Meet Lisa Colangelo, Executive Sponsor of the Access-Ability Employees Network and Allies ERG
Last month, we introduced you to Craig Kozlowski, the Executive Sponsor of the Ukrainian Employees Network and Allies Employee Resource Group (ERG).
This month, we commemorate Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout October, and we are pleased to introduce you to Lisa Colangelo, the Access-Ability Employees Network and Allies Employee Resource Group (ERG) Executive Sponsor.
Disability Employment Awareness Month, or DEAM, is an annual observance in October that celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and promotes the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It also aims to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for People with disabilities in the labour market and to highlight the best practices and policies that support their employment.
Meet Lisa Colangelo, Chief Strategy and Customer Experience Officer and Executive Sponsor of the Access-Ability Employees Network and Allies ERG
Chief, Strategy and Customer Experience Officer
Surrey, British Columbia
Q. What does Disability Employment Awareness Month mean to you?
To me, Disability Employment Awareness Month is our opportunity to pause, recognize, acknowledge, and address the potential obstacles in the workplace that prevent those with a disability from achieving their full potential.
It is a time for all leaders to look around and take steps toward a more accessible workplace and to ensure that our workplace reflects the communities we serve.
Q. What inspired you to become an Executive Sponsor of the Access-Ability Employees Network and Allies Employee Resource Group (ERG)?
As someone who has led large teams for many years, I became passionate about creating environments where everyone is given an equal opportunity and working in an environment that allows them to excel.
As a Leader at Western, I want to support those with visible and/or invisible disabilities actively. I want us to create a safe place where our People can bring their whole selves to work daily.
Q. What do you hope to achieve through your involvement with the Employee Resource Group?
I want to be a voice for the Access-ability ERG. As an advocate for this group, in the short term, I want to influence areas that can help create more accessible workplaces while working with the team to build a longer-term roadmap for those areas that will take time for us to address and correct to help support those with disabilities.
Q. How does the Access-Ability Employees Network and Allies Group contribute to Western Financial Group’s values?
In our ERG, a couple of our team members indicated that the network has created a safe space for them to disclose their disability, discuss obstacles in managing their disability in the workforce, and help develop solutions for us all to continue to learn and grow. I believe that the Access-Ability Employees Network and Allies ERG can play a crucial role in supporting individuals with visible and/or invisible disabilities.
Q. How do you envision the Employee Resource Group’s (ERG) impact on Western’s culture and the development of our team members?
I believe that the Employee Resource Group (ERG) will play a significant role in creating a more inclusive culture at Western. The ERG will consider the ways and areas in which we invest in our people, to ensure that it is in line with creating an inclusive workforce where everyone's voice is heard, and they are valued and recognized for the unique skills they bring to the Western team.