On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, The Valuable 500 – the largest network of global CEOs committed to diversity – announces the latest businesses to have become members.
This comes as new international data reveals only 3% of media articles discussing diversity referenced disability – and this has only risen by 1% in the last five years. In addition, despite references to ‘disability’ in the media rising by 55% in the last five years, only 1 in 3 articles talking about disability referenced business.
It is clear that while there is a growing increase in awareness around disability inclusion, it is still not as firmly embedded in the diversity & inclusion agenda as it should be and is often a forgotten aspect of this conversation – particularly when it comes to business leadership. The Valuable 500 is working to tackle this critical issue.
Those signing up recently to The Valuable 500 include, Allianz, Allied Irish Banks, American Express, Amplifon UK, Anthem, Inc., The Asahi Shimbun Company, Birds Eye, The Clorox Company, Costain Group, DTEK, EDF Energy, ENEOS Holdings, Expedia Group, FARFETCH, FleishmanHillard, Grant Thornton UK LLP, GSMA, Hinduja Global Solutions, Hogan Lovells, Innocent Drinks, Keelings, Kin + Carta, Kmart Australia, L’Oréal, Ottobock SE & Co, Philips, Philip Morris International, PSEG, Regions Bank, Schindler Group, Schroders, Sekisui House, Telstra, ThoughtWorks, Unisys, ViacomCBS Networks UK, Westpac and Wickes.
These latest global companies to join the movement are drawn from across the world, including the USA, Australia, Sweden, India, Ireland, Japan, Ukraine, Germany, UK and France.
Launched at Davos in January 2019 by Caroline Casey and Paul Polman, The Valuable 500 remains the only global CEO community dedicated to radically transforming the business system across the whole supply chain for the benefit of all those with a disability. In under two years, 360 CEOs have joined this community.
The new sign ups revealed today bring the combined revenue of The Valuable 500’s current members to over $5 trillion, encompassing 55 sectors, with over 12.8 million employees and reaching across 31 countries.
The Valuable 500’s announcements are made on the UN-sanctioned International Day of Persons with Disabilities, as we enter the 10 year countdown to the completion of the UN’s 2030 sustainable development goals. This year in particular, in light of the global pandemic, the day focuses on Building Back Better towards a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.
The Valuable 500 is calling for a shift in mentality, and for business and society alike to make the next decade the decade of disruption when it comes to inclusion of persons with disabilities. Ensuring disability inclusion is firmly embedded within the whole business supply chain will not be achieved in a single day of awareness – but it can be a critical focus for the next 10 years as the world looks to build back better.
Inclusion of persons with disabilities – referenced in five of the SDGs – and therefore The Valuable 500’s mission – will be integral to meeting the UN’s 2030 agenda in time over the next decade. Currently, 15% of the global population are persons with disabilities. This number increases to 53% when you include the families of persons with disabilities. Businesses cannot afford to exclude such a significant pool of talent, diversity of thought and customers with a spending power of $8 trillion per annum.
This year has prompted much reflection on disability inclusion, from the changes to society COVID-19 has catalysed to it being the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 25th anniversary of Britain’s Disability Discrimination Act. It is now time to look forward and to focus on the impact and change that can be engendered in this space by the deadline for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The Valuable 500 itself is continuing to work to lay the foundations for a more inclusive society over the next decade, as it readies to announce the next phase of its mission in early 2021, looking at six key pillars, three internally in organisations and three externally, so together we can co-create and co-shape the business system to look at how disability is valued within business. The Valuable 500 is also embarking on joint ventures with the International Paralympics Committee.
Peter Kern, CEO and Vice Chairman, Expedia Group, comments:
“We’re incredibly proud to join The Valuable 500’s global collective and turn our commitment to disability inclusion into action. We believe in the power of travel; that it can change lives, open minds and knock down barriers. As part of this, we are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for everyone and to helping put disability on the industry’s agenda.”
John Saunders, President and CEO, FleishmanHillard, comments:
“For FleishmanHillard, diversity is a top priority – not just for the future but for today. We are humbled to be part of The Valuable 500 and to commit our efforts in support of disability inclusion, as part of a stated ambition to be the most inclusive communications agency.”
Partha DeSarkar, Executive Director and Global CEO of HGS, comments:
“HGS’ diversity agenda is to engage, educate and empower our people based on their abilities. We believe in the ‘TogetherWeProgress’ philosophy, and are proud to collaborate with The Valuable 500’s global inclusion movement to enable meaningful opportunities for everyone who would want to contribute and grow.”
Miguel Zaldivar, CEO of Hogan Lovells, comments:
“Inclusion of individuals with different abilities is a key focus of our firm. We have had a longstanding commitment to people of different abilities across the globe, and we are excited that our participation in The Valuable 500 will accelerate our progress. We want our people of all abilities to understand that Hogan Lovells is a place where they belong and can thrive.”
Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, comments:
“L’Oréal’s commitment to disability inclusion goes far beyond our company, taking into account not only our employees but also our consumers and our communities worldwide. As such, we are particularly proud to join The Valuable 500 and to stand among a network of business leaders committed to this essential issue. Building disability inclusion into the new normal is essential to our mission to create the beauty that moves the world.”
Philipp Schulte-Noelle, CEO of the Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, comments:
“For more than 100 years, we have been helping people to maintain or regain their mobility and thereby to get back into their everyday lives. Because for us, quality of life is closely linked to personal freedom and independence. Diversity is part of our DNA. With our engagement for the Paralympic sport we continue to push the topic onto the public agenda. We are proud to further expand our commitment to a diverse society by becoming a member of The Valuable 500 community.”
Thomas Oetterli, CEO of Schindler Group, comments:
“Solving mobility challenges that many people with disabilities face is an essential part of our business. As an employer, Schindler Group is committed to advancing our inclusive culture and enriching our diversity. We have been embracing diverse abilities and already today have targeted programs to include differently-abled people in our operations. Going forward, a Group Executive led task force will define strategies for hiring and on-boarding more people with disabilities.”
Yoshihiro Nakai, President & Representative Director of Sekisui House, comments:
At Sekisui House, our commitment is to make home the happiest place in the world, by integrating housing-focused technologies, lifestyle designs and services through our various business domains. Putting priority on disability inclusion, we will continue to maximize the happiness and well-being of our customers, employees, and society as a whole, as a member of The Valuable 500.
Xiao Guo, President and CEO of ThoughtWorks, comments;
“Being a part of The Valuable 500 is a natural choice for ThoughtWorks; it is an important step in our journey of inclusion as we strive to be a positive force for change. We aspire to be a home for all technologists, and we will continue to take action to make that a reality. We are excited to learn and grow in this space and encourage others to think about how they can commit to disability inclusion.”
“Our commitment to The Valuable 500 is true to ThoughtWorks’ culture. We are a people business, a community of passionate individuals that are committed to building a better, more inclusive society and – through our work – to become advocates for sustainable, positive social change”.
Launched by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2019, The Valuable 500 aims to put disability on the global business leadership agenda.
The Valuable 500 was created by Binc, the organisation founded by Caroline Casey in 2015, with a mission to ignite a historic global movement for a new age of business inclusion – capitalising on Caroline Casey’s 18-year track record of success engaging over 450 organisations. The campaign has won three awards: a Cannes Lion, D&AD, and a BIMA.
Our goal is to persuade 500 multinational companies that have at least 1,000 employees to make a public commitment to advance disability inclusion in their organisation. By engaging the most influential business leaders and brands, we want to create a tipping point within business that unlocks the business, social and economic value of the 1.3 billion people living with disabilities around the world, and the millions of us who will become disabled over time.
We believe that if business takes a lead, society and government will follow, truly inclusive businesses can build truly inclusive societies.
About Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS)
A global leader in business process management (BPM) and optimizing the customer experience lifecycle, HGS is helping make its clients more competitive every day. HGS combines technology-powered services in automation, analytics and digital with domain expertise focusing on back office processing, contact centers and HRO solutions to deliver transformational impact to clients. Part of the multi-billion dollar conglomerate Hinduja Group, HGS takes a true “globally local” approach, with over 39,578 employees across 60 delivery centers in seven countries, making a difference to some of the world’s leading brands across nine key verticals. For the year that ended 31st March 2020, HGS had revenues of US$ 737 million.