The Valuable 500 recognizes the 30th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Day on Sunday, July 26, by releasing new research exploring how companies are working to improve their diversity and inclusion policies.

The Valuable 500 is a global movement that aims to convince 500 of the world’s largest businesses to commit to placing disability inclusion on their business leadership agendas.

The research findings highlight the impact of COVID-19 on diversity and inclusion, concluding that 35% of companies are now more aware than ever of the needs of people with disabilities and are accelerating their actions and commitments to disability inclusion and accessibility. Changing perceptions around remote and flexible working, and a growing realization of the importance of an inclusive and diverse corporate culture, have been identified as contributing factors for this trend, according to a media release from The Valuable 500.

Journey Still Has a Long Way to Go

Other key learnings from the report drive home that there is still a long way to go until equality is truly achieved.

15% of the organizations surveyed have had to shelve efforts around disability inclusion due to immediate challenges in the wake of a global health pandemic. Despite 88% of the corporations claiming disability inclusion is important to their business strategy – only 8% regularly include people with disabilities in marketing and communications, per the release.

Launched on the main stage at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in January 2019, The Valuable 500 announces that its community has reached 296 companies.

The latest global companies to join the movement are Barilla, Black & Veatch, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Calvin Klein, Dentsu, Greene King, InMoment, MesoAmerica, Nuance Communications, Roche Pharma UK, Seibu Group, Software AG, Tara Chand Logistic (India) Tommy Hilfiger, Voya Financial, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Zain Electrocomponents PLC.

The Valuable 500 also calls on businesses globally to join the movement and pledge to put disability on their board agendas. As it stands, there are 56 Valuable 500 members within the USA – 18% of current membership. Given the US remains the largest world economy, with 54 of the top global 100 companies (PWC Global Top 100), the membership percentage should be higher, the release suggests.

“It’s important we simultaneously celebrate the progress made over the past 30 years on the anniversary of the ADA, while ensuring the call to action in this space remains loud and clear. As economies globally look to recover, it is vital we do not return to business as usual but learn from the lessons of Covid-19. Now is a critical time to reset business leaders’ attitudes to disability inclusion.”

— Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500

[Source(s): The Valuable 500, PR Newswire]

Related Content:
Despite the ADA’s Passage, People with Disabilities Are Still Overlooked, Per BraunAbility Survey
People with Disabilities Are Feeling the Impact of COVID-19, Per Survey
What Leaders Need to Know To Help People with Disabilities Survive