Last July, the 2017 Enabling Employers Award celebrated the achievements of over 70 firms and individuals in Singapore that supports employees with disabilities at the workplace. For the first time, the biennial event by SG Enable also recognised outstanding employees with disabilities for their contribution to and advocacy of inclusion at their companies.
We spoke to Ms Yuki Neoh, who received the Exemplary Employees Award, and Mr Steven Koh, who received the Enabling Buddies Award, to find out their thoughts at winning the awards. The Exemplary Employees Award is given to individuals who set an example in their organisations to spread the message of inclusiveness in their workplaces, while the Enabling Buddies recognises co-workers or direct supervisors who have done well in supporting employees with disabilities at their workplaces.
Enabling Village: Congratulations! What are your thoughts on being a recipient at this year’s Enabling Employers Award?
Yuki: My colleagues actually nominated me in secret for 4th Enabling Employers Award. They meant to surprise me on that day since they received the results. But they could no longer hide it from me as they had to ask for my permission to be filmed. It was really a pleasant surprise for me. Still, I would never thought I would be one of the 4 recipients of the ‘Exemplary Employees’ Award, I am very proud.
Steven: When our People Organization Group informed me, I was very very surprised at receiving the award. In fact, I am still quite surprised and not sure what to make out of it.
EV: What does this award mean to you?
Yuki: This award means very much to me as my efforts and time I have spent for the past 2 years are appreciated and recognised by my colleagues. Even if I didn’t receive an award, I am still grateful for being nominated as it shows they recognise my hard work and effort. I am also very thankful to be given with the opportunity and empowerment to able to contribute and support my colleagues and communities around me.
It also reminds me of my contribution for my company and the society as a leader, so it encourages me to keep it going as long as it is within my means.
Steven: I appreciate the recognition and more importantly, the opportunity to inspire more employers and workplaces be more inclusive.
EV: What do you think is the greatest misconception about a person with disability in the workforce?
Yuki: I think the misconception among persons with disability is that they are not able to contribute as much as those without disability to their workforce thus, which makes their job search more difficult. I am very sure that everyone has their own unique strengths to contribute. They can shine