Smart Note: Hiring Staff with Disabilities at AccessBank, Azerbaijan

> Posted by Sergio Guzmán
As previously announced, the Smart Campaign included the concept of non-discrimination in the Client Protection Principles under the heading Fair and Ethical Treatment of Clients. The principle now affirms the idea that microfinance clients and staff should not suffer discrimination on the basis of gender, political affiliation, religious belief, or disability, among others.
This work has been done in collaboration with the Center for Financial Inclusion’s program on persons with disabilities (PWD). One of the action items that resulted from a  June 2010 roundtable on Financial Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities hosted by the World Bank was to document how financial institutions currently include PWDs  in their activities.
In that context, we’re pleased to release a new Smart Note focusing on the efforts of AccessBank Azerbaijan to practice non-discrimination among employees through deliberate efforts to hire persons with disabilities. Additionally, the Smart Note provides a testimonial from one of AccessBank’s employees, Asad Aslanov, that talks about his experience as a person with disabilities working as a cashier at the MFI. Through inclusive hiring policies, targeted recruitment of PWDs, and specialized training, AccessBank demonstrates a commitment to non-discrimination.
These efforts may make the institution a more welcoming environment for clients with disabilities, but further measures will be needed to achieve a similar level of non-discrimination for clients. Through this Smart Note, the Smart Campaign highlights AccessBank’s important first steps toward more comprehensive non-discrimination practices.
We believe this Smart Note provides valuable lessons for microfinance institutions that want to begin working on disability inclusion.
Please download the Smart Note and tell us what you think!
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