By Steph Cutler, Head of Employment at TPT
Last year I attended the Shaw Trust Power 100 event as someone who had been recognised as one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. The roll call in 2018 was hugely impressive, and I felt honoured to be in the same company as the other nominees.
I was invited to be a judge for this year’s Power 100 list. The nominees were of such a high calibre, we received literally hundreds of nominations and deciding upon just 100 was almost impossible, as the standard was so high. This caused no end of headaches, but I was also filled with hope and happiness when reading about the amazing people doing incredible things across the UK.
The Shaw Trust, who organise, coordinate and produce the Power 100 list, are keen for it to achieve a number of ambitions. One is to inspire and empower disabled people, especially young disabled people showing that the sky really is the limit. My involvement has assured me that the disability baton is being handed over to the next generation who are proving themselves more than capable of taking the agenda forward.
Blind and partially sighted people were widely acknowledged, including two people with sight loss in the top ten. Caroline Casey was ranked number five for her Valuable 500 initiative. She is committed to getting 500 national and multi-national private sector companies to put disability on their leadership agenda at board level by Davos 2020.
Paul Smyth was recognised at number ten for his work as Head of Accessibility at Barclays. He has been integral in striving to meet Barclay’s ambition to be the most accessible company on The Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 list.
Other blind and partially sighted people who made the list this year included: Christopher Catt, Jamie Weller, Haseeb Ahmad, Neil Heslop OBE, Philip Connolly, Dr Hazel McFarlane, Lucy Edwards, Chloe Tear, Holly Tuke and Corie Brown.
Big congratulations to all those on the list, and a particular nod must go to Baroness Jane Campbell who topped the list at number one.