On International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, disability inclusion campaign The Valuable 500 has announced that 200 global companies have now committed to leading on the inclusion of people with disabilities and addressing this at Board level – 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.
Companies to sign 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. Among those who have signed up today are companies from Brazil, Canada, France, Russia, Spain, Indonesia, Switzerland, UK and USA.
Launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in January, 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.
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 announcement today comes following The Valuable 500 Founder Caroline Casey’s appearance at a disability focused event in association with CII IBDN and Enable India in Delhi on Friday 29th November.
The event marks an upswing in corporate interest and commitment to disability inclusion from Indian companies, in a country that is seeing growing awareness of the issue.
The Valuable 500 will return to the main stage at Davos in January 2020, where Founder Caroline Casey will unveil a new report that reveals progress on disability inclusion worldwide.
The news today demonstrates a huge step change in business approaches to disability inclusion and highlights the power business wields to set the agenda for the rest of society – and indicates significant progress in global businesses’ commitment to building an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.
Today, 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.
Alongside this announcement, The Valuable 500 have unveiled their Executive Resource Hub, an exclusive toolkit that is being 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.
The Hub is broken down into four key sections: an introduction to inclusivity, the opportunity for business and brands, getting started: 10 fundamentals of great disability performance and an inclusivity toolkit: resources to support and equip leaders across your organisation.
Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500, 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.
To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit thevaluable500.com.
#valuable – it’s everyone’s business.