Behind the Mission: Disabilities and Inclusion at the World Bank Group

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Behind the Mission: Disabilities and Inclusion at the World Bank Group

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In our Behind the Mission series, staff share tips, best practices, and answer questions about working in international development and at the World Bank Group—a global institution with 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations. This specific episode, airing ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, will focus on two colleagues who have not just overcome their disabilities, but have flourished in their careers at the World Bank Group. Charlotte Vuyiswa McClain-Nhlapo, our Global Disability Adviser at the World Bank Group, and Carole Megevand, Sector Leader for Sustainable Development for the Maghreb countries, based in Morocco, will share their stories and insights with us on the topic of disability and inclusion at the Bank Group.

00:00 Welcome: Inclusion and Disabilities at the World Bank Group
02:04 Introducing Charlotte and her role as Global Disability Advisor
06:01 Introducing Carole and her work in the field in developing countries
10:02 Make disability not an obstacle to doing your job
11:50 Toward a more inclusive institution
16:01 Supporting persons with disabilities and mainstreaming disabilities
18:20 Careers and selection process: Making one’s application stand out
21:12 Working alongside beneficiaries right out in the field
23:45 Working at the World Bank Group: Country offices and headquarters
25:41 What’s something you wish someone had told you
29:56 Thanks for joining this episode of #BehindTheMissionWBG

Speakers

Moderator

Read the transcript


  • 00:12 [Srimathi Sridhar] Good morning,  
  • 00:13 good afternoon and good evening, everyone.
  • 00:15 Welcome to Behind the Mission, our monthly  series here, where we talk about what it takes
  • 00:20 and what it's like to work in international  development and at the World Bank Group.
  • 00:24 I'm your host, Srimathi Sridhar,
  • 00:25 and it's my pleasure to be  guiding you through today's
  • 00:28 conversation on disability and inclusion at the World Bank Group.
  • 00:32 December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
  • 00:36 And ahead of that, we're going to be speaking with two colleagues, Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo,
  • 00:40 our Global Disability Advisor at the World Bank Group and Carole Megevand, who is a sector
  • 00:46 leader for sustainable development for the Maghreb countries based in Morocco.
  • 00:51 Both are professional women with disabilities who have flourished in their careers here
  • 00:56 at the bank group.
  • 00:57 And they're here to share  with us their experiences 
  • 00:59 and to answer your questions, as it relates
  • 01:01 to disability and inclusion at our organization.
  • 01:05 For today's episode, we do have with us an American Sign Language interpreter, who will
  • 01:09 be pinned on the corner of your screen.
  • 01:12 Now, before we get started, I do want to encourage those of you that are tuning in online to
  • 01:16 share your questions in the comments section, and you can always follow along online using
  • 01:21 the hashtag #behindthemissionWBG.
  • 01:23 We look forward to hearing from you.
  • 01:25 With that, let's get our conversation started.
  • 01:27 Hi, everyone. We're so sorry for that interruption, but we're back here.
  • 01:28 To rewind a little bit, I was saying that Charlotte, Carole, I'm really looking forward
  • 01:29 to talking to you both about what the World Bank Group is doing around disability and
  • 01:34 inclusion.
  • 08:32 In an effort to be as accessible as possible, could you start off by giving a descriptive
  • 08:37 introduction of yourself before we dive in?
  • 08:39 I'll briefly start by saying that I'm Shri.
  • 08:42 I'm the moderator of the program and I'm a South Asian woman with brown skin, long black
  • 08:48 hair, black eyes.
  • 08:49 Today, I'm wearing a pink blouse with a red blazer.
  • 08:54 Charlotte, let me now turn it over to you for your introduction, but to also give an
  • 08:58 answer to the first question, which is getting to know you a bit better.
  • 09:02 You are the Global Disability Advisor for the World Bank Group.
  • 09:06 For those that aren't familiar with that title, tell us more about what your job entails.
  • 09:10 [Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo] Thank you, Shri.
  • 09:13 My name is Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo.
  • 09:15 I'm a brown woman with long brown hair and green eyes.
  • 09:19 Today, I'm wearing black framed reading glasses and I have on a red and pink turtleneck and
  • 09:25 I'm wearing large gold hoop earrings.
  • 09:27 I also have a set of headphones on my head.
  • 09:30 I have to say, it's always wonderful to be able to share a platform with Carole, but
  • 09:35 now to your question- [Srimathi Sridhar] Sorry, Charlotte.
  • 09:41 Keep going.
  • 09:43 [Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo] Now to your question, in my role as disability
  • 09:47 advisor, I lead on providing the institution with three key building blocks to advance
  • 09:52 disability inclusion.
  • 09:54 These three building blocks support the operations and they support building the analytical base
  • 10:02 and fostering partnerships.
  • 10:04 On the first block of operations and advisory services, I provide technical advice across
  • 10:10 the institution on various aspects of disability inclusion, which might include working with
  • 10:16 projects teams to ensure that our operations are more disability inclusive, or it may entail
  • 10:22 providing technical inputs into strategic documents.
  • 10:26 It may also include developing policy and guidance with sector specialists on a range
  • 10:32 of disability issues and sectors.
  • 10:34 For example, it might be focusing on disability measurement or on inclusive healthcare systems
  • 10:41 or on inclusive education or inclusive digital development.
  • 10:46 So really looking at the sectors and making sure that they are addressing issues around
  • 10:52 disability inclusion.
  • 10:53 This guidance is important because it assists us in coalescing around a common understanding
  • 10:59 of what we mean when we say we are disability inclusive.
  • 11:03 Now, this guidance is often used with the various instruments that the Bank has to support
  • 11:07 our clients.
  • 11:09 That's under the package of support to operations.
  • 11:15 On the second, and what I see as the foundational block is building of the analytical base.
  • 11:21 In this regard, my role is to lead our new knowledge on disability inclusion, to review
  • 11:27 ongoing knowledge, products and analytics, again across the institution to ensure that
  • 11:34 disability inclusion is embedded and addressed.
  • 11:38 Another part of my job is managing resources to support disability inclusion.
  • 11:43 Currently, I manage two trust funds that support disability inclusive education, and we work
  • 11:48 across nine countries in low-income economies.
  • 11:53 Last but not least is the third block.
  • 11:55 This block is the block that focuses on building strategic partnerships.
  • 12:00 We recognize that we do not have all the capacity and certainly, not all the knowledge on disability
  • 12:06 inclusive development; therefore it is essential for us to have strong partners that do this
  • 12:12 work and that we can work with.
  • 12:15 It is also essential that we partner with and listen to organizations or persons with
  • 12:22 disabilities because they  have the lived experience.
  • 12:25 They understand the country context, and often they have the solutions.
  • 12:31 Shri, in one sentence, I would say that my work is very much about finding entry points
  • 12:37 to build the disability inclusive agenda and to ensure that it becomes a cornerstone of
  • 12:43 the larger development agenda.
  • 12:45 [Srimathi Sridhar] And a very important agenda that we have here.
  • 12:48 Thanks so much for being here with us, Charlotte.
  • 12:51 Carole, let me now turn over to you for your introduction, but also question in getting
  • 12:56 to know you a bit more.
  • 12:57 You've worked in the field for several years and in many different developing countries.
  • 13:02 How has the experience been for you so far and has it been easier in certain countries
  • 13:06 than others to conduct your work?
  • 13:08 [Carole Megevand] Thanks a lot, Shri and nice to be with Charlotte
  • 13:14 and everybody.
  • 13:15 My name is Carole Megevand and let me describe myself first.
  • 13:20 I'm a white woman, blonde curly hair with glasses.
  • 13:25 Today, I wear a blue shirt with white and red stripes.
  • 13:31 That you can't see, but I'm in a wheelchair, I had an accident when I was 21.
  • 13:36 So yes, I had the privilege to be able to work in different countries over the past
  • 13:41 20 years with the World Bank, starting with the position at the World Bank country office
  • 13:47 in Cameroon, in Yaounde for five years.
  • 13:49 Then I moved to the headquarters in Washington for about nine years before going to Argentina,
  • 13:56 Buenos Aires.
  • 13:57 Now, I'm based in Rabat, Morocco.
  • 14:01 Clearly, what you were mentioning is very true.
  • 14:04 I could witness firsthand that the situation is very, very different.
  • 14:08 Despite the fact that my disability has not changed at all over the past 20 years, I could
  • 14:15 see how different my experience in a wheelchair has been in these different countries.
  • 14:20 I got to realize how much my disability is not so much about my physical constraints,
  • 14:27 but how they do interact with my environment.
  • 14:31 When I say environment, it  is about the infrastructure 
  • 14:34 environment, because as you can imagine, it's
  • 14:36 important for me to have the ramp that will allow me to enter buildings.
  • 14:41 It is important to be able to go to the bathroom and all this infrastructure setups that I
  • 14:49 need to use to make sure that I can move and I can do my work as I need to.
  • 14:56 But I think it's important also, and I could see that to mention that there are cultural
  • 15:02 differences when it comes to the perception to disability.
  • 15:06 This is important because it will also very much affect and interact in the way that you
  • 15:13 will be engaging with different people in the country.
  • 15:17 Just let me give you an example, I was placed for four years in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 15:24 Just when I arrived, there  was a new administration.
  • 15:28 The Vice President, a woman, was in a wheelchair.
  • 15:31 The Minister of a Labor was in a wheelchair.
  • 15:33 And I can tell you it was easy to access any public buildings because they were aware…
  • 15:39 those public figures had already made a huge progress in this need for infrastructure that
  • 15:46 would be disability-friendly, but also in terms of awareness raising that people with
  • 15:51 disability can and show that they can access the highest rank in the public sector, but
  • 15:58 also in the private sector.
  • 16:00 Arriving in Morocco was a different story.
  • 16:03 You barely see disabled people in the street.
  • 16:06 It's very difficult to have any accessible infrastructure because I think the idea in
  • 16:11 Morocco is that the disability will be managed at the family level and that hasn't been perceived
  • 16:20 as a society issue.
  • 16:23 When it comes to decision-making in terms of infrastructure, sometime this dimension
  • 16:28 is overlooked.
  • 16:30 What I would say is that very different situation, very different complex that requires me to
  • 16:36 adjust and to be flexible and to make sure that in whatever condition I need to be able
  • 16:43 to find a way to do my job.
  • 16:45 Thank you.
  • 16:46 [Srimathi Sridhar] Thanks Carol.
  • 16:48 You raised many important points here, so let's follow up on this a bit further.
  • 16:52 How has the World Bank Group supported you, so that your disability hasn't come off as
  • 16:56 an obstacle to your work?
  • 16:58 [Carole Megevand] Well, I haven't worked in many other institutions,
  • 17:03 but what I can say is that working at the Bank is certainly a privilege when you have
  • 17:07 a disability; first because there will be a lot of attention to make sure that everything
  • 17:13 you need physically will be there to help you.
  • 17:17 Charlotte was mentioning the fence that she's managing to make sure that people in needs
  • 17:23 will be able to receive the support they need.
  • 17:26 What I would say is that I also have the privilege to work with a lot of colleagues that are
  • 17:32 willing to support, and that's part of the mindset.
  • 17:34 People will make sure that whenever you need it, when you are in a mission, in a fill visit,
  • 17:40 things will be adjusted and accommodated, so that you can really deliver on the task
  • 17:46 and your job.
  • 17:48 Maybe I will look at another dimension.
  • 17:52 Not only what the World Bank can help me do, but also what I can support the World Bank
  • 17:58 in its mandate and its values.
  • 18:00 I think that's really important, and that's something that I got to realize a little late
  • 18:06 in my career at the Bank.
  • 18:07 I do think that even though my work has nothing to do with disability, being in a wheelchair,
  • 18:13 participating in meetings with high-level governments but also with project beneficiaries…
  • 18:19 That has an impact in terms of making the agenda and inclusion really move forward.
  • 18:24 Just being there and showing that, even though you are in a wheelchair, you can do the job.
  • 18:30 That has a lot of impact, it matters, and it's really in line with the values of the
  • 18:34 World Bank.
  • 18:35 Thanks.
  • 18:37 [Srimathi Sridhar] It certainly a sends of powerful message,
  • 18:38 right Carol?
  • 18:40 Charlotte, as a global disability advisor, you've seen the institution grow.
  • 18:45 Would you say that there has been progress moving the needle towards having a more inclusive
  • 18:50 institution? [Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo] Thanks Sri, that's a great question.
  • 18:54 Yes, I have indeed seen the institution grow in relation to disability inclusion, both
  • 19:00 in terms of being a staff  member with a disability.
  • 19:03 Like Carole, I use a wheelchair.
  • 19:05 But also in terms of our external facing work, which I just described earlier on in terms
  • 19:11 of what my focus is.
  • 19:13 When I joined the Bank in 2004, there was a disability working group, which was the
  • 19:20 place that issues around disability you were discussed.
  • 19:24 Today, we have an extremely active Disability Advocacy and Resource Employees Group, called
  • 19:31 DARE.
  • 19:32 We have a staff association-working group on disability.
  • 19:35 We have the disability accommodations fund to support staff with disabilities to ensure
  • 19:41 that their reasonable accommodations are met.
  • 19:44 And we have policies in place to support staff with disabilities.
  • 19:48 So, quite a bit has happened in regard to what we do internally.
  • 19:52 In our outward facing work, we definitely, definitely have a much larger cohort of Bank
  • 20:01 staff who are working on disability across the sectors and the regions.
  • 20:06 We now have focal points in most of the sectors and in all regions.
  • 20:11 We definitely have seen an uptick in the number of projects that are disability inclusive.
  • 20:16 In addition to this, we have the environmental social framework, which has been a huge boost
  • 20:22 for advancing disability inclusion.
  • 20:24 The framework works along a suite of robust technical guidance notes on different facets
  • 20:29 of disability inclusion.
  • 20:31 I think it's important also to just point out the alongside this operational work, through
  • 20:37 our funding mechanisms like IDA, IDA19 in this case,  
  • 20:41 we have seen very important opportunities
  • 20:44 to accelerate disability and the Bank's work.
  • 20:49 If we look at the IDA19 package, we see that 
  • 20:52 it recognizes disability  inclusion as a crosscutting
  • 20:55 theme.
  • 20:56 It embeds disability inclusion in six policy commitments, and it commits to investing in
  • 21:05 disability-disaggregated data, which is really important.
  • 21:09 I should note that as we think about IDA20, we're going to maintain our level of ambition
  • 21:14 and we're actually proposing for IDA20 to have a standalone policy commitment on universal
  • 21:21 access, which again would cut across through a range of sectors including education, health,
  • 21:27 social protection, water, and so forth.
  • 21:30 To answer your question in a nanosecond, yes, there has been significant progress on disability
  • 21:35 inclusion at the World Bank since I joined.
  • 21:39 I would just end this response by saying in many ways we have all the building blocks
  • 21:45 in place.
  • 21:47 Now I think what we need to do is to replicate and multiply what works and collectively work
  • 21:54 towards constructing an inclusive ecosystem that is both accessible but very importantly,
  • 22:02 sustainable for all.
  • 22:04 [Srimathi Sridhar] Thanks Charlotte.
  • 22:07 I can't say it better myself.
  • 22:09 Guys if you're just joining us, you're watching Behind the Mission, where today I'm speaking
  • 22:13 with Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, who's our Global Disability Advisor at the Royal Bank Group
  • 22:18 and Carole Megevand, who's the Sector Leader for Sustainable Development for the Maghreb
  • 22:22 countries working out of Morocco.
  • 22:25 December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and we're talking about
  • 22:30 the importance of disability and inclusion in the workplace.
  • 22:33 We're very happy that Charlotte and Carol 
  • 22:35 have been able to join us  to share their experiences.
  • 22:38 I also want to take a moment to thank you, our online audience, for being with us here
  • 22:42 today.
  • 22:43 We know that you've been busy submitting your questions for Charlotte and Carol.
  • 22:48 Let's take a minute to go through a couple of those.
  • 22:51 I've got a question here from Virginie Toko, in Cameroon, who is a disability rights advocate
  • 22:57 and wants to know, how can the World Bank be of help to persons with disabilities in
  • 23:02 a time of crisis?
  • 23:04 And how does the institution mainstream disability in their different activities?
  • 23:09 Who would like to take this question?
  • 23:10 [Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo] I'm happy to respond to Virginie, and thank
  • 23:14 you very much for your question.
  • 23:16 I would say that there are many ways in which the Bank can support and assist persons with
  • 23:21 disabilities.
  • 23:22 The one way is to ensure that persons with disabilities participate in our stakeholder
  • 23:27 engagement consultations: that we consult, and that we listen to what their needs are.
  • 23:34 We can also partner with organizations with disabilities, at a country level, to advance
  • 23:39 the agenda.
  • 23:40 We have some examples of that kind of work.
  • 23:42 We've did so in Malawi, on an inclusive education project.
  • 23:46 We can partner with organizations of persons with disabilities to collect data, as we did
  • 23:52 recently for a phone-based survey that we used for the research paper on the impact
  • 23:59 of COVID 19 on children with disabilities.
  • 24:03 There are a number of different ways that we can work with organizations of persons
  • 24:08 with disabilities at country level during a crisis.
  • 24:11 On your second part of the question around mainstreaming,  
  • 24:16 we strive at the Bank, to mainstream
  • 24:18 disability inclusion by  embedding disability-specific 
  • 24:22 components.
  • 24:23 Those may be full components in a project, maybe an indicator.
  • 24:29 The idea is to embed this into our project design.
  • 24:33 But I think it's also important to think about how we mainstream disability inclusion in
  • 24:38 our social analysis and how we ensure that the way we do business is disability-inclusive,
  • 24:45 to ensure that we're mainstreaming disability inclusion in the analytics and the knowledge
  • 24:50 products that the Bank develops.
  • 24:53 Finally, I think part of the mainstreaming comes from what Carole said, "How do we ensure
  • 24:58 that we, as an institution, are accessible to persons with disabilities?"
  • 25:03 That certainly helps in mainstreaming the agenda.
  • 25:06 [Srimathi Sridhar] Thank you so much, Charlotte.
  • 25:11 One more online question here, from [Secure Alum], who wants to know if there is a particular
  • 25:16 way of applying that can make one's application stand out.
  • 25:20 What should one focus on to maximize chances of being selected for a job?
  • 25:26 Carole, maybe I can throw this one over to you.
  • 25:27 [Carole Megevand] Sure, Sri.
  • 25:30 Thank you. Thank you very much, Secure, for your question.
  • 25:33 Well, I can share my personal experience.
  • 25:38 As I mentioned, I was recruited at the World Bank to become a forestry specialist, to be
  • 25:43 based in Cameroon.
  • 25:45 Honestly, I don't think that my disability in any way, has been taken into account in
  • 25:50 the decision for the recruitment.
  • 25:54 I was bringing the technical skills, I guess, and the competencies and they made me fulfill
  • 26:00 the requirement under the terms of references.
  • 26:04 That was the most important  part of the recruitment 
  • 26:07 process, but that said, I can't say that my
  • 26:10 recruiters were completely blind to my disability.
  • 26:14 First of all, I could see that when decision was made for me to be based in the country
  • 26:19 office in Cameroon, everything was done to make sure that the office would be accessible
  • 26:26 to me.
  • 26:27 They were building ramps all over the place so that I could access most of the different
  • 26:32 offices. That was clearly a sign that they were caring about making sure that I would be able to
  • 26:38 do the job the way I needed.
  • 26:42 Maybe a second part, which I think was also important, is when I was applying, clearly,
  • 26:51 they knew about my disability, and I didn't hide my disability.
  • 26:56 Without saying anything, I think that just deciding to apply to this position, to move
  • 27:02 from France to Cameroon, even though I was in a wheelchair, that was a testimony that
  • 27:07 I was so willing to be able to be part of the World Bank and to contribute to its values
  • 27:12 and its mandate.
  • 27:14 Even that it wasn't mentioned or said, I think that was just a strong testimony of the commitment
  • 27:21 I had for the development  agenda and the contribution 
  • 27:26 I wanted to have as part of the institution.
  • 27:29 I would say that, build your skills, and make sure that you have strong technical skills,
  • 27:34 competencies.
  • 27:35 Sell that first, but also share your personal experience, and show how it fits within an
  • 27:42 institution like the Bank.
  • 27:43 Thank you.
  • 27:44 [Srimathi Sridhar] That certainly goes a long way.
  • 27:47 Thank you so much, Carole.
  • 27:48 And huge thanks to Virginie and [Secure] for sending in your online questions.
  • 27:53 For those tuning in, continue to send in your questions.
  • 27:56 We do have colleagues behind the scenes that are working hard to answer any questions that
  • 28:00 you have.
  • 28:03 In the spirit of sharing advice, Carole, let me come back to you here.
  • 28:07 For people who have disabilities, who want to work, not just in international development,
  • 28:12 but they want to be alongside beneficiaries, and they want to be right out there in the
  • 28:16 field, what would be your advice for them?
  • 28:19 What should they do?
  • 28:20 [Carole Megevand] All right.
  • 28:24 Thank you, Sri, for that question.
  • 28:27 That was, to me, the most important.
  • 28:29 I wanted to be at the World Bank, because it would allow me to be really close to the
  • 28:34 beneficiaries. I knew that I would be able to be part of projects that were really the one that I wanted
  • 28:42 to contribute to.
  • 28:45 My expertise, as I was mentioning, was on forestry and rural development.
  • 28:49 Whenever I wanted to go to the field to see the impact of the project, I had to go to
  • 28:54 very remote areas.
  • 28:56 As you can imagine, it is not always very accessible.
  • 28:59 That made the mission very challenging, but also at the same time, very rewarding.
  • 29:06 Maybe one advice, and that's what I'm trying to apply to myself all the time, is to make
  • 29:12 sure that you keep track, you always check on the cost benefit balance.
  • 29:19 What I mean is that, going for those missions, and going to the fields, and getting to interact
  • 29:28 with the beneficiaries, can come with costs, some frustration.
  • 29:32 Sometime it is difficult; sometimes you end up not even being able to see what you were
  • 29:37 supposed to go to look at.
  • 29:40 That can generate some frustration and some pain sometime, but the reward and the benefits
  • 29:47 can be very high.
  • 29:49 I always check on myself, whether I'm still on the positive side of the equation, if the
  • 29:54 benefits are still higher than my cost.
  • 29:58 Honestly, after 20 years, I can say that the positive aggregate is always there.
  • 30:05 So it's so rewarding to be able to be part of this development adventure and to receive
  • 30:12 the impact that the World Bank has through its project.
  • 30:16 I think you need to be demanding to yourself, to push your limits.
  • 30:23 But you also need to take care and make sure that whatever you do, will be good for you.
  • 30:29 Always try to find the right balance that will suit you.
  • 30:32 Thank you.
  • 30:33 [Srimathi Sridhar] Thank you, Carole.
  • 30:35 And Charlotte, to that end, the World Bank Group is decentralizing, with the goal of
  • 30:41 having 55% of its workforce in country offices and not Washington, D.C. by 2025.
  • 30:47 Carole has shared here, some great insights so far, as to what it's like to work side
  • 30:51 of HQ.
  • 30:52 What message would you send to people with disabilities who are interested in working
  • 30:57 with us here at the World Bank Group?
  • 30:58 [Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo] Another great question, Srimathi.
  • 31:01 I would say if you are driven and passionate about development, about people, about the
  • 31:07 planet, the Bank is an incredible and an extremely gratifying institution to work in.
  • 31:13 What I would say to someone who's interested in development is that you need to follow
  • 31:19 your professional interest.
  • 31:22 Also, you do not have to work exclusively 
  • 31:26 on disability issues because  you have a disability.
  • 31:29 Carole has laid that out and shows that in her work all the time.
  • 31:34 That is a choice.
  • 31:36 My sense is that your lived experience as a person with disability often informs your
  • 31:41 work, whether you're working on disability or you're working in another sector.
  • 31:46 There are those issues that you bring to the table because of your lived experience.
  • 31:51 But, I also want to amplify the D in diversity, 
  • 31:55 and I would really encourage  people with disabilities
  • 32:00 who qualify to apply to the Bank if they are passionate about development because this
  • 32:08 is an institution where we can actually change the lives of many, many people.
  • 32:14 [Srimathi Sridhar] Thanks, Charlotte.
  • 32:18 You and Carole both have so far shared some really great advice on finding the right balance,
  • 32:23 on being passionate.
  • 32:26 Before I let the both of you go, I do have one last question for each of you.
  • 32:31 I would love to know what's something that you wish someone had told you about working
  • 32:36 at the World Bank Group if you have a disability that you think might be helpful to those in
  • 32:41 similar situations that are looking to apply today.
  • 32:45 Carole, can I start with you for this one?
  • 32:52 I think you're on mute, Carole, if you could just unmute.
  • 32:55 [Carole Megevand] Yes, that works now?
  • 32:57 [Srimathi Sridhar] That works now.
  • 32:59 [Carole Megevand] Very good.
  • 33:00 Now, maybe building on something that I mentioned, when I started my experience at the World
  • 33:08 Bank, my main goal was to try to forget my wheelchair.
  • 33:13 I wanted people just to ignore I was in a wheelchair.
  • 33:16 I would do anything possible to do the same thing as my other colleagues and not ask for
  • 33:24 any support when it comes to the wheelchair.
  • 33:27 Because I wanted to prove to myself and to my colleagues that I could deliver at the
  • 33:32 same level at the other colleagues, I got to realize a little later that as Charlotte
  • 33:39 was mentioning as well, that my contribution was not only on the technical expertise, that
  • 33:44 I think that with my wheelchair I was also bringing something different, maybe less tangible,
  • 33:50 but that had a huge impact in terms of development and awareness raising when it comes to inclusion
  • 33:56 and the agenda of disability inclusion.
  • 34:02 My advice would be, just be yourself and be sure that your disability is also a contribution
  • 34:10 to the mandate of the Bank and while you can strengthen your technical expertise and make
  • 34:19 sure that this will be highly relevant and highly recognized, also be sure that being
  • 34:26 with a disability is also a very important and a subtle contribution to the development
  • 34:35 agenda that the World Bank is pushing for.
  • 34:39 I am very grateful that now I understand that based on many discussions I had the chance
  • 34:45 to have with colleagues and bosses.
  • 34:47 Now, I feel that trying to push these boundaries is also part of my terms of references, and
  • 34:54 that is part of the contribution I can make in the different countries I have the privilege
  • 34:59 to work in.
  • 35:00 Thank you.
  • 35:01 [Srimathi Sridhar] Thank you so much, Carole.
  • 35:04 And Charlotte, what's something you wish someone had told you?
  • 35:07 [Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo] Thanks.
  • 35:08 In many ways I was quite fortunate, I joined the Bank
  • 35:12 to work specifically on disability.
  • 35:15 In many ways, I had the background.
  • 35:18 I was briefed on what to expect.
  • 35:21 Once I joined, I was quickly immersed into this space.
  • 35:25 I have to say, I learned the ropes from those who came before me.
  • 35:30 In many ways, the things that I learned were some of the basic things, for instance, how
  • 35:35 to access the disability accommodation fund that I mentioned earlier on, how to navigate
  • 35:40 the DC housing market as a wheelchair user, getting advice on neighborhoods that were
  • 35:46 more accessible than others was very helpful for me.
  • 35:50 I would say on tips for applying, like Carole, I would not hide my disability.
  • 35:56 In my case, I can't hide my disability.
  • 35:58 But there are disabilities that are invisible.
  • 36:02 I think it's important to  recognize that disclosure 
  • 36:06 is a question of choice, and people do not
  • 36:09 have to feel compelled to  disclose their disability.
  • 36:15 More importantly, I think what it is that gives you visibility and shines a light on
  • 36:22 you is what is your professional contribution that you bring to the institution.
  • 36:28 What is the experience that you bring to the institution, the knowledge that you can share
  • 36:34 once you join the institution,  and very importantly, 
  • 36:37 your drive for a better world for all that
  • 36:41 is linked to the twin goals of the institution?
  • 36:46 [Srimathi Sridhar] Some inspiring messages that are coming from
  • 36:48 two inspiring women.
  • 36:49 Charlotte, Carole, I want to thank you both so much for joining me here today on Behind
  • 36:53 the Mission and for sharing your experiences about working with disabilities at The World
  • 36:58 Bank Group.
  • 36:59 I hope that folks tuning in really got to learn from your insights and have a better
  • 37:03 understanding of how the organization promotes inclusion.
  • 37:07 Thanks so much, again, for being here.
  • 37:09 I want to give a big thanks as well to our American Sign Language interpreter for joining
  • 37:13 today's episode, also to you, our online audience for being here.
  • 37:17 Remember that Friday, December  3 is the International 
  • 37:20 Day of Persons with Disabilities, and the
  • 37:22 World Bank will be having an event that will be live streamed that morning.
  • 37:27 Do head on over to World Bank Live to learn more about how you can join.
  • 37:31 Now, you can always follow us.
  • 37:32 We're on social media.
  • 37:33 We are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and you can check the latest career openings on
  • 37:39 our job site.
  • 37:40 If you came late to today's chat, or you want to watch it back, you can do so right here
  • 37:45 on LinkedIn or over on World Bank Live.
  • 37:48 That's live.worldbank.org.
  • 37:50 I'm Srimathi Sridhar.
  • 37:51 Thanks again for joining me here today, and I will see you next time.
  • 37:54 Bye  
  • 38:15 bye.
Read the chat
Apoorv

I am an Architect- urban design consultant with WB category 'A' project from last few months, and looking to prepare my credentials towards long term engagement, as the work culture and possibilities are very futuristic with WB.Are there any specialisation or certificate courses, one can do to upgrade their resume for same? I saw a lot of releveant courses in WB open learning mooc platforms, which are loaded with intresting content. Are these certifications going to add value towards one's candidature.Thank you for your time.
Tue, 12/01/2020 - 08:53
Soovan

The proportion of person with disabilities is around 1 billion people. With a literacy rate of average 3%. Myself being a person with disability from Mauritius, we are called upon to at least redefine accessibility of services and empowerment to later promote inclusion. How may we develop entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities?
Tue, 12/01/2020 - 08:53
Abubakar Idris Ali

Looking at things in WBG, I think inclusion of people from other countries like developing countries has not been properly taken into consideration. What is your plan for this lapses?
Tue, 12/01/2020 - 08:54
Nirmalya Syam

This is a very good and much needed discussion. I would like to know more about opportunities within the WB group for persons with neurological challenges, and also how dies/can the WB promote such inclusiveness beyond the WB?
Tue, 12/01/2020 - 08:54
Uduakobong Sambo

World bank is actually doing a great job , Kudos to you. My question is what are the effective measures you have set on board for disabled people to work effectively meeting the organization's target , knowing that World bank job is tedious and time/energy demanding
Tue, 12/01/2020 - 08:54