In today’s challenging homecare world, it’s easy for business owners and corporate leaders to put diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts at the bottom of a very long to-do list. After all, it’s just something that’s nice to have, rather than a must-do, right?

Not at Cardinal Health, where leadership has committed to keeping DEI on the front burner. In 2021, the company set specific goals to increase the number of women and underrepresented populations in its workforce by 2030.

“DE&I is at the core of running any business,” said Rob Schlissberg, president of Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions, the company’s division that focuses on products for care in the home. “You must make time for DE&I efforts. It’s just that simple.”

Other Focus on Disability

When we say DEI, it usually means diversity, equity and inclusion. But there’s a different acronym that homecare providers should know about—the Disability Equality Index (DEI).

The index, a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, is an assessment tool for disability inclusion that allows companies to self-report their disability practices and policies. It was created in 2015 to help businesses make a positive impact on the employment of people with disabilities, and since then participation has grown from 80 companies to 485 this year.

“Businesses have the power to drive the global advancement of disability inclusion, and we’re thrilled to see more companies than ever leverage the Disability Equality Index to measure their progress,” said
Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN.

The DEI takes about 40 hours for companies to complete each year and includes six categories of measurement: culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices, community engagement, supplier diversity and non-U.S. operations.

Of those companies participating:

  • 57% have external hiring goals for people with disabilities
  • 29% say disability inclusion is part of senior executives’ performance evaluations
  • 24% publish data on employees who identify as having a disability
  • 26% have a supplier diversity program that incorporates
  • disability inclusion
  • 22% require at least some primary suppliers to spend with disability-owned businesses
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