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Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses, recently hosted a Sage Pathways event in Soweto to engage with people living with disabilities in the community and surrounding areas. The event was aimed at getting young people recruitment-ready to apply for internship roles with Sage and other companies.

Sage Pathways is a global programme designed to help underrepresented groups get into or back to work. In South Africa, Sage Pathways focuses on recruiting people living with disabilities into a 12-month internship programme. In 2021, Sage South Africa recruited 13 interns living with disabilities into its customer services and finance operations division through this programme and plans to recruit more this year. The programme aligns with Sage’s wider commitment to creating a more fair, inclusive, and sustainable world while breaking down barriers for people living with disabilities to ensure they have access to the workplace.

Faith Ramusetheli, Transformation Director, Sage Africa and Middle East, says: “An estimated 7.5% of the South African population lives with some form of disability, and less than 1% of people living with a disability are employed. This is a reality for many people living with disabilities who are excluded from career opportunities through various barriers. These include physical workplace environments that are not accessible, a lack of assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices, and biased attitudes towards people with disabilities.

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“At Sage, we are committed to a bold Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy that enables our colleagues, partners, customers and communities to succeed so everyone can thrive. The Pathways programme is one of the key ways we are building a representative workplace that fuels growth, innovation and prosperity by tackling digital inequality – ensuring everyone has equal opportunities to access life-changing data and technology. The internship programme will give people with disabilities the opportunity to build skills, develop a professional network and, ultimately, move into a rewarding career.”

During the Soweto event, prospective applicants explored what it feels like to work at Sage and learned more about the programme and the roles. They also received help preparing for Sage’s application process, including sessions on improving interview skills, building their personal brand, and starting work with confidence. The Sage leadership team formed part of the event and interacted with the youth to further answer questions about the Pathways programme.

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In the year-long programme, interns receive on-the-job training, coaching, mentoring and are introduced to a Sage ‘buddy’ to help them navigate the business and start their work with confidence. Sage partnered with external recruitment specialists and its Sage Foundation charity partners to specifically target people living with disabilities.

“Sage is committed to an inclusive work environment that fully represents the many different cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints of our customers, partners, and communities through our DEI strategy and Future of Work programme,” says Ramusetheli.

Image Courtesy: sage.com

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