Disability:IN, the global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business, today announced that 100 CEOs have signed the CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion as part of Disability:IN’s global ‘CEOs Are IN’ campaign. In the letter, CEOs call on peers to follow their lead and evaluate their corporate inclusion progress by taking the Disability Equality Index (DEI).
Over the last month, the CEOs of Boeing, Hilton, Micron Technology, Tripadvisor and The Estée Lauder Companies have become signatories, joining Fortune 500, tech and healthcare CEOs who are making disability inclusion a business priority. The original six signatories of the letter, released in December 2019, are the CEOs of Accenture, CVS, Intel, Microsoft, Voya Financial and Walmart.
Corporate leaders are exceedingly aware of how diversity impacts culture, management and financial performance and are increasing their commitments to ensure people with disabilities are represented at all levels of a company. The Disability:IN CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion is designed for CEOs to take action to build inclusive, accessible, and equitable workplaces through their company’s participation in the DEI.
“Amid the Great Resignation, companies are increasingly competing in a marketplace that values leadership on social issues. Diversity, equity and inclusion are the keys to creating sustainable companies, and by encouraging CEOs to make disability inclusion a business priority, these 100 signatories are joining IN to positively transform lives and create financial and social impact,” said Jill Houghton, President and CEO, Disability:IN.
Now in its eighth year, the DEI is the only global tool for analyzing and measuring disability progress across the enterprise, and gives companies a comprehensive assessment of their own disability inclusion and equality practices. The program, now open for registration, is administered by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Each company receives a score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, with those earning 80 and above recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.”
There are 10.7 million people with disabilities unemployed or underemployed in the U.S., making disability inclusion also a critical environmental, social and governance (ESG) issue. ESG is now moving into the measurement phase, as disclosure of the number of people with disabilities at all the levels of the company, including the C-suite and boardroom, empowers investors and shareholders to make informed choices.
“Equity, diversity and inclusion are foundational to our values and how we operate our company. Each member of our global team brings a unique perspective to Boeing, and we grow stronger when people of all abilities have an opportunity to contribute. I’m honored to sign the CEO letter and encourage others to join us in working to de-stigmatize disability and strengthen inclusion for all,” said Boeing President and Chief Executive Officer, David Calhoun.
“At Tripadvisor, we believe in championing the diverse identities, abilities, experiences, and voices of our employees and travelers. That’s why I am proud that we have built strong partnerships with organizations like Disability:IN that challenge us to think bigger and be better. I urge all CEOs to consider participating in the Disability Equality Index and to consider the necessary changes that make our products and companies accessible to all,” said Stephen Kaufer, President and CEO, Tripadvisor, Inc.
“We are deeply committed to doing even more to facilitate a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging within our company and our communities. The Estée Lauder Companies is proud to partner with Disability:IN as part of our commitment to taking action to drive disability inclusion, ensuring an accessible and equitable environment for all,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies.
“At Micron, we are committed to strengthening our culture of inclusion and believe that creating accessible workplaces is an opportunity for continuous innovation. Disability:IN is an important partner as we work to advance diversity, equality and inclusion at Micron. Businesses can be a powerful catalyst for change, and we look forward to contributing to the collaborative strength of Disability:IN to help create that change. We are proud of the leadership and support our employee resource group provides to disabled team members. Their efforts help us foster a workplace where seen and unseen disabilities are embraced, allowing all Micron team members to thrive and succeed in a climate of acceptance and equality,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, President and CEO, Micron Technology, Inc.