Making Disability a part of the DEI Discussion
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is at the forefront of every talent management strategy. During 2020, companies found themselves facing significant challenges with respect to DEI and determined they needed to re-examine efforts on race, equity, justice and opportunity.
Yet one element of diversity is frequently left out of most DEI conversations – disability. Disability employee engagement is a gap companies are only just beginning to explore. A review of 10 years’ worth of data from companies around the globe showed stark differences between employee engagement of people with disabilities as compared to those without. But most significantly, it revealed how little data existed. While 90 percent of the companies said they have diversity initiatives, only 4 percent included disability in their diversity programs.
Global Disability Inclusion, in partnership with Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm, is launching a groundbreaking climate and culture survey focused on employees with disabilities and their workplace experiences.
The goal of the survey, known as Amplify, is to provide companies with valuable insights into the work experience of both people with disabilities and those without, allowing them to improve policies, programs and procedures to create greater equity in the workplace and ultimately improve climate and culture.
“Companies are unaware of the employment experiences of people with disabilities because disability is too often left out of the broader diversity conversation,” said Meg O’Connell, CEO and Founder, Global Disability Inclusion. “What we created is a new survey that asks disability-specific questions. It will incorporate questions for both the person with disabilities as well as people without disabilities so that the entire culture at a company can be measured.”
The survey will launch on Feb. 14, and there’s still time to register.
The survey includes everything from experiences on leadership, for example, “Senior leaders promote diversity and inclusion,” to achievement, such as “I have the opportunity for advancement in my company,” to identity and disability inclusion, which looks at whether people are comfortable disclosing their disability status and whether accommodations are provided.
“The majority of disabilities are invisible, whether it’s mental health, neurological, or a learning disability, and most people don’t disclose their disabilities if they have them,” O’Connell said. It may be surprising that likely 15-20 percent of the employee population could identify as having a disability, she added. “We want to help create a better culture of inclusion where people aren’t afraid to talk about their disability status or ask for an accommodation. The opportunity to impact what is likely 15-20 percent of the employee population is monumental.”
For more information about the survey or to have your company participate, contact O’Connell at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Amplify | Global Disability In (globaldisabilityinclusion.com).