Apple, Google, Nestle & more call for disability inclusion

By Helen Adams
Global business collective, The Valuable 500, has reached the goal of 500 international organisations committed to disability inclusion

Global business collective, The Valuable 500, has reached the goal of 500 international organisations committed to disability inclusion on their board agenda, making it the world’s biggest CEO collective for disability inclusion.

Since The Valuable 500 was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos in 2019, some of the most recognisable businesses from across the world have joined the campaign for inclusion, including: Allianz, Apple, BBC, BP, The Coca-Cola Company, Daimler, Deloitte, EY, Google, Microsoft, Nestle, P&G, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Prada, Shell, Sky, Sony, Twitter, Unilever, Virgin Media, Verizon and Vodafone. 

The membership includes 36 of the FTSE 100 companies, 46 of the Fortune 500 and 28 of the Nikkei.

 

Committed to disability inclusion

Almost three quarters (70%) of its members have a turnover of over $1 billion, with half (52%) of those committed to the campaign employing more than 10,000 people. The organisations supporting The Valuable 500 have a combined revenue of over $8 trillion and over 20 million employees across 36 countries, demonstrating the weight of The Valuable 500’s reach and influence. 

Particularly strong sectors pushing for disability inclusion through the campaign include the finance, food & drink, hospitality, big tech computing & telecoms and legal industries.

The average representation of people with disabilities amongst employees as reported by FTSE 100 companies currently stands at only 3.2%, compared to the percentage of the wider population with a disability, which sits at 18%.

The research found that only 5% of FTSE 100 companies have issued board level statements on disability as part of their leadership agenda. With digital accessibility more important than ever, almost 1 in 3 companies (29%) are failing to meet website accessibility standards, potentially missing out on a $13 trillion market, made up from the disposable income of persons with disabilities and their friends and family.


 

Fighting for an equal and inclusive society

“Today we have broken the leadership silence on disability inclusion and put this on the business leadership agenda”, said Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500.

“We have now built this unique community and for me, the collective activation and innovation of this community for systemic business change has been a lifetime ambition. With the scale of the Valuable 500, change is possible because now we have the scale, the perfect time and the multiplier effect of this critical mass – it’s all about intention.”

“I am delighted to be part of The Valuable 500 as we hit this important goal”, agreed Paul Polman, Chairman of The Valuable 500 and former CEO of Unilever. “The campaign’s ambitious goal to fundamentally transform the global business system and fight for an equal and inclusive society has made incredible progress. I am proud to have been part of the journey from the beginning.”

This comes as new research from The Valuable 500 and Tortoise Media reveals that there are no executives or senior managers who have disclosed a disability in company reporting by the FTSE 100, while only 12% report on the total number of their employees who are disclosed as disabled. Ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day on the 20th May, the research reinforces that while disability inclusion is now on the business agenda, it still has a long way to go before true inclusion is achieved

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