Inclusion transforms lives: the journey of Rubén at Applus+


    Rubén Riquelme, a colleague at Applus+ with a disability, has found in our company a space to develop professionally and shared his success story during a meeting about job placement and inclusion organised on 7 March by cultural centre Factoría Social de Terrassa (LaFACT) in Sant Cugat del Vallès, Catalonia. 

    In a month, Rubén will have been working at the Energy & Industry Division of Applus+ for a year. He is currently a Laboratory Technician in the Electrical Department in Catalonia and Aragon, and his main duties include the verification, programming and inspection of meters, the management of warehouses and commands and the verification of procedures, among other tasks. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the story of how he came to Applus+ begins with a proposal launched by the employees of his own department. 

    Many people in the company have family members with functional diversity, and the Group provides support and adapts to the particular situation of each family. Iván González Bolaño, Head of the department where Rubén works, relates his own personal experience: “Applus+ is a company that allows us work-life balance, something that is indispensable for our families." Iván’s team proposed the incorporation of a person with functional diversity "to go a bit further and look for someone who could enrich us with their outlook on life, very different from what we were used to, due to his disability." Thanks to LaFACT, the support from Applus+ management and the collaboration of colleagues with family members in similar situations, they found Rubén.

    The camaraderie and positive work environment at Applus+ were the traits that helped him the most when he joined the company. His good relationship with colleagues and his training allowed him to adapt effortlessly to his tasks and to understand his duties quickly. "For me, working at Applus+ means being part of the team; I feel integrated with my mates and I am free to express my doubts," he says. 

    Rubén asserts that the trust the company has placed in him has had a positive impact on his life, as having responsibilities and tasks of his own has improved his self-confidence. Similarly, his journey through La FACT has enabled him to connect with people outside his family and has fuelled his ambition to keep learning.
    José Ramón, Project Manager at the same department and Rubén’s direct supervisor, states that inclusion initiatives for people with disabilities in work teams encourage collaboration among colleagues: "They create a supportive atmosphere for everyone that not only benefits the person concerned but the entire group". This mutual benefit arises because the employee’s level of satisfaction favours their engagement with the company. He mentions the importance of fostering diversity in companies through the development of projects that offer the necessary adaptability and confidence. Rubén's colleagues agree that this initiative has enriched them as people, providing them with a life perspective that they did not have before. 
    José Ramón highlights the importance of promoting diversity in companies and details some of Applus+ initiatives along these lines, from the development of task manuals to training and raising employee awareness.

    Rubén's successful case exemplifies how fellowship, trust and adaptability measures have driven the professional and personal development of everyone involved in his integration into the company. With these actions, Applus+ affirms its commitment to diversity, inclusion and growth in the workplace. "We should all have the opportunity to work with people like Rubén. Our motto already states it, it's in our DNA: 'Together Beyond Standards,” Iván points out.

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