Deaf man talking using sign language on the laptop at home

How to build a sense of belonging through disability inclusion

In the third episode of the Strong When We Belong podcast series, host Mona Bitar is joined by Unilever’s Matt Close to discuss building belonging across diverse abilities.

In the third episode of the Strong When We Belong podcast series, host Mona Bitar, UK&I Vice Chair, Ernst & Young LLP and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) council member, is joined by Matt Close, Business Group President Ice Cream, Unilever. Matt joined Unilever in 1992 and has held global and regional senior roles across Unilever’s divisions. Prior to his current role, Matt was Executive Vice President for Global Ice Cream for six years.

In conversation with Mona Bitar, Matt shares practical examples of how he is building belonging for those with different abilities at Unilever. He talks about Human Resource practices and conscious targets for recruitment to provide equal opportunity for those with visible and non-visible disabilities. Matt also talks extensively about office space modifications and workforce enhancements. He speaks about the importance that Unilever lays on training the leadership for creating not just a friendly physical environment, but also a psychological support system, to embrace inclusion in its true sense.

By drawing parallels between Unilever and EY teams, and discussing different approaches to diverse abilities, this episode seeks to encourage leaders to think critically and be innovative in their approach. 

Key takeaways:
  • Understand how businesses can create an inclusive workplace through building belonging
  • How to drive disability inclusion from the top down through leadership and practical examples

Learn more about the Strong When We Belong Podcast.
Read the transcript.


Mona Bitar
EY UK&I Vice Chair


Duration 29m 29s