New research from Accenture, in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), reveals that companies that embrace best practices for employing and supporting more persons with disabilities in the workforce have outperformed their peers
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The report, entitled “Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage,” analyzed the disability practices and financial performance of the 140 companies participating in the Disability Equality Index (DEI) — a benchmarking tool that gives U.S. businesses an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices — over the past four years.
The 45 companies that Accenture identified as standing out for their leadership in areas specific to disability employment and inclusion had, on average over the four-year period:
- 28% higher revenue
- Double the net income
- 30% higher economic profit margins than the other companies in the DEI
Accenture analysis also revealed that U.S. GDP could get a boost of up to US$25 billion if more persons with disabilities joined the labor force.
Persons with disabilities continue to be underrepresented in corporate America:
- Despite the strength of the U.S. labor market, only 29 percent of Americans of working age (16-64) with disabilities were employed as of July 2018, compared with 75 percent of those without a disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This results in an untapped talent pool of 10.7 million people.
- Additionally, the unemployment rate in 2017 for persons with a disability was more than twice that for those without a disability — 9.2 versus 4.2 percent.
The study reveals four key actions that organizations can take to attract, hire, retain and advance diverse talent:
- Employ: Organizations must ensure that persons with disabilities are represented in their workplace. Beyond hiring, employers should implement practices that encourage and progress persons with disabilities.
- Enable: Leaders must provide employees with disabilities with accessible tools and technology and/or a formal accommodations program.
- Engage: To foster an inclusive culture, organizations must generate awareness-building — through recruitment efforts, disability education programs and grassroots-led efforts (for example, an employee resource group).
- Empower: Organizations must create empowering environments for employees with disabilities through mentoring and coaching initiatives, as well as through skilling/re-skilling programs, to ensure that they continue to advance and thrive.
The research can be accessed here.