Creating disability inclusive leadership: Zara Todd

Creating disability inclusive leadership: Zara Todd

Creating disability inclusive leadership: Zara Todd

Author

Introduction

Disabled people account for some 20% of the UK population, but they are under-represented in leadership positions. For example, as of May 2020, only five MPs in parliament identify as having a disability. Disability leadership is also an area where very little research has been done, leaving the full extent of the issue unknown and unresolved.

“Through my Fellowship I got to see different models of doing things and met some incredible disabled leaders." - Zara Todd, Fellow

Disability rights activist and educator Zara Todd (CF 2016) has spent the years since her Fellowship conducting research on this under-developed area and advocating for disability-inclusive leadership. In 2018, she published her Fellow’s Report, which has become one of the leading pieces of research in this field. She has since been invited to share her learnings widely, including at the 2020 annual conference of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). Later that year, Zara was commissioned by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) to carry out pioneering research, alongside researcher Ellie Munroe, into how voluntary sector organisations can build more disability-inclusive approaches to leadership.

As a result of this research, Zara and Ellie published a number of recommendations to support organisations to be more disability inclusive. Zara is now frequently contacted by organisations seeking guidance on inclusive practice, as well as by disabled people wanting support to navigate the sector. She has recently been awarded one of our Activate grants to develop the framework for a social enterprise that supports disability leadership.

Zara was inspired into action by her own experience as a disabled person working in the third sector since the 2000s. Her Fellowship to Australia and New Zealand explored approaches to disability-inclusive leadership.

Zara says, “Through my Fellowship I got to see different models of doing things and met some incredible disabled leaders. As a result, I came back with lots of ideas for how we could improve the situation in the UK. I hope to help organisations develop more inclusive practices, so that civil society can benefit from the wealth of talents and experiences that disabled people have.”

“Through my Fellowship I got to see different models of doing things and met some incredible disabled leaders." - Zara Todd, Fellow

Disability rights activist and educator Zara Todd (CF 2016) has spent the years since her Fellowship conducting research on this under-developed area and advocating for disability-inclusive leadership. In 2018, she published her Fellow’s Report, which has become one of the leading pieces of research in this field. She has since been invited to share her learnings widely, including at the 2020 annual conference of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). Later that year, Zara was commissioned by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) to carry out pioneering research, alongside researcher Ellie Munroe, into how voluntary sector organisations can build more disability-inclusive approaches to leadership.

As a result of this research, Zara and Ellie published a number of recommendations to support organisations to be more disability inclusive. Zara is now frequently contacted by organisations seeking guidance on inclusive practice, as well as by disabled people wanting support to navigate the sector. She has recently been awarded one of our Activate grants to develop the framework for a social enterprise that supports disability leadership.

Zara was inspired into action by her own experience as a disabled person working in the third sector since the 2000s. Her Fellowship to Australia and New Zealand explored approaches to disability-inclusive leadership.

Zara says, “Through my Fellowship I got to see different models of doing things and met some incredible disabled leaders. As a result, I came back with lots of ideas for how we could improve the situation in the UK. I hope to help organisations develop more inclusive practices, so that civil society can benefit from the wealth of talents and experiences that disabled people have.”