According to the World Bank Group, 15 percent of the world’s population – one billion people – have a disability and between 110 million and 190 million people experience significant disabilities. In the last U.S. census in 2010, over 56 million people were counted as having a disability yet the employment ratios for people without a disability (65 percent) are more than three times more than those with a disability (18 percent).*
The World Bank Group goes on to note that individuals with disabilities can struggle with “…inaccessible physical environments and transportation, the unavailability of assistive devices and technologies, non-adapted means of communication, gaps in service delivery…and stigma in society.” These are all areas where corporations, especially Dell, can help.
At Dell , we recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion. Patrick Poljan and I are the global executive sponsors for the True Ability Employee Resource Group (ERG). True Ability joins team members that experience or support those with a range of physical or intellectual disabilities, while celebrating achievements and spreading awareness so everyone is positioned for success.
My involvement in True Ability lets me see the impact our ERG’s have on our customers, team members, and communities. However, I also have a personal stake in the success of our ERG as I am the parent of a child with special needs. I want my son to ultimately achieve his full potential and be a positive influence in the workforce.
Therefore, it gives me great pride to announce that Dell recently received a top score of 100 percent on the Disability Equality Index® (DEI®), a joint initiative of the Disability:IN (formerly U.S. Business Leadership Network) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
DEI® is designed to promote inclusivity and understanding of people with disabilities in the workplace. DEI® measures six areas: culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices, community engagement, supplier diversity and non-U.S. operations.
As a top-scoring company, Dell was also recently recognized as one of the “2018 DEI Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” These awards are a testament to the thousands of team members who have positively impacted our workplace regarding disability issues.
I am very pleased that Dell has received this recognition – but there is more work we can do:
- We can drive even greater accessibility into our products and services for our customers.
- We can continue to foster a safe and inclusive environment for team members to declare they have a disability.
- We can intensify our efforts to drive inclusion, benefits programs, and accessibility for our disabled team members
- We can foster larger efforts to hire, retain, and develop team members with a disability.
- We can partner together on issues that span across multiple ERG’s.
- We can actively champion the diversity of disabled individuals within our local communities and the workforce.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate this great recognition and strive to drive even more disability inclusion in the future!
*United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics News Release, June 21 2018. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.htm