monitoring and value generation for our colleagues.

Next steps planned are building on everything accomplished to date, focused on embedding progress and continuing to deliver the objectives defined in the Serco Valuable 500 pledge:

We pledge to:

  • strengthen our recruitment processes;

  • give all our colleagues the support they need to do their jobs; and

  • continue the dialogue across the global organisation and at board level.

“I’m very proud to be a part of SercoUnlimited,” says Dave Dacquino, “where we strive to raise awareness of the fact that just because someone has a disability, we shouldn’t assume that they have limitations. Every perspective, experience and situation our employees face is important because that is what makes up the fabric of who we are at Serco. Our Valuable 500 commitment is a very real and tangible demonstration of the importance of the work of the SercoUnlimited team and evidence that we will stop at nothing to make a change.”