What is the Valuable 500, and why is it campaigning for disability inclusion?
The Valuable 500 is the world’s biggest CEO collective. Caroline Casey, the founder, has gathered five hundred CEOs from top global organisations to make a public commitment to advance disability inclusion within their organisations and place disability inclusion on their board agendas.
Having received a commitment from 500 of the world’s most influential CEOs, the Valuable 500 aims to help the member chief executives to transform their businesses so their services will include the 1.3 billion people living with disabilities worldwide, thereby unlocking their business, social and economic potential.
“We believe that if business takes the lead, society and government will follow. Truly inclusive businesses can build truly inclusive societies,” says Caroline Casey.
Since the Valuable 500 was launched at the World Economic Forum annual meeting at Davos in 2019, some of the biggest global businesses have joined the campaign for inclusion, including Allianz, Apple, BBC, BP, The Coca-Cola Company, Daimler, Deloitte, EY, Google, Microsoft, Nestle, P&G, 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.
The organisations supporting the Valuable 500 have combined revenues of over $8 trillion and employ over 20 million people across 36 countries.
Discrimination against disabilities must end
New research from the Valuable 500 and Tortoise Media shows no executives or senior managers in FTSE 100 companies have a publicly disclosed disability.
Also, 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 a third of 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,” says Casey.
“We have broken the leadership silence on disability inclusion and put this on the business leadership agenda. We have built this unique community and are launching phase two.
“For me, the collective activation and innovation of this community for systemic business change has been a lifetime ambition. With the scale of the Valuable 500, change is possible because now we have the scale, the perfect time and the multiplier effect of this critical mass – it’s all about intention.”
What will happen in phase two?
During the second phase, thirteen leaders from across the Valuable 500 will co-fund, co-build, and co-test programs and solutions, using their experience to drive 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.
CEOs of all of these companies say they will work together to lead by example and transform the system to ensure disability inclusion. Details below:
- Apple was the 500th member of the Valuable 500 and became the partner for inclusive design.
- Leveraging their Self-ID work, Google and Deloitte will be working together to carry out an internal census playbook that will help the 500 CEOs understand disability within their workforce and any barriers currently to inclusion within the organisation.
- Salesforce and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. will facilitate a jobs portal made by people with disabilities to ensure greater access to opportunities and more diverse workforces.
- P&G and Omnicom will conduct a brand audit to help the signatories gain insight from disabled consumers, driving innovation opportunities.
- EY and Sky will support the build-out of a global research panel of 5,000 people with disabilities to give direct insight into the workings of the 500 companies.
- Allianz and The London Stock Exchange Group will contribute to The Inclusive Index Programme to influence the indices to incorporate disability measures into their criteria.
- Sony will support the increased representation for disabled people both on and off camera.
- Verizon will primarily be focused on inclusive technology and equipping a pipeline of next-gen talent with accessibility skills, whilst the BBC is supporting Valuable Virtual – to enable the community to share their ideas virtually.
“Since the launch of #Valuable at One Young World in Bogota in 2017 and the inception of the Valuable 500 at Davos in 2019, the campaign’s ambitious goal to fundamentally transform the global business system and fight for an equal and inclusive society has made incredible progress. I am proud to have been part of the journey from the beginning and continue to play a role as the campaign enters phase two,” says Paul Polman, chairman of the Valuable 500 and former CEO of Unilever.