Diversity Awards NZ™ Impact Award Winner: Will&able
Essential business and change catalyst Will&Able launched in 2019 to employ people with intellectual disabilities, to fill and pack its range of high quality eco cleaning products. Will&Able has now been recognised at the Diversity Awards NZ™ virtual event last week, receiving the Impact Award.
The annual Diversity Awards NZTM have become one of the most significant awards programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand to celebrate excellence in diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The Impact Award honours purpose-led organisations that have a significant impact on diversity and inclusion at an industry level. Eligible organisations told their story of how their work is contributing positively to an increased level of diversity and inclusion in Aotearoa New Zealand.
“This Impact Award means a lot, it means a lot to be recognised for what we have been doing, which is building a business for people with intellectual disabilities.
Having a job for people with disabilities is really a life changing experience and we dedicate this award to the parents; in particular those whose children are about to leave school. There can be real uncertainty about what the future holds for them.”
‘We want to say a special thank you to our customers, who buy our products and help us to create jobs. We are not a price brand and choosing to support us is a conscious decision to make a difference. We also want to say thanks to our sponsor Aon Insurance, who through financial support has allowed us to become a brand people are aware of, and has also allowed us to set up a nationwide recycling programme that’s really important to us. And of course our team of very special employees; they are the reason that we all get out of bed to come to work. They’re just the most outstanding, dedicated team you could ask for.” Craig Burston, General Manager, Will&Able.
Eric Murray, New Zealand rower and Olympic gold medalist is an ambassador for Will&Able who knows firsthand what they give to people with Intellectual disabilities: “I believe in what they are doing and I know the positive impact they have when giving a job to someone with an intellectual disability. They give them so much more than just a job, they give them a place to belong and an opportunity to be like everyone else
and that matters to me.
“I know what it is like for people who live with a disability, I am a patron for Autism New Zealand and my son has autism. I hope that by shining a light and sharing what I know about Will&Able along with the difference
they are making, that people recognise that and make the change.
In their entry, Will&Able CEO, Martin Wylie said “There’s huge challenges for people with disabilities in employment. They’re three times as likely to be unemployed as the rest of us. And people with intellectual disabilities are in the toughest group of the lot. So, this is a particular group that special measures need to be taken to get them into the workforce, get them started. And we find that once they get started, they can move on from there. It’s getting that start is the key.”
In two years Auckland-based, Will&Able have secured nationwide retailer networks of their product range. Proud to support them in growing jobs is Countdown, New World and Pricewise. The range is also available at willandable.co.nz.