Equilar, a provider of corporate leadership data solutions, announces a partnership with Disability:IN, a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business, to advance boardroom diversity through the inclusion of business executives with disabilities.

The two organizations consulted with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) to develop a new data flag in the Equilar BoardEdge platform that will capture disability self-identification data on individual profiles of board-ready candidates. Senior executives and board members can create a profile in the Equilar BoardEdge database of over one million candidate profiles. As data accumulates, Equilar will use the metrics to help companies find talent with disabilities as well as report on the progress made toward improved representation.

Disability:IN will join the Equilar Diversity Network of nearly 50 partner organizations that work with Equilar to support board diversity initiatives, including Nasdaq, Executive Leadership Council and Out Leadership, a media release from Equilar explains.

“We’re proud to work with Disability:IN to expand the scope and depth of diversity and inclusion efforts at the board level to people with disabilities. People with disabilities are integral to our society and our workforces. It’s important that they have representation at the highest level of corporate organizations to ensure their voices are heard.”

— David Chun, Founder and CEO of Equilar

Board Diversity Impact Recognized

Representation and disclosure of individuals with disabilities at the board of director level and in the C-suite has emerged as a material issue in ESG investing and corporate governance. Investors increasingly recognize the impact board diversity has on business performance and are asking companies to measure, benchmark and publicly disclose their disability inclusion metrics. This includes 30 institutional investors representing $2.8 trillion that have signed the Joint Investor Statement on Disability Inclusion.

“You can’t be what you can’t measure. To create a truly inclusive workforce, we need leadership at the top from those who openly identify and talk about having a disability, in order to reduce the fear associated with self-identification and recognize disability as a strength. Through our work and with the support of Equilar, we can start to gain that representation in the boardroom and create meaningful change in business and society.”

— Chad Jerdee, Board Chair, Disability:IN

DEI Will Include New Questions

According to the 2021 Disability Equality Index (DEI), an annual benchmarking program created by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), only 5% of 12 million employees and 10% of senior executives at the 319 participating companies self-identified as having a disability. The 2022 DEI will include three new questions to ascertain whether companies are pursuing the nomination of board members with disabilities as well as publicly reporting this information.

“People with disabilities have been calling on corporate America to recognize their status as a marginalized minority group akin to other underrepresented populations. Equilar believes that people with disabilities are an important component of building diverse board talent. The addition of disability metrics is a powerful tool for advancing corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives and for giving people with disabilities an opportunity to lend their diverse abilities and perspectives at the highest levels—in the boardroom.”

— Ted Kennedy, Jr, Co-Chair of the Disability Equality Index

[Source(s): Equilar, Business Wire]

Related Content:
Kessler Foundation Grants Aim to Promote Disability Inclusion in the Workplace
Disability Inclusion in Corporate America: How is it Progressing?
Disability Inclusion a Priority in Wake of COVID-19