Specialty tea brand T2 partners with WISE Employment

Four staff members from specialty tea brand, T2, stand in an entrance to a store in their black uniforms and laughing.Georgegina Poulos, Global Director of People at T2, always admired WISE Employment’s practices from afar. Previously part of the Officeworks team – an ongoing national employment partner for WISE – she had been exposed to the work of the not-for-profit before making the move to T2.

Two years in and out of lockdowns meant many of T2’s retail stores were forced to close their doors temporarily, causing delays in getting the partnership flourishing. But in early 2022, both T2 and WISE were determined to hit the ground running.

Now in its infancy, the partnership aims to empower the organisation to make inclusive decisions and improve accessibility and inclusion for everyone, particularly those living with a disability.

This new relationship, similar to the one WISE has with Officeworks, also aims to showcase to other retail companies how they can embrace diversity when hiring new employees, and be supported every step of the way,” explains Souzan Asfour, Head of Employer Engagement at WISE.

“Sadly, people with disabilities can be pigeonholed into certain jobs that are often mundane and not customer-facing. Hopefully, our partnership will open employers’ eyes to the possibilities of hiring a diverse workplace across multiple roles,” adds Souzan.

Georgegina has already seen the benefits of partnering with WISE Employment. “Through our briefing sessions across Australia and the UK, it’s been really helpful for our managers at all levels to learn how to navigate inclusive employment, particularly people living with a disability,” she explains.

Souzan recognises the power and potential these partnerships have on WISE customers and explains it’s just as important to support the employer. “We ensure we’re educating them on everything we can, from management to mental health.”

Global training sessions are led by WISE Employment’s Director of Innovation, Mental Health and Employment, Caroline Cross and avoid a ‘one and done’ process. Training sessions and check-ins occur from start to finish, rather than solely in the recruitment phase.

Together, T2 and WISE have also developed a FAQ document, empowering leaders to ask the right questions when it comes to diversity, creating clarity throughout the workplace. WISE will also help with real-life scenarios and risk assessments in store as part of the ongoing partnership.

Souzan says the new partnership won’t come with any set boundaries or KPIs. “These types of arrangements have to be from the heart, and we need to make sure companies feel comfortable and encouraged to register with WISE Employment.”

“As a business, we are really committed to living our purpose and playing our part in providing employment opportunities that may come with some extra attention and care. It’s our vision that people with a disability will choose us because we welcome them with open arms and they feel fully respected and supported,” adds Georgegina.

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