Press release

THE VALUABLE 500 LAUNCHES AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ANNUAL SUMMIT TO PROMOTE DISABILITY INCLUSION IN BUSINESS

  • The Valuable 500 launches at Davos today to unlock the value of disabled people across the world
  • Launch sees the world premiere of DIVERSISH, a campaign which challenges the businesses that exclude disability in their definitions of diversity
  • UK Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton urges businesses to join the campaign
  • Launch is part of World Economic Forum Annual Summit agenda which includes focus on disability inclusion

London, Thursday 24th January 2019: A new campaign that will hold global business leaders accountable for disability inclusion in their businesses launched today at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in Davos.

Announced by #valuable founder Caroline Casey at today’s press conference “The Case for Disability Inclusion”, The Valuable 500 will seek 500 global businesses to commit to putting disability on their board agendas in 2019.

The Valuable 500 seeks to tackle the trend for businesses to claim they are diverse, but exclude disability from their definition of diversity. Research by EY commissioned by #valuable (PDF 28.8MiB) has found disability is still woefully absent from the majority of board level discussions globally – with the majority (56%) of global senior executives rarely or never discussing disability on their leadership agendas.

A new campaign by AMV, DIVERSISH, created to mark the launch of The Valuable 500, reveals that while many businesses call themselves diverse, most overlook, ignore or postpone anything to do with disability. The campaign calls for business leaders to stop being diversish – and commit to real accountability and action on disability inclusion, by taking a simple first step and tabling disability on their board agendas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We0sqgHAZKI&feature=youtu.be

Founder of #valuable, Caroline Casey, commented:

“It’s no longer good enough for companies to say ‘disability doesn’t fit with our brand’ or ‘it’s a good idea to explore next year’. Businesses cannot be truly inclusive if disability is continuingly ignored on leadership agendas.

“I urge businesses to join The Valuable 500 movement to take a stand against being diversish – and instead be the tipping-point for change, and unlock the business, social and economic value of disabled people across the world. We also need brands that are already great examples of inclusive behaviour to show other businesses how it’s done, and help us end à la carte inclusion – because the potential of 1.3 billion should not be ignored.”

Unilever, Microsoft, Barclays, Fujitsu, Cinepolis, and Accenture sign up and become members of The Valuable 500

The Valuable 500 is delighted to announce the first six global businesses to sign up and become members: Unilever, Microsoft, Barclays, Fujitsu, Cinepolis, and Accenture.

Accenture Chief Executive Officer North America Julie Sweet said:

“We applaud The Valuable 500 for shining a light on the opportunity to bring more persons with disabilities into the workforce. At Accenture, accelerating disability inclusion is key to our commitment to creating a culture of equality where everyone can advance and thrive, and core to our strategy of being an innovation-led company.”

In addition, The Valuable 500 is also working with a range of experts who will lend their skills and expertise to get the business community to tackle disability exclusion around the world. These regional experts include the ILO GBDN, The Marketing Society, Business Disability Forum, EY, Ruh Global, AXSChat and Purple Space.

#valuable, the organisation behind the launch of The Valuable 500, is supported by a number of high profile businesses and business leaders, including strategic partners Omnicom and Virgin Media, and leaders including Sir Richard Branson, Paul Polman, Janet Riccio and EY Chairman & CEO Mark Weinberger.

These companies and leaders are taking a number of steps to support disability inclusion and equality throughout their businesses.

UK Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton said:

“Disabled people have a valuable contribution to make in the workplace, and in 2019 it’s time for businesses across the world to take disability seriously.

“I’m calling on businesses to join The Valuable 500 and lead the way on disability inclusion to show other employers what they’re missing out on.”

Last year, Caroline launched #valuable at One Young World, the global summit for young leaders, providing a platform to activate a new generation of future leaders who care passionately about disability inclusion and aren’t afraid to be vocal about it.

Now #valuable has joined forces with the World Economic Forum this week, as part of this year’s Annual Meeting agenda in which disability inclusion will form a key part. This is the first time that Davos has included disability on the main stage with the support of global business leaders.

Among other highlights of the Forum’s disability inclusion agenda, Caroline Casey and Paul Polman will be joined by Bloomberg Chairman Peter T Grauer; Procter & Gamble Group President, North America, Carolyn Tastad; Accenture CEO North America Julie Sweet; and Tech Mahindra Managing Director and CEO Chander Prakash Gurnani, at an interactive panel entitled The Business Case for Disability Inclusion.

This was the first time in global history that a panel of such business influence has debated how making disabilities a focus is good business practice.

Today, over one billion people across the world live with some form of disability – 15% of the global population, or 1 in 7 people – but their value is routinely ignored by business, equivalent to disregarding a potential market the size of US, Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan combined.

The current global employment rate for disabled people is half that of non-disabled people, a gap that has widened since 2010. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of businesses in OECD countries choose to pay fines rather than meet quotas on disability.

Along with their friends, families and communities, the one billion disabled people worldwide also hold a disposable annual income of $8 trillion a year, equating to an opportunity that business cannot afford to ignore. Of those one billion, 80% of disabilities are acquired later life, and our ageing global population means the prevalence of disability is on the rise.

#valuable is a catalyst for an inclusion revolution that exists to position disability equally on the global business leadership agenda. It is spearheaded by award-winning activist, social entrepreneur and Binc founder Caroline Casey, who is registered blind. In 2017 Caroline set off on a boundary-pushing, month-long 1,000-kilometer horse adventure through Colombia to the opening ceremony of One Young World to engage next generation leaders with the power to make change.

The Valuable 500 movement starts today, with six exemplar brands having already signed up. There are 365 days left to sign up for the remaining 494 spots.

To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit thevaluable500.com.

#valuable – it’s everyone’s business.

– Ends –

EY Research

Click here to download a copy of the research.
The Business Leadership Imperative (PDF 28.8MiB)

Media contacts:

For interviews and further information, please contact:

Eloise Keightley, Seven Hills
Telephone: +44 207 199 2218
Email: eloise.keightley@wearesevenhills.com

Marianne Waite
The Valuable 500 Campaign Director
Email: marianne@thevaluable500.com

Applying for Membership of The Valuable 500

To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit thevaluable500.com.

Membership of The Valuable 500 includes:

  • Unlimited access to our executive disability performance resource hub
  • Membership to a community of like-minded business peer leaders, committed to raising their game on disability
  • The platform and opportunity to raise your profile as an early adopter helping to shape this vital emerging economic and societal agenda.

By becoming a member of The Valuable 500, you agree to:

  • COMMIT: Table disability on your board agenda from 2019
  • ACT: Make ONE firm commitment to action in 2019
  • AMPLIFY: Share your commitment to The Valuable 500 internally and externally

About #valuable

Launched by Binc, #valuable is a campaign working to ensure businesses globally recognise the value of the one billion people around the world living with a disability. We believe that building a global society that recognises the value of the 1 billion people living with a disability starts with business. We’re on a mission to make sure businesses across the world recognise the value of the one billion people living with a disability.

Binc was founded by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey in 2015, with a mission to ignite a historic global movement for a new age of business inclusion. Binc is capitalising on Caroline Casey’s 18-year track record of success engaging over 450 organisations and working with 500,000 business leaders. Binc fundamentally believes that inclusive business creates inclusive societies and is initiating a new approach to business that genuinely includes the 1 billion people living in the world with a disability. Binc is the founding team behind valuable, an ambitious global campaign to put inclusivity on top of the business agenda around the world in 2019. Binc is using a tried and tested formula that has worked in the past for gender, race and LGBT to leverage the exponential rise of The Diversity and Inclusion Agenda.

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.

Its dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses and it’s expanding this through its Project Lightning programme, which could extend its network to up to 17 million premises.

Its interactive Virgin TV service brings live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games to customers through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.

Virgin Mobile launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and offers fantastic value and innovative services with 4G connectivity. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.

Through Virgin Media Business it supports entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. Liberty Global connects 21 million customers through operations in 10 countries across Europe subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. It also serves 6 million mobile subscribers and offers WiFi service through 12 million access points across its footprint.

About Omnicom Group

Omnicom Group (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

Definition of disability:

#valuable uses the definition provided by the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities, which defines a person living with a disability as ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.’

  1. http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/chapter8.pdf
  2. WHO
  3. http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/chapter8.pdf
  4. Return on Disability, 2016
  5. Scope and Landman, Enabling Work – https://www.scope.org.uk/Scope/media/Images/Publication%20Directory/Landman_Report.PDF?ext=.pdf

Disability and the Sustainable Development Goals

The need to advance disability inclusion around the globe is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Disability or ‘persons with disabilities’ are specifically referenced 11 times in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a further six references to ‘persons in vulnerable situations’. Principally with reference to: promoting inclusive economic growth that allows disabled people to fully access the job market and guaranteeing equal and accessible education through the creation of inclusive