Washington D.C., July 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide, has rebranded to Disability:IN to better reflect its important, and strengthened, mission of empowering businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality. The new brand was launched today in Las Vegas at the sold-out annual conference and expo of Disability:IN, which attracted more than 1,500 people representing businesses and organizations committed to advancing the employment of people with disabilities.
Since its inception, Disability:IN has helped 160 partner businesses attract more than 10,000 candidates with disabilities, diversify their supply chains with diversity-owned vendors and benchmark their progress in achieving disability inclusion.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five Americans will experience a disability during their lifetime. These individuals face significant obstacles in their pursuit of jobs and careers, as U.S. Department of Labor statistics show that only 20 percent of people with disabilities participate in today's workforce compared to 69 percent of people without disabilities. Positioned at the intersection of people with disabilities and business, Disability:IN is breaking through barriers by connecting people with disabilities to leaders in the business world.
“We help companies identify and draw from the unique strengths and talents of people with disabilities – to move their business forward and foster diversity and inclusion across the enterprise,” said Jill Houghton, President and CEO of Disability:IN. “Employers should be embracing the skills that people with disabilities can contribute, as our survey shows millennials find it imperative and it fosters innovation.”
Today's Employees Value Diversity and Inclusion
To better understand employee values concerning business inclusion, Disability:IN recently sponsored a national survey of more than 1,000 working Americans. While workers of all ages reported that business inclusion is important, for the majority of millennials, inclusion is fundamental and essential in the workplace.
In fact, 68 percent of millennials (age 18 to 34) believe it's very to extremely important to work for a company that fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace, compared to 61 percent of Gen Xers (age 35 to 54), and 45 percent of baby boomers (age 55+).
Other findings similarly reflect that millennials, more so than their older counterparts, choose and remain at companies that actively promote diversity and inclusion:
- 32 percent of millennials versus 15 percent of boomers say diversity and inclusion are key considerations when selecting a new job
- 46 percent of millennials versus 32 percent of boomers say they are "absolutely" more likely to stay at a company that fosters diversity and inclusion
“Our survey findings validate what we are hearing from our more than 160 corporate partners,” Houghton said. “Fostering an inclusive culture helps businesses attract and retain employees of all abilities, especially millennials."
Closing the Gap
Despite millennials valuing diverse and inclusive workplaces, many feel their employers aren’t doing enough to include people with disabilities.
- Only 51 percent of millennials say their companies demonstrate a commitment to hiring and retaining people with disabilities very or extremely well
- 28 percent of millennials and only 21 percent of all workers say their senior leaders promote and support an inclusive workplace extremely well
- Just 29 percent of millennials believe their companies strongly foster inclusivity, enabling people with disabilities to thrive
Inclusion Fosters Innovation
Supporting the hypothesis that diversity promotes innovation, the survey found that 70 percent of millennials absolutely agree that a diverse workforce fosters innovative thinking. Yet only 35 percent believe that their companies actually embrace innovative thinking and viewpoints extremely well.
"When people with disabilities are included in business, teams excel, driving more innovative, accessible products and services. It’s a competitive advantage for attracting top talent and driving accessibility for today's and tomorrow's diverse customers," said Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft and Chair of the Disability:IN Board of Directors. "As a deaf woman, I know that having a disability can be a strength.”
As corporate America makes strides in becoming more inclusive of diverse groups, including the LGBTQ community, women, people of color and veterans, Disability:IN is building an inclusive economy that welcomes people with disabilities. Today, service-disabled veterans secure meaningful jobs, mental illness is more openly accepted and technology is rapidly advancing to meet the needs of people of all abilities. Yet, full disability inclusion remains a challenge.
"Disability inclusion brings a competitive advantage to business, while empowering people with disabilities to participate fully and meaningfully," said Houghton. "As much as I love being a part of this global movement, I dream of the day when our organization is no longer necessary."
- 145 companies (97 Fortune 500) participate in the Disability Equality Index (DEI) with 89 receiving a score of 100 percent in 2018, up from 68 in 2017
- Disability:IN's Inclusion Works program has grown from six companies in 2014 to 20 Fortune-500 companies in 2018, including more than 10,000 new hires of talent with disabilities
- Disability:IN’s Supplier Diversity program is recognized by the Billion Dollar Roundtable and has a global registry of disability-owned businesses
- Nearly 85% of NextGen leaders participating in the Mentorship Exchange program are employed
To learn more about Disability:IN, visit www.disabilityIN.org
Survey Methodology: The study was conducted among a nationally representative group of working adult Americans from June 11-15, 2018. The sample size of 1,251 has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent. Data has been weighted to be nationally representative of the employed population. The survey was hosted by global research company MARU / Matchbox.
Disability:IN, formerly known as the US Business Leadership Network, is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Partnering with more than 160 corporations, Disability:IN expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. The organization and 50 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business. Through its programs and services, Disability:IN empowers businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality, with the goal of advancing inclusion to the point when the organization is no longer necessary.
Elaine Kubik Disability:IN 6464558319 firstname.lastname@example.org