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Current position: Head of the sheltered workshop,
Bayer Crop Science, Marle
Joined Bayer in: 1998
"People are still afraid of disability and this sheltered workshop is a way of raising awareness of difference, whatever form it takes."
What path has your career taken in the Bayer Group?
In 1998, I applied for a summer job at the Marle production plant. After that, I worked as a production line foreman. Then, eight years ago, I was offered a job supervising disabled workers on the packaging lines. I immediately accepted.
What were your reasons for accepting this job?
I could tie it in with my initial training (I have a baccalaureate in medical welfare), which had a strong focus on disability and welfare issues. And I was already aware that everyone could be affected by disability, so it was important for me to be able to take part in this initiative, put prejudice behind me and help. People are still afraid of disability and this sheltered workshop is also a way of raising awareness of difference, whatever form it takes.
What are your main job roles?
I'm in charge of the plant's two sheltered workshops, which represent up to around 40 people. Depending on the orders and our requirements, I call on the services of sheltered workshops (1) or companies that employ a disabled workforce: we contract work out to two centers in particular. Some people have more severe disabilities. They are accompanied by a special-needs teacher and do small-scale packaging at a table. Other more autonomous workers have a wider variety of tasks (order preparation, distribution). I approve each step, check the quality and take care of logistics and tracking.
How does Bayer help disabled workers find employment?
The Marle facility has been employing disabled workers for nearly 30 years. A lot of progress has been made. Today, all of the workstations in the sheltered workshop have been adapted to accommodate the various disabilities and access has been improved, so each worker can work in the best possible conditions. To avoid creating a barrier between the disabled workers and the other teams, and to encourage interaction, a mechanized packaging line has been installed in the same building. It's important for Bayer to draw employees' attention to disability issues. We need concrete actions... and that's what we're doing in Marle!
(1) Known in France as an ESAT, or Etablissement et Service d’Aide par le Travail. This is a medical/welfare organization that provides work for disabled people who could not work in any other situation, along with medical and welfare support.