Be. Employed

Be. Employed is a dynamic accessible employment movement that invites leading organisations to find new ways to advance a more accessible employment landscape.

Be. Employed is the latest programme from the Be. Institute and dovetails seamlessly with our other programmes Be. Welcome, Be. Leadership and Be. Confident.

Over the decades, many attempts have been made all around the world to advance the employment of access citizens, though very few have really shifted the dial, leaving access citizens overrepresented in underemployment stats in nearly all OECD countries. In New Zealand, more than 60% of people with access needs are unemployed or underemployed [1].

Bar chart representing the labour force participation of disabled (40%) and non-disabled people (77%) as at 2005

The opportunity cost of this workforce exclusion is estimated at around $NZ11.7b [2]. A truly accessible country, where all people have access to education opportunities, feel empowered and included in society, would go a long way to realising this NZ$11.7b opportunity.

$11.7 billion the opportunity cost of workforce exclusion in New Zealand

Be. Employed aims to shift the dial by working with organisations that recognise the opportunity this presents and are ready to go the distance by making bold advances in their thinking, culture and ideas. They are courageous and ready to ask the question around what is possible in the employment arena when accessibility is embraced!

Two things we know for sure at Be. are that employers are the answer to this, and that disabled people make great employees. we also know it's not rocket science, but it does need our combined focus and energy.

Be. Employed works with businesses and organisations to enable them to tap into the amazing resource of people with access needs who make up 20% of our population, many of whom offer a unique set of skills and perspectives that bring value to our organisations, communities and economy when the opportunity presents, and most of who require little to no extra support or investment to fulfill their role [3].

Pie chart representing the percentage of Access Employees (only 25%) that required extra support to work in 2005

Many of our most successful leaders in business, the arts, academia and sport are people who have some kind of impairment. They are evidence that disability is not the issue when it comes to working at the highest levels. So what is?

Be. Employed can help you find out and remove the barriers in your organisation to becoming a fully accessible employer! If you would like more information about Be. Employed or any of our other programmes, please contact us at:


Next: Read about Why Be. Employed or join us today.


[1] Centre for Social Research and Evaluation, June 2005, Disability and work participation in New Zealand: Outcomes relating to paid employment and benefit receipt.

[2] Data taken from a study conducted by Innov8 Consulting Group in 2006.

[3] Supplier Diversity in the GTA: Business Case and Best Practices

Investing to keep disabled people in work brings long term benefits