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Charity partnership

Autism on payroll agenda at new Barclays campus

Partnership: Joanna Panese, Scott Stewart and Charlene Tait

Scottish Autism has announced a two year partnership project with Barclays to develop an inclusive and accessible environment for autistic employees at its new site in the heart of Glasgow.

The charity, Scotland’s largest provider of autism-specific services, was invited by the bank to support its aim of promoting diversity at the campus which will house 5,000 employees.

Scottish Autism’s practice development manager Joanna Panese, an experienced practitioner and leader, has been appointed its lead consultant on the project. She has more than 12 years’ experience within the third sector through direct practice, service development and management roles.  

Ms Panese and her team of advisers will be on hand throughout the project providing advice and support on best practice when creating accessible environments for autistic people.

The team is currently supporting the project team at the design and development stage of the build. This included advising on practical matters such as the type of flooring and materials that support an inclusive environment.

Charlene Tait, Deputy CEO at Scottish Autism, said: “This new site will not only have a significant economic impact for Scotland, it will also provide an important employment opportunity for people from a diverse background who often face barriers into work, including autistic individuals and those with disabilities.”

Scott Stewart, head of Barclays Scotland said: “As we double our headcount in Scotland we want to do this in a way that attracts, retains and develops the best talent.  The design of the campus is crucial in this respect. 

“We are committed to working collaboratively to share best practices to remove barriers to employment.

“Our proactive approach towards disability and mental health has had a positive effect on our organisational culture, opened up a wider talent pool and created opportunities for people of all abilities to join us, grow and fulfil their potential.

“At Barclays, our ambition is to become one of the most accessible and inclusive companies in the world, not only because it makes good commercial sense, but because it’s the right thing to do.”



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