An estimated 1.3 billion people across the world live with some form of disability and only 4 per cent of businesses are focused on making offerings inclusive of disability. The announcement of the Valuable 500 initiative was made at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019.
Dr Reddy’s, Mahindra and Sarovar Hotels & Resorts have joined global giants like Google, Accenture, Boeing and Coca Cola in a list of 241 companies committing to place disability inclusion on their business leadership agendas, the WEF said on Tuesday. The World Economic Forum (WEF) said these 241 companies from 24 countries have joined the Valuable 500 initiative and they represent 9.9 million employees and a collective revenue of more than USD 3.8 trillion. An estimated 1.3 billion people across the world live with some form of disability and only 4 per cent of businesses are focused on making offerings inclusive of disability. The announcement of the Valuable 500 initiative was made at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 here. It is aimed at engaging 500 leading CEOs for catalysing the influence of large private-sector corporations to create a tipping point for disability inclusion.
Valuable 500 aims to unlock the business, social and economic value of the 1.3 billion people living with a disability, the largest minority group worldwide. “Realizing the rights of people living with disabilities to full and equal participation in economy and society is not only the right thing to do but benefits everyone in building a common sustainable world,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, New Economy and Society, World Economic Forum.
“There is a global disability inequality crisis, which cannot be resolved by governments and charities alone. If you’re disabled, you’re 50 per cent less likely to get a job and you’re 50 per cent more likely to experience poverty. This is unacceptable in 2020 – we need business to come to the table,” said Caroline Casey, founder of the Valuable 500.
The Valuable 500 is a platform initiative of the Forum’s Platform for the New Economy and Society.
By signing up, companies across all sectors commit to closing the disability inclusion gap in their organisations through embedding inclusive leadership, building inclusive cultures and creating inclusive brands. The actions by member companies to date vary widely, from committing to having employees with disabilities represent 5 per cent of their workforce by 2025 to ensuring accessible technology is implemented throughout an organisation.