Knight Frank. the global property consultant, has become a member of the global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network, to support employees with hidden disabilities across its UK business. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower exists to help those with disabilities that are not immediately obvious, such as autism, chronic pain, anxiety and visual or hearing impairment.
Starting this week in its Baker Street head office and then with the plan to roll out to all offices, Knight Frank colleagues with non-visible disabilities can choose to wear Sunflower branded products to indicate a need for additional support, extra time or understanding from colleagues. Managers will receive Hidden Disabilities Sunflower training to help support their team members.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower initiative is being rolled out across all Knight Frank’s UK offices, in line with its health & wellbeing Business Balance initiative, which aims to break down barriers and offer equal opportunities, while also championing underrepresented voices.
The initial year-long scheme is being spearheaded by Luke Kievenaar, Knight Frank’s Head of Property Management for the Investment Lettings & Management department. The scheme aims to make the workplace more inclusive so that those with non-visible disabilities can thrive.
Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is the latest disability-focussed organisation that Knight Frank is partnering with. This includes working with Lexxic, leaders in the field of neurodiversity, to undertake workplace assessments and HR leadership training and a corporate partnership with Purple, who provide guidance on becoming a Disability Confident Employer, to ensure Knight Frank’s workplaces and careers sections are accessible for all.
Luke Kievenaar, Partner, Head of Property Management at Knight Frank, commented:
“We are very excited to launch the Sunflower at Knight Frank. It is important to recognise and support anyone with a hidden disability and make daily lives less challenging. Recognising that awareness is key, our new training courses and disability inclusion partnerships will ensure our teams understand, value and respect everyone. We will need to appreciate that anyone wearing a Sunflower badge or lanyard may require extra support or time and thus we will make sure to offer a respectful approach to their needs.
“Our corporate policies, including how we recruit, is intended to reflect the diverse society we live in to ensure we are taking the relevant steps to create an inclusive environment with the aim to become an accredited Disability Confident employer. Speaking of my personal experiences of living with the struggles of having a hidden disability, which I had previously hidden for the best part of a decade from previous employers, it has been beyond refreshing to have the support and understanding of colleagues and the senior management at Knight Frank. Having a disability is certainly nothing to be ashamed of and I am very proud to work for a company that recognises that fact and is reviewing its workplaces, client experiences and employee requirements.”
Paul White, CEO, at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, said:
“Knight Frank is supporting their Business Balance initiative with the introduction of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. The objectives of both marry together well. The Sunflower is committed to raising awareness of non-visible disabilities and creating inclusive spaces – where Sunflower wearers can thrive. The breadth of non-visible disabilities is vast which means that there is always more to learn. Listening to colleagues about what support and adjustments they need is a crucial first step. Which in turn means Knight Frank is an accessible space for diversity and disability inclusion for employees and clients.”
Hidden Disabilities Sunflower has been adopted globally by organisations, airports and venues to support employees and clients. Organisations such as the NHS, numerous UK public sector bodies and universities. The initiative was founded in 2016 at Gatwick Airport to assist passengers with non-visible disabilities during their travel journey.
As part of the agreement, training will be given on how to support Knight Frank colleagues with hidden disabilities and deepen their understanding on conditions that can make day-to-day workplace experiences challenging.
About Knight Frank
Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy, serving as our clients’ partners in property for 125 years. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank has more than 20,000 people operating from 488 offices across 57 territories. The Group advises clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants.
For further information about the Firm, please visit knightfrank.com.
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