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CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion

Understanding that we are all operating in an unprecedented environment with multiple, competing interests for the time and attention of the CEO, we are writing to you – from a CEO to CEO perspective – to ask for your much-needed help in advancing equality and inclusion at a time when the need to make sure that no one is marginalized has never been more important.

July 2020 marked the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  While there is much to celebrate in the progress that has been made since the ADA was created, there is still a great deal of work to be done.  Specifically, we want to:

  1. Request your consideration to participate in the Disability Equality Index (DEI), the leading corporate benchmarking tool for disability equality, which is administered by the non-profit organizations, American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN;
  2. Share important information on disability inclusion that details its impact on business performance; and
  3. Ensure that you’re aware of increasing investor interest in understanding how companies are inclusive of people with disabilities.

We have experienced first-hand, within our companies, the potential for innovation, sustainability, and profit as a result of disability inclusion. It is important to us, now more than ever, to drive companies aligned with corporate values and meaningful purpose. Without disability inclusion, we will fail to build sustainable futures that empower all.

We kindly request that your company registers for the DEI (www.DisabilityEqualityIndex.org), a corporate benchmarking tool created by non-profit organizations AAPD and Disability:IN. 

Our respective companies leverage the DEI to help build better products, stronger workforces, and innovative supply chains. At a larger scale, we stand to boost the American GDP by up to $25 billion if we hire just 1% of the untapped talent with disabilities.

Over one billion people have a disability across the globe – and it is a strength. We are leveraging this – by hiring inclusively, contracting with disability-owned business enterprises, and creating accessible tools and technology for all. We do this because it’s the right thing to do and it makes good business sense. Research reveals that leading disability-inclusive companies stand to gain as much as 28% higher revenue, double the net income and 30% higher economic profit margins than their peers.

This is a growing topic for investors in driving sustainable performance. A global investor coalition, representing more than $2.8 trillion in combined assets, called on companies they invest in to become more disability inclusive. The coalition is led by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, and includes large institutional investors such as California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and Bank of America.

We understand, firsthand, that many requests come across the CEO’s desk, which is why we’re reaching out directly to you on this topic. The business case for disability inclusion in the workplace is compelling. Investor interest – along with regulator and legislator interest – on the topic of workplace disability inclusion is increasing at an accelerated pace. And the DEI provides an unbiased and confidential way to benchmark disability inclusion in the workplace.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Signed:

  1. Aron Ain, Chairman & CEO, UKG
  2. José (Joe) E. Almeida, Chairman, President & CEO, Baxter International Inc.
  3. Carl S. Armato, President & CEO, Novant Health
  4. Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy
  5. Marc Benioff, Chair & CEO, Salesforce
  6. Andy Bird, CEO, Pearson
  7. Frank Bisignano, President & CEO, Fiserv, Inc.
  8. Jean-Michel Boers, President & CEO, and US Country Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation
  9. Greg Braca, President & CEO, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank
  10. James Butcher, President & CEO, Chemonics International
  11. Giovanni Caforio, Chairman & CEO, Bristol Myers Squibb
  12. Marc Casper, Chairman, President & CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  13. Andy Cecere, Chairman & CEO, U.S. Bancorp
  14. David Cordani, President & CEO, Cigna Corporation
  15. Brian Cornell, Board Chairman & CEO, Target Corp.
  16. Steve Demetriou, Chair & CEO, Jacobs
  17. Marvin R. Ellison, President & CEO, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
  18. Pat Esser, President & CEO, Cox Communications, Inc.
  19. Thomas F. Farrell, Chairman, President & CEO, Dominion Energy, Inc.
  20. Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., President & CEO, Mayo Clinic
  21. Andreas Fibig, Chairman & CEO, IFF
  22. James M. Foote, President & CEO, CSX Corporation
  23. Beth Ford, President & CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
  24. Thomas P. (Todd) Gibbons, CEO, BNY Mellon
  25. Kelly Grier, US Chair & Americas Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
  26. Roger Hochschild, President & CEO, Discover Financial Services
  27. Barbara Humpton, CEO, Siemens USA
  28. Kevin Johnson, President & CEO, Starbucks Corporation
  29. Margaret Keane, CEO, Synchrony
  30. Gary C. Kelly, Chairman & CEO, Southwest Airlines Co.
  31. Mike Lamach, Chairman & CEO, Trane Technologies
  32. Patrick Lockwood-Taylor, President, Bayer US
  33. Charles F. Lowrey, Chairman & CEO, Prudential Financial, Inc.
  34. Dave MacLennan, Chairman & CEO, Cargill, Incorporated
  35. Mike Mahoney, Chairman & CEO, Boston Scientific
  36. Paul Markovich, President & CEO, Blue Shield of California
  37. Geoff Martha, CEO, Medtronic
  38. Rodney Martin, Chairman & CEO, Voya Financial
  39. Doug McMillon, CEO, Walmart Inc.
  40. Larry Merlo, President & CEO, CVS Health
  41. Mark Mondello, CEO, Jabil Inc.
  42. Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
  43. Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President & CEO for Centene, Centene Corporation
  44. Ronald P. O’Hanley, Chairman & CEO , State Street Corporation
  45. Mark Pearson, CEO, Equitable Holdings
  46. Douglas L. Peterson, President & CEO, S&P Global
  47. Brad Preber, CEO, Grant Thornton LLP
  48. Dave Ricks, Chairman & CEO, Eli Lilly and Company
  49. Jim Ryan, Chairman & CEO, Old National Bank
  50. Jim Ryan, President & CEO, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  51. Tim Ryan, US Chair & Senior Partner, PwC
  52. Mike Sievert, President & CEO, T-Mobile
  53. Vince Sorgi, President & CEO, PPL Corporation
  54. Bob Swan, CEO, Intel Corporation
  55. Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture
  56. Mike Swinford, CEO, NuMotion
  57. Robert N. Trunzo, President & CEO, CUNA Mutual Group
  58. Sherri Turpin, CEO, ZVRS and Purple Communications
  59. Hans Vestberg, Chairman & CEO, Verizon
  60. Kathy Warden, Chairman, CEO & President, Northrop Grumman Corporation