How Disability Inclusion Powers The Future

    Our #futureshaper team members share perspectives on the importance of a diverse workforce.

    Isma Esqueda helps customers solve challenges every day. He speaks five languages – English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian – and says he loves talking to people.

    “Because I am a great listener and can use my ears to recognize people and use tools like a screen reader, I offer different skills that allow me to do my job, hear customers’ stories and give them solutions,” Esqueda said.

    Esqueda, who has limited vision, says that he’s inspired by his teammates because they give him the tools and support he needs to bring his ideas to life.

    “Many people ignore people with disabilities or think we are not able to do things, but we are all able to do something in our lives,” he said.

    In light of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, five Honeywell employees are sharing their perspectives on disability inclusion and how it shapes their lives personally and professionally.

    Hakim Khan, Field Service Manager, Honeywell Building Technologies – Energy Services

    Location: Des Plaines, Illinois

    What inspires you, and how has that fueled your career path at Honeywell?

    I have had severe hearing loss my entire life and self-advocacy and advancements in technology have helped me overcome many accessibility challenges. I am fascinated with how technology can improve our quality of life and have worked in engineering, product development and field service management during my 14 years at Honeywell. My approach to addressing customer pain points include listening with empathy, problem solving through root cause analysis and leveraging technology to provide effective solutions.

    I also joined our AllAbilities Employee Network to help Honeywell become a leader in workplace accessibility.

    Why is an inclusive workforce vital to powering the future?

    There are about 1 billion Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the world, yet only 21% of people 16 and over with disabilities in the US were employed as of August, according to the US Department of Labor, and their global employment percentage is even lower. 

    This is a huge segment of the population that is severely underrepresented both as employees and customers. An inclusive workforce can benefit significantly by hiring PWDs because of the unique problem-solving skills that they have developed from overcoming accessibility challenges due to their various disabilities.      

    What does it mean to be a #futureshaper?

    I believe that Environmental, Corporate and Social Governance (ESG) will be critical to a sustainable future. It means achieving net-zero carbon emissions and addressing employment gaps for underrepresented groups such as PWDs.

    Isma Esqueda, Senior Customer Experience Specialist, Honeywell Building Technologies

    Location: San Luis Potosí, Mexico

    What inspires you, and how does that play a part in your career at Honeywell?

    My teammates and leaders motivate me. They support me a lot and I’ve been really inspired by them and the fact that we are all willing to help each other.

    I was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, a condition that causes me to see only where my eyes are looking. When I started my role here about two years ago, I was 21, and I never imagined that people would support me this much and push me to do more things. I give lots of ideas, and they give me the tools I need to help make them happen.

    Why is an inclusive workforce vital to powering the future? 

    A diverse workforce is important because we all have different skills, and when we’re all a part of something, we can solve challenges with many different perspectives.

    What does it mean to be a #futureshaper?

    A #futureshaper is someone who has done wonderful things that can change the world.

    Alicia Torres, Senior HR Project Manager, Honeywell Corporate

    Location: Charlotte, NC

    What inspires you, and how does that play a part in your career at Honeywell?

    I am inspired by the change I see happening around me at Honeywell and our greater society. I am so happy to see the rise in accessibility and diversity, equity and inclusion-focused roles emerging in the workforce – that means corporations are listening and doing something to assist people with disabilities in the workplace.

    As a person with low vision, I am delighted to be a part of our AllAbilities Employee Network because it feels like I can be a part of the shift and help give my voice to those who may not be comfortable sharing theirs or just feel like no one is listening. As a chapter leader in Charlotte, I hope this is just the beginning of a wave of change.

    Why is an inclusive workforce vital to powering the future? 

    Inclusivity is so important in all facets of life – especially in the workplace, where we spend most of our time. Being inclusive allows us all to be our true selves so we can bring our best ideas to the table. A narrow vision hinders creativity and innovation. 

    We need diverse perspectives to serve not only our employees, but also our external customers – and that only comes when our employees feel safe to share their stories and bring their experiences to the table through an inclusive work environment.

    What does it mean to be a #futureshaper?

    It means building an accessible future through meaningful innovation to enhance digital experiences to make a better world for everyone.

    Jud Hurley, Account Manager, Performance Materials and Technologies

    Location: Houston, Texas

    What inspires you, and how does that play a part in your career at Honeywell?

    I love connecting with people and have always had a way of relating to people, which is why I think I found a passion in sales. I like people and being in front of them and I love making connections with others.

    After an accident in college that left me paralyzed, I’ve been working to get better every day. That bumped my will and faith to keep pushing. I try to approach sales the same way. I’m here to help people solve their business problems, share ideas and brainstorm together. I want them to know that I’m giving my best every day.

    Why is an inclusive workforce vital to powering the future?

    The way I look at it, we all do the same thing but a little differently. One person might walk to their car – I use a wheelchair and roll to my car. But we still get to work and do the same thing.

    People with disabilities have a lot to offer, and there are a lot of people with disabilities who aren't given a chance, maybe because of perception. Giving them that opportunity is so important.

    What does it mean to be a #futureshaper?

    A #futureshaper is someone who helps pave a new pathway for others to follow. They’re always learning, and they’re also making things better for those who come after they do.

    Rachel Weiss, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Performance Materials and Technology

    Location: Houston, Texas

    What inspires you, and how has that fueled your career path at Honeywell?

    Business is a microcosm of society. Leaving a positive impact in how we do work and how we think about and care for people truly inspires me. As such, it has propelled me to move from a Human Resources Business Partner role to become a Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition supporting Inclusivity & Diversity. I want every single person to have access to being able to be productive and get the most out of their role here.

    I’m heavily involved with our LGBTQ+ and AllAbilities Employee Networks. I am very proud of both of these networks and the courage, perseverance, and resiliency, demonstrated within them. All our networks are committed to giving people a safe space to be who they are, demonstrating a path for resiliency, and recognizing the importance of how their involvement moves the needle forward.

    Why is an inclusive workforce vital to powering the future?

    When you focus on inclusion, you are going beyond the standard profile and focusing on translatable knowledge, skills and experiences, as well as those that are unique.

    I strive to attract diverse talent to our open roles to ensure we have the right people in the right positions to move the needle on our strategic objectives. We can best do this by ensuring we have individuals with diversity of thought and diverse perspectives and experiences in these roles.

    What does it mean to be a #futureshaper?

    It means challenging the status quo. It means being innovative and coming up with solutions that not only solve business problems, but that also create a strong employee experience through recognition of impact. It also means understanding the societal and business climate and finding a way to integrate them within our solutions.