Franklin Templeton Celebrates Disability Awareness Month

SOURCE: Franklin Templeton

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Franklin Templeton’s ABLE business resource group (BRG) celebrated a successful Disability Awareness Month. Employees across the company joined a series of 10 virtual events in November, where they shared personal stories, listened to guest speakers and engaged in a virtual marketplace, disability-owned microbusinesses in the United States and India.

“Over the month, we heard personal stories from individuals who have been impacted by disabilities and how important and life changing inclusion is in the workplace and the community,” said Malena Madrigal, Project Manager, Talent Management Operations, and ABLE Global Co-Lead.

#InclusionWorks Speaker Series

The #InclusionWorks speaker series featured Franklin Templeton employees and guest speakers with disabilities sharing what inclusion in the workplace means to them and how it has affected their lives.

One of the speakers was Liza Jiang-Matsuda. She joined Franklin Templeton in 2018 and is a part of Accounts Payable (AP) in Rancho Cordova, CA. She has Asperger’s syndrome and has written over 50 poems to spread awareness.

“For the longest time I had felt like a loner, and I’d accepted the fact that I may never have friends,” Liza said. “But all that changed when I started to work in AP. I can finally say I have a few genuine friends who I can do things with outside of work, even though it’s virtually now due to the pandemic.” 

Ravi Thota, a Transfer Agent Operation Representative, also shared his story. He spoke about his life with polio, his outreach work with children to raise awareness about disabilities and the importance of workplace inclusion. He joined the company three years ago and has appreciated its inclusive practices, like having electric wheelchairs available on the Hyderabad, India campus to help people get around.

“Everyone at work is like my family member, and they are all eager to offer help,” Ravi said. “They always encourage me to participate, and I feel very included.”

External guest speakers for the event included a Paralympian swimmer and other disability advocates who talked about why diversity in the workplace is important and how people can be allies.  They shared stories showing how disability did not hold them back but rather provided them with an opportunity to succeed.

Common Invisible Disabilities

A talent strategist and diversity and inclusion (D&I) advocate spoke about three common invisible disabilities: depression, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy. It was noted that flexible work schedules, extended health benefits and employee assistance programs are the top workplace accommodations for invisible disabilities.

Disability Inclusion Forums

Franklin Templeton’s leaders shared their thoughts on how to build a more inclusive team during two forums. Key advice included:

  • Commit to D&I as an advocate
  • Take time to understand a person’s strengths and weaknesses and do not make assumptions
  • Make sure the person feels welcome and a part of the team
  • Give opportunities for development

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 165 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the Company brings extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, multi-asset solutions and alternatives. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has over 70 years of investment experience and approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020. For more information, please visit franklinresources.com

Tweet me: #inclusionWorks. Disability Awareness Month at Franklin Templeton. Speakers, Panels, and a Marketplace Round Out Month of Events. #ReachForBetter https://bit.ly/3qTujJu

KEYWORDS: NYSE:BEN, Franklin Templeton, Disability Awareness Month

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