HR TODAY: What do Facebook, Walmart, CVS Health, and Voya Financial have in common? A strong disability inclusion program.
Hiring individuals with disabilities delivers significant business benefits. “When people are able to bring their whole selves to work, you’re able to minimize what neuroscientists call the ‘social pain of exclusion,’ helping ensure that people are able to be their most productive, optimized self,” says Russell Shaffer, Walmart’s director of brand strategy, outreach, and benchmarking in the office of global culture, diversity, and inclusion.
The “social pain of exclusion” refers to the phenomenon that social rejection activates many of the same regions of the brain as physical pain. By helping individuals with disabilities feel included, the Vice President of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health David Casey says that organizations can gain workers who are dependable, loyal, and more easily retained. According to Shaffer, more inclusive practices also create a safe environment that promotes strong connections between employees and their peers as well as the organization, leading to better performance, higher engagement, and greater innovation.
This increase in innovation can even result in a more thoughtful and accessible product. Katheryn King, outreach growth and compliance reporting manager at Facebook, says, “We believe that with a diverse workforce, we can better serve the people from all backgrounds who use our products. There are over one billion people with disabilities in the world. We want to make sure that we are building products that are accessible to them and serve their unique needs… Employees with disabilities not only have value in driving product accessibility but also in problem-solving and bringing diverse perspectives to innovation and creativity.”
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PENSIONS AND INVESTMENTS: NYS Comptroller DiNapoli recommends the Disability Equality Index for disability inclusion reporting
Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the $213.2 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, called on 49 of the largest U.S. companies to report on their inclusion of people with disabilities across their enterprises.
NEW YORK TIMES: Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good Business
For years, companies have maintained low expectations about hiring people with disabilities. Most of these companies believed that employees with disabilities could not perform well in the workplace and that actively hiring them would drag company performance and profits down.
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“We are starting 2019 with a new effort to press corporate America to have clear policies on disability inclusion," said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.