Richard Reporting: how is ABN AMRO developing unheard of talent?

Many people with disabilities in the Netherlands have difficulties entering the labour market. In this episode of Richard Reporting, Richard Kooloos, Head of Sustainable Banking, talks to ABN AMRO’s own Sven Romkes and to Sandra Ballij of the secondment agency Ctalents. How is ABN AMRO working to help those with a disability, and how is one particular partnership increasing its social impact?

ABN AMRO is actively committed to making its workforce more diverse and inclusive, focusing on a range of diversity target groups involving everything from cultural background to sexual orientation and everyone from refugees to women at the top. By striving to reflect the diversity of the society we live in, diverse and inclusive teams are discovering deeper insights and creating products that meet the needs of all the bank’s clients.

B-Able programme

As part of the Diversity & Inclusion Department, Sven Romkes oversees the B-Able programme, which gives people with a disability the chance to develop and grow in a normal job at the bank. “Our aim is that all 225 participants who have completed the programme will still be working at ABN AMRO at the end of 2025,” says Sven. “This initiative goes hand in hand with our social responsibility, but even more importantly, it helps ensure a higher level of employee and client satisfaction.” 

To achieve this objective, the bank has teamed up with Ctalents, an agency helping to connect people with a hearing or visual impairment with potential employers. Social entrepreneur Sandra Ballij says, “The unemployment rate for my target group is 65 per cent. That’s obviously many times higher than normal unemployment levels. I think that rate could be a lot lower if we just learned to see the talents this target group has.”

In addition to placing candidates with the bank, ABN AMRO and Ctalents are working together to get things moving at government level and at other organisations. ABN AMRO clients looking to get involved can, for example, get advice from the ABN AMRO Participation Adviser (ask your relationship manager) or do a Ctalents Disability Inclusion Check.