Report Demonstrates Benefits of an Inclusive Workplace with Employees with Disabilities

October 2017 - A recent report by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), in partnership with the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), finds that as many as 30% of white-collar professionals in the U.S. have some form of disability. Of this group, 62% reported having “invisible disabilities,” or disabilities that are not readily apparent. This statistic represents a large portion of the current workforce and demonstrates the current and potential contributions that employees with disabilities have been and can offer to their employers. The study, which was conducted online and over one-on-one interviews in the U.S. and five other countries demonstrates the benefits of a diverse, inclusive workplace. Executive Vice President and Director of Publications at CTI, Julia Taylor Kennedy wrote, “from our interviews and focus groups, we learned that people with disabilities are particularly innovative. In order to navigate the world with a disability, they have to problem-solve each day. They can contribute this gift to their employers, but only if they know they will be recognized and rewarded for it.”
Speaking to the traditional challenges of disability centric employment and engagement, Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft wrote, “how do we build great products and services with disability in mind? Disability is part of being human. We’re creating products for humans. We need to find ways for all humans to use our technology to support their work every day.” The report makes a strong argument for inclusive leadership, and the fostering of skills of employees with disabilities. Laura Sherbin, co-president of CTI and a managing partner of Hewlett Consulting Partners wrote, “now that we know employees with disabilities make up nearly a third of the white-collar workforce, employers simply can’t afford to ignore this crucial talent cohort. By understanding employees with disabilities—and listening to their ideas—companies can unlock enormous potential.” Source: USBLN.


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