When we think about inclusivity and diversity in the corporate world, we often think of racial and cultural diversity, gender, or LGBTQ+ inclusion—but one aspect that has been too long forgotten or ignored is the topic of disability inclusion. Caroline Casey, disability activist, CEO and founder of the Valuable 500 initiative, notes that though 90 percent of companies say they prioritize inclusivity in the workplace, just 4 percent of them include disability inclusion as a consideration.
This is a sorely missed opportunity for so many reasons. According to the World Bank, an estimated 15 percent of the world’s population is living with a disability—which equates to approximately 1 billion people—80 percent of whom have a hidden or “invisible” condition, ranging from mild to severe. Just imagine if this proportion of our society was empowered—not debilitated—to fully participate and contribute as employees, leaders, and consumers? Businesses cannot afford to exclude such a significant pool of talent, diversity of thought, and consumers with a spending power of $8 trillion per year.
These are solid arguments for extending and strengthening the focus on disability inclusion within corporations’ I&D efforts, and for putting disability inclusion on the business agenda. Beyond these, though, is the moral imperative: It is simply the right thing to do. As of 2018, it was estimated that 69 of the world’s 100 wealthiest entities were companies—and with that wealth comes responsibility. Businesses can play a crucial role as leaders and influencers in driving positive, meaningful change—such as ensuring a more inclusive, equitable society for everyone.
The post Corporate inclusivity efforts must include disability appeared first on AnalyticsWeek.