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200 employers commit to supporting disabled people into work

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 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 one in seven 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 in life, and our ageing global population means the prevalence of disability is on the rise.


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.”


Shelley Roither, vice president of human resources at Enterprise Holdings, commented, “At Enterprise Holdings, we put a high value on diversity and strive to create an inclusive environment where everyone can be their best. Signing the Valuable 500 reinforces to our colleagues, customers and business partners that diversity and inclusion is a priority for our business at every level. We are honored to act as ambassadors and promoters for critical disability diversity issues."


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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