The Valuable 500 reaches new milestone for disabled employees

Over 200 firms now place disability at the heart of their corporate agendas as businesses worldwide embrace the value of the 1.3bn disabled.

Two hundred global companies have now committed to leading on the inclusion of disabled people in the workplace by joining the disability inclusion campaign The Valuable 500.

Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500, made the announcement today on the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, signalling a huge step forward in the fight to achieve inclusion for the 1.3 billion disabled people worldwide, as employees, customers, suppliers and members of the community.

Inclusive businesses

Launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in January, 2019, The Valuable 500 calls on 500 global businesses to commit to placing disability inclusion on their board agendas, making a firm commitment to eradicating the exclusion of disabled people in business. 

Those companies that signed up today include The Adecco Group, Anglo American, Arup, Autotrader UK, Aviva, Beeline, Bradesco, British Airways, BT, Carnival UK, CIBC, DNP Indonesia, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, ghd, Greggs, IFF, ITV, Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland , Linklaters LLP, Lloyd’s of London, McLaren Racing, Reed Smith, Salesforce, Savills (UK) Ltd, Sberbank, Syngenta, Telefonica, Tesco, The European Space Agency, TSB, Vodafone and XPS Pension Group.

Companies committed to date come from all corners of the globe including the UK, Japan, India, France, Brazil, Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Indonesia, Russia, the USA and Switzerland. At least another 100 are expected to join the initiative in the next few months.

The Valuable 500

Last week, Casey appeared at a disability-focused event in association with CII IBDN and Enable India in Delhi. The event marks an upswing in interest and commitment to disability inclusion from Indian companies, in a country that is seeing a growing awareness of the issue.

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. And, of those one billion, 80% of disabilities are acquired later in life, and an ageing global population means the prevalence of disability is on the rise.

Valuable toolkit

The Valuable 500 will return to the main stage at Davos in January 2020, where Casey will unveil a new report that reveals progress on disability inclusion worldwide.

The Valuable 500 has also unveiled their Executive Resource Hub, an exclusive toolkit designed to help leaders and their board take action and fulfil their Valuable 500 commitments.

The Resource Hub contains details on how to take this issue to board, how to talk about disability inclusivity and what kind of actions business leaders can take.

Caroline Casey said:Today’s announcement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities shows huge momentum and we are delighted to welcome such a variety of companies to our campaign. We commend the 200 CEOs and brands who are leading the way in creating an inclusive workplace by signing up to The Valuable 500. They are an example to other businesses within their sectors, and I hope they help to encourage their peers to follow suit.”

“There are 1.3 billion disabled people in the world, with a market opportunity of $8 trillion. Business leaders have underestimated their value for too long, and it is fantastic to see that business leaders globally are committing to take tangible action for disability inclusion.”

The Valuable 500 seeks to tackle the trend for businesses to claim they are diverse, yet exclude disability from their definition of diversity. Research by EY commissioned by #valuable earlier this year found disability is still woefully absent from the majority of board level discussions globally – with the majority (56%) of global senior executives rarely or never discussing disability on their leadership agendas.

Meanwhile, the ONS has released its latest employment statistics for disabled people in the UK which show that disabled employees earn 88p for every £1 earned by non-disabled employees.

Commenting on the findings, Casey said: “The ONS findings show that businesses are failing those with a disability.

“Business leaders have continued to underestimate the value of disabled people for too long – people should not be excluded for simply being different.

“It’s disappointing to see that this disparity is the greatest in London, our financial and commercial capital – where disabled people are paid 15.3% less than non-disabled employees.

“It’s time that businesses stand up and ensure disabled people are fully included. We’ve seen over 200 CEOs commit to this by joining The Valuable 500 but others need to make closing the gap a pirority – the gap needs to close and businesses need to be the ones to do it.”

Hear more from Caroline at the DiversityQ D&I Practitioners Summit on December 4.

Rate This: