The Valuable 500, a collective of CEOs and their firms supporting disability inclusion, has announced the appointment of 13 new advisory board members, including a civil rights activist and internationally recognised leader in the disability community.
International Disability Rights Advocate Judith Heumann joins the new board members, which include business leaders who will use their experience to drive the Valuable 500 forward in the next phase of its campaign, namely disability inclusion in business.
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, there are also new commitments from the CEOs of PepsiCo, PwC, Spotify, VMware, L’Oréal, Zurich Insurance, The Estée Lauder Companies, Schlumberger, Sky and Steelcase.
The appointments follow the close of a successful year for the Valuable 500, which in May 2021 achieved its goal of signing 500 global organisations committed to putting disability on the boardroom agenda.
The collective already counts major companies as members, including Allianz, BBC, Deloitte, EY, Google, Mahindra Ltd., LSEG, Omnicom, P&G, Salesforce, Sony, Sky and Verizon. As part of the Valuable 500, they will “co-fund, co-create and co-test relevant programmes and solutions” to benefit the disabled community.
This work will take the form of global disability surveys, consumer feedback tools, brand and customer experience audits and a representative media content hub.
The 13 new board members
- Paul Polman, Chairman of the Valuable 500, Co-founder of IMAGINE, Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact and Honorary Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce.
- Rosaleen Blair CBE, founder of AMS, Chair of the London Irish Centre and fellow of The Prince’s Trust.
- Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Media O2, Non-Executive Director of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
- Katherine Garrett-Cox CBE, Chief Executive, GIB Asset Management and formerly CEO of Alliance Trust.
- Rama Gheerawo, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and international designer, researcher, thinker, curator, writer, speaker and leader in the fields of Creative Leadership and Inclusive Design.
- Ichiro Kabasawa, Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation, overseeing international and diversity and inclusion (D&I) projects that The Nippon Foundation conducts.
- Judith Heumann internationally recognised leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. She was appointed by ex-US President Barack Obama as Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State.
- Renee Manfredi, Special Olympics International consultant, Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger and advocate for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Neil Milliken, VP – Global Head of Accessibility & Digital Inclusion, Atos, co-founder of AXSChat and non-executive director (NED) for several disability-focused organisations.
- Natasha Muller, Next Gen impact investor, philanthropist and mental health activist, Chief Executive Officer of NM Impact Ltd and Founder of Kokoro.
- Eddie Ndopu, humanitarian, renowned disability justice practitioner and advocate for the United Nations Secretary-General.
- Greg Nugent, Creator of HTYT Films, previously CMO of London 2012 and formally a NED of the British Paralympic Association.
- Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director Centre for the New Economy and Society, World Economic Forum, Switzerland.
Aside from new members on the advisory board, the Valuable 500 has announced several new Executive Leadership team members, including Rhiannon Parker, previously of Intertek PLC, who joins as Chief Innovation Officer. Betsy Beaumon will also join the team as Chief Product Officer. She is the former CEO of software social enterprise firm Benetech.
Crosby Cromwell will head up the Partnerships Team as Chief Partnerships Officer and help the collective “connect, collaborate and advance their disability inclusion efforts across the value chain.”
New Chief Marketing Officer, Chloe Matharu, will be overseeing the launch of Valuable 500’s Digital Hub as a resource for members of the collective to interact, share learnings and develop a sense of community.
Caroline Casey, Founder of the Valuable 500, comments on the new board members: “The appointment of our new board members represents a milestone for the Valuable 500. Each member will bring a unique and different viewpoint to the table, and their experience and understanding of the Valuable 500 will help us achieve our Phase Two goals. I look forward to working closely with all of them.”
Ramon Laguarta, CEO of PepsiCo said: “Raising the bar on talent and diversity is a key behaviour of our culture, The PepsiCo Way. For decades, we have made our company better and more competitive by building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive space for our associates, business partners, and society.
“Through inclusive practises such as offering ongoing sign language training, enhanced disability benefits, and self-identification, we are ensuring our associates have the tools they need to achieve their maximum potential.
“Whilst we continue our journey from awareness to commitment and action, as a member of the Valuable 500, we will use our collective power and reach across industries to catalyse positive change for our associates and the communities we serve.”