People with disabilities are 1 Billion people strong worldwide making us the world’s largest diverse segment that crosses lines of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. At Disability:IN, we aim to empower business to achieve disability inclusion and equality. We’re working together with business leaders like Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft and Disability:IN board chair to close the unemployment gap for talent with disabilities. Both Jenny and Jill Houghton, President & CEO of Disability:IN, are people with disabilities and believe disability is a strength.
Not only is it the right decision to hire people with disabilities, but it also makes business sense. Using historical, anonymized data from the Disability Equality Index, a recent report from Accenture, in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, “Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage”, found that companies that embrace best practices for employing and supporting people with disabilities have outperformed their peers. This includes 28 percent higher revenue, double the net income and 30 percent higher economic profit margins. This is the #DisabilityAdvantage.
The data reflects the strength of the diverse pool of talented next-generation leaders with disabilities. For example, Margarita, Disability:IN Nextgen Leader Alum (Class of 2019) is a first-generation college student at The University of Texas at Austin, and the first aerospace engineer from her hometown in El Salvador. She’s passionate about aerospace engineering, and by participating in Disability:IN’s program she was connected to inclusive companies looking to hire and ultimately faced the challenge of juggling four job offers! This is just the beginning of companies competing to attract, hire and promote the next generation of leaders like Margarita.
Companies, like Anthem, gain the #DisabilityAdvantage by leveraging the Disability Equality Index (DEI)- a comprehensive benchmarking tool from Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The DEI helps Fortune 1000 and AmLaw 200 build a roadmap to advance disability inclusion, using concrete data and benchmarking insights.
While there was a 24 percent increase in DEI participation in 2019, we have a long way to gain the participation of ALL Fortune 1000 and AmLaw 200 to help them advance disability inclusion. What gets measured, gets done, and as more companies benchmark their inclusion efforts, the more they gain the #DisabilityAdvantage.
We congratulate Anthem for scoring 100 on the Disability Equality Index and for advancing inclusion of people with disabilities across the enterprise. As with any top-scorer, there is still work to be done, but the most important step is starting the inclusion journey. At Disability:IN, we aim for the day when our organization is no longer needed and all companies understand and gain the #DisabilityAdvantage – like Anthem!
Disability:IN is 1 of 4 collaborating organizations on Workplace Transitions for People Touched by Cancer, including Anthem, Inc., Cancer and Careers, and Pfizer.