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Salvatore Ferragamo became this week the first Italian Fashion Company to join “The Hiring Chain”, a campaign launched by CoorDown, an association that supports people with Down syndrome based in Italy. The campaign was set in motion on March 21st, the World Down syndrome Day; and calls on employers and workplaces to be more inclusive by hiring people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.
Award-winning artist Sting lend his voice to the global awareness campaign that calls for job inclusion, and fights with the misconceptions about the capacities of people with Down syndrome to work. The video have received more than 5 million views, and over 900 companies have reached out to CoorDown to learn more about the campaign.
According to the United Nations, in developing countries 80% to 90% of people with disabilities in working age are unemployed; and while the numbers are lower in the industrialized countries, it is still worrisome: 50% to 70%. The pandemic hitting worldwide last year, made things only more complicated, as historically people with disabilities are among first groups to be laid off. In the United States only, a study made by the National Organization on Disability showed that nearly 1 million people with disabilities lost their jobs between the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and July 2020. Across the ocean, things are no better: in the UK, the employment rates for people with learning disabilities fell to 5.6% in the period between 2019-2020.
Inclusivity, specially in the Fashion Industry, has a long way to go; but hopefully companies will continue looking for ways to redeem a historically unequal and un-inclusive bubble. As we said before, over 900 companies have reached out to The Hiring Chain website, in which they can find information and support for the job placement of people with Down syndrome. We, as the president of CoorDown Antonella Falugiani, expect that:
+ Words: Leila Salinas, Luxiders Magazine
Journalist | Berlin-based
Connect with her on LinkedIn or Instagram (@leisalinas)