This tech firm is breaking down stigma around ‘secret’ disabilities

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Among other things, the past year has led employers to accelerate programs that respond to employee needs holistically—but it’s essential that all employees feel that support, says one HR leader with first-hand experience.

According to Steve Pace, head of HR at Forward Networks, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that develops enterprise software for network management, one daunting complication of protecting all employees is the stigma of shame, anxiety and fear held by employees working with a “secret” hardship.

At Forward Networks, leaders view these disabilities as learning opportunities, Pace says, especially as a means to check biases. One employee with Parkinson’s Disease, Lisa

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