Stephen Duckworth

Chief Executive, Disability Matters

Stephen Duckworth is a results orientated and innovative strategic thinker with sound independent judgement. He is a leader with exceptional interpersonal skills combined with the ability and a willingness to challenge and probe. He has a keen analytical mind that revels in new concepts.


Key Services

  • Disability Equality Training
  • Strategic Consultancy
  • Reasonable Adjustments Service
  • Personal Development and Leadership Programmes for Disabled Staff
  • Establishing Staff Disability Networks
  • Conference Speaker and Chair

Executive Position

Founder and Chief Executive of Disability Matters Ltd - a world class company promoting diversity and equality.

Current Non-Executive Positions

  • Board Member of the Olympic Delivery Authority (2006) with lead responsibility for equality and diversity during the construction (£9.3Bn), games and legacy modes. Chair of Health and Safety Committee.
  • Adviser to the Minister for Welfare Reform and Minister for Disabled People (2005) to help reduce the £28Bn annual spend on disability benefits. To evaluate (2006) the sustainability of a company with 83 manufacturing sites in the UK and then mediate between Ministers, Board, Executive and Unions to secure a subsidy of £500M+ from '07 -‘12.
  • NED - Route2Mobility Ltd, Enham Finance Ltd, Enham Direct Ltd (turnover £15M+) a group of FSA regulated companies providing ethical finance and insurance to disabled customers (2003). Key player securing £3.5M VC investment to reduce gearing and generate growth.
  • Member of the Council of the University of Southampton (1999) playing a critical role to balance the conflicting demands of ‘Widening Participation' and the introduction of ‘Student Fees' £300M.
  • Chair UK Rehabilitation Council - Standards body for rehabilitation professionals.

Career Includes

  • Successful Chief Executive running a highly profitable SME, year-on-year, for 18 years. Profit before tax has exceeded 10% of turnover in each of the last four years.
  • Advised many FTSE Boards on multi-million pound investments to secure the loyalty of disabled and older customers and confirm effectiveness through mystery shopping.
  • Board Adviser to Ministers and the Management Board of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to identify unique British products that have potentially large markets in India and China.
  • International work in the US, RSA, Australia, NZ and most EU States to identify and help implement policies and practices within the UK to enhance our global competitiveness.
  • Adviser to the Prime Minister, Ministers (Conservative and New Labour) for the last 12 years. At the request of the British Ambassador (Nov '06) invited to visit Warsaw to advise Polish government on new legislation and policies to improve the life chances of disabled Poles.
  • Member of the Academy of Experts providing independent expert advice on quantum with regards to loss of earnings and future earning potential following personal injury. This includes regular cross-examination in Court.
  • Adviser to the Chief of Defence Staff and the Management Board of the Ministry of Defence on issues such as bullying, harassment, equality and diversity. Author of MoD diversity strategy.
  • Producer of 13 training videos including one featuring the Prime Minister in 2003. Director and scriptwriter of this video, commissioned by the Worshipful Company of ICT'ists that was produced and edited in partnership with the PM's Office. It aims to improve Internet shopping for the 14 million disabled people in the UK.
  • Focuses on the bigger picture at regional and national levels while being well grounded in the impact of local issues on individuals. Successful delivery of 9 New Deal programmes (£14m).

Consultant to over 400 companies, government departments, local authorities and health authorities over the last five years to help them profit from the potential of older and disabled people as customers and colleagues.