Founder(s): Liz Johnson
Podium is a jobs marketplace designed specifically for disabled freelancers. The platform is the sister organisation of The Ability People (TAP), brainchild of Paralympic gold medallist and disability campaigner Liz Johnson. First launched in summer 2020, TAP’s first digital offering coincided with the mass shift to remote work and jobs crisis, which disproportionately affected the disabled community.
Inaccessible offices and public transport, and traditional office hours and policies exclude many people with different needs, including disabled workers. As a result, disabled people were twice as likely to be unemployed even before the pandemic hit. At the height of redundancies, they also became more than twice as likely to be made redundant.
At the same time, employers’ resistance to remote working has been replaced by demand for agile workforces, and more flexible working policies are being embraced. To empower disabled freelancers to seize these new opportunities, Podium enables them to connect with employers on their terms to access meaningful work which meets their needs.
The platform also offers a safe space where disabled workers can be sure that prospective employers are committed to inclusivity, removing the need for disability disclosure during the hiring process. Instead, it focuses on showcasing the diverse talents, experience and skill sets across the disabled community.
By virtue of catering to flexible, remote opportunities, the platform can be used by freelancers and employers based anywhere in the world. And, covering all sectors, it’s now a thriving marketplace of disabled talent. Amongst their success stories is a freelancer based in New York who gained work with Chelsea FC as an accessibility partner.