The CBI has become the latest organisation to sign up to disability inclusion campaign, The Valuable 500 – the movement to encourage global business leaders to recognise the value of the world’s 1.3 billion disabled people.
CBI is one of 50 new global businesses to have committed to the campaign since last month when 100 sign-ups were announced, including seventeen Indian firms. This takes the total number of countries represented to date to 20, including Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Egypt, India, USA and Switzerland. At least another 150 are due to become members in the coming months.
Launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in Davos this year, The Valuable 500 seeks 500 global businesses to place disability inclusion on their board agenda as the first step to full inclusion for disabled people in business.
The campaign will return to the main stage at Davos next year – where founder Caroline Casey will unveil a report looking at the progress of the initiative and those global businesses signed up to becoming inclusive of disabled people.
Commenting on the CBI’s commitment, Casey said: “Today is a huge moment for the disabled community – to have 150 global CEOs signed up to this initiative, and from 20 countries is astounding.
“We are delighted to welcome the Confederation of British Industry and celebrate its bravery in stepping forward to offer a voice for a community which is currently not being heard. We urge other organisations who have a platform to speak to the business community to do the same and commit to action on offering inclusion for all by signing up to The Valuable 500.”
“Yet still more can be done. Currently, only 4% of global businesses frequently discuss disability on the board agenda – a figure which is really quite shocking, and simply not good enough. Business must wake up to the $8 trillion market opportunity of disabled people and their family and friends.”
Casey added: “We welcome the 17 companies from India and South East Asia to The Valuable 500, and applaud them for showing true leadership on this issue, on a global level.”
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn DBE, CBI Director-General, said: “The CBI is immensely proud to join the Valuable 500. Companies that place inclusion at the heart of what they do empower their people to perform.
“The evidence is clear – embracing a wide range of talent boosts a businesses’ bottom line. I’m thrilled many CBI members have committed to this initiative and prioritised disability inclusion on their board agendas. Yet there’s so much more companies can and must do now to lead from the front.
“Firms must pick up the pace of progress – supporting more people with disabilities into work and rise through the ranks of our companies.”
The news comes one day before Caroline Casey takes to the stage of global youth leadership Summit, One Young World, which is a strategic partner of The Valuable 500, where she will discuss the need for disability inclusion alongside other disability activists Molly Burke, Samantha Renke, Adam Pearson and Edward Ndopu.
The seventeen Indian companies to join include: Central Group, Mahindra, Tata Steel, ANZ Bank, Lalit Hospitality Group, Allegis group, Laguna Clothing, Vindhya E-Infomedia, Linde Group, Dr. Reddy’s, Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters),
EnAble India is a charitable organisation working for economic independence with dignity for people with disabilities. The organisation works with 725 + business to promote the employment of people with all types of disability, including visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disability, intellectual disability, severe disabilities, autism spectrum disorder and many more. To date, EnAble India has impacted the lives of 250,000+ people with disability and their families.
Over one billion people across the world live with some form of disability – 15% of the global population, or 1 in 7 people – but their value is routinely ignored by business, equivalent to disregarding a potential market the size of US, Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan combined.
Along with their friends, families and communities, the one billion disabled people worldwide also hold a disposable annual income of $8 trillion a year, equating to an opportunity that business cannot afford to ignore. Of those one billion, 80% of disabilities are acquired later life, and our ageing global population means the prevalence of disability is on the rise.
You can apply to be a Valuable 500 business here.