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:
- 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;
- Share important information on disability inclusion that details its impact on business performance; and
- 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, 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.