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The Valuable 500 hits its CEO target

20 May 2021

Global business collective, The Valuable 500, has reached its goal of 500 international organisations committing to put 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.

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 and drink, hospitality, big tech computing and telecoms and legal industries.

Currently, 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. 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.

The average representation of people with disabilities amongst employees as reported by FTSE 100 companies currently stands at only 3.2%.

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 one in three 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.

While the new research shows stark findings on disability inclusion across the FTSE 100, it also indicates that this is set to change, with 16 out of the 100 companies having set credible targets related to representation of people with disabilities, and more set to put these targets in place. This includes 37 companies within the FTSE 100 setting up employee resource groups, or equivalents, to specifically support Disabled people.

As part of phase two, 13 Iconic Leaders across The Valuable 500 will co-fund, co-build and co-test the programmes and solutions, using their industry experience to help catalyse progress for the entire community.

These leaders are Allianz, BBC, Deloitte, EY, Google, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., LSEG, Omnicom, P&G, Salesforce, Sony, Sky and Verizon. Apple has become the Iconic partner for Inclusive Design.

DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “The Valuable 500 has achieved so much in such a short space of time. This is a great milestone. Disability should be on every board’s agenda, leading from the top as the 500 have signed up to do. It’s time for businesses to recognise the benefits a Disabled workforce brings to the wider market. However, the walk needs to match the talk. Goals need to truly reflect the national population. Companies need to act with true commitment and ambition, not tentative tokenistic baby steps. It’s time for real, meaningful change.”