Eli Lilly, Target and Cargill CEOs Sign Disability:IN’s CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion

More than 50 corporate leaders now pledge to build more diverse companies and encourage peers to participate in the Disability Equality Index

Alexandria, Virginia, UNITED STATES


Alexandria, VA, Jan. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Disability:IN, the leading global nonprofit organization for advancing business disability inclusion and equality, today announced the CEOs of Eli Lilly, Target and Cargill have signed the CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion, staking their commitment to making Corporate America inclusive of people with disabilities and asking other leaders to do the same.

The news brings the total number of signatories to over 50, following the CEOs of Cigna, Prudential and Synchrony Financial Ventures Group, who signed the letter in December. The initial signatories of the July 2020 letter—marking the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act—are the CEOs of Accenture, CVS Health, Intel, Microsoft, Voya Financial and Walmart.

“As global companies continue to embrace purpose-driven leadership, CEOs are recognizing that disability inclusion is critical for building sustainable futures that empower everyone,” said Jill Houghton, CEO of Disability:IN. “We commend all the CEOs who are prioritizing cultural diversity, innovation, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities to deliver positive impact and outcomes for key stakeholders.”

The nation’s top executives agree to carry out tangible actions to further equality and inclusion in business, from hiring inclusively, contracting with disability-owned business enterprises and creating accessible tools and technology for all within their companies. Specifically, the leaders call on their peer CEOs to leverage the Disability Equality Index (DEI), a flagship benchmarking tool created by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities.

“We are proud to join Disability:IN and to encourage other companies to join us in participating in the Disability Equality Index,” said Dave Ricks, Lilly Chairman and CEO. “Lilly needs top people with critical skills, expertise and talents. Some of them have disabilities now—or will in the future. We’re working to remove barriers to ensure that everyone can contribute fully, because we can’t afford to miss out on anyone’s contributions.”

Now in its seventh year, the DEI is a comprehensive assessment that helps companies develop a baseline for their inclusion efforts to date, benchmark against industry competitors, and build a roadmap to achieve disability inclusion in business. It measures all aspects of disability inclusion in the workplace such as culture and leadership, accessibility, employment practices—including benefits, hiring, advancement, and reasonable accommodations, community engagement, and supplier diversity. The 2021 DEI is now open for registration at disabilityequalityindex.org.

“With our signature, we ask every CEO for their much-needed help in advancing disability equality and inclusion at a time when the need to make sure that no one is marginalized has never been more important,” said Voya Financial Chairman and CEO Rod Martin. “Together, we can take meaningful steps toward advancing disability inclusion in every facet of our world.”

About the Disability Equality Index

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a joint initiative with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities. It is an unbiased and confidential benchmarking tool that provides companies with an objective score and roadmap on disability inclusion policies and practices.

Nearly one-third (28%) of Fortune 500 companies and more than half (59%) of Fortune 100 companies use the DEI, with those earning a score of 80 and above and recognized as a “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” A total of 247 corporations participated in the 2020 DEI, a 37% increase from 2019. For a full list, and to register for the 2021 DEI, visit disabilityequalityindex.org

About Disability:IN

Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Partnering with more than 235 corporations, Disability:IN expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. The organization and 26 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business. Through its programs and services, Disability:IN empowers businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality, with the goal of advancing inclusion to the point when the organization is no longer necessary. Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.

 

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