Why Hire Disabled Workers? 4 Powerful and Inclusive Companies Answer
The disability community, from grassroots advocates to powerful cross disability organizations, devotes a lot of time and energy to prove the value of hiring disabled workers. It is a common theme in our community and extremely necessary as there are a number of workforce related challenges that workers with disabilities face. The unemployment rate for workers with disabilities is twice of those without. It is still legal for workers with disabilities to be paid well below the minimum wage based on a law that dates back to 1936. Unfortunately this was a time when disabilities were even more horribly misunderstood. While the Americans with Disabilities Act provides vital protections to the disabled workforce, it can't solve every issue. There is a systemic problem of fewer opportunities for advancement for workers with disabilities. One theme, which is commonly discussed, is that employment of disabled workers is the right thing to do. Providing equal opportunity is providing equal rights; it's moral and ethical. However, from the perspective of businesses that perpetuate discrimination in their hiring and retention of workers with disabilities, this message isn't enough.
What if we look to disability employment from a business perspective instead of from an advocacy perspective? There are many businesses that are leading the way in promoting an inclusive workplace. Businesses can be proud of the advancements they have made in hiring workers with disabilities. What makes him so passionate about hiring disabled workers?
These are some of the most successful businesses in the country and have recognized that being inclusive of disability in hiring, retention and promotion has been the right thing to do. These are all fortune 1000 companies that have scored 100 points on the U.S. Business Leadership Networks Disability Equality Index.
The two questions they were asked are; how do recruiting, retaining and promoting employees with disabilities make good business sense? How do they improve a business productivity and profitability?
If you are one of the many consumers of Starbucks coffee you are also supporting one of the most advanced employers of workers with disabilities. Starbucks states that creating a culture of belonging is one of their core values. The company boasts thorough accommodations for workers with disabilities such as interpretation services and accessible software. In 2015 they participated in an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ADA. When we hire for Starbucks we think beyond labels. We challenge ourselves to look beyond traditional sources and typical profiles, to bring in people that share our values and passion for the community. There is no better example than our commitment to hiring people with disabilities. These talented professionals bring unique experiences that foster innovation and new ideas while contributing to a culture of warmth and inclusion. We work across multiple business teams to collaborate and inspire partners to embrace accessibility as a global value of Starbucks. We are continually inspired by their diversity and inclusion of our people.
As one of the top contractors to the United States government, Northrup Grumman not only supports the needs of the military, but also supports many of the millions of Americans with disabilities in the workforce who want meaningful employment. They foster beneficial business relationships between other minority owned businesses and their own including many businesses owned by persons with disabilities. In addition to these programs Northrop Grumman is also committed to disabled service members. They created an award-winning Operation Impact program, a wounded warrior program designed to support the most severely injured service members or their primary caregiver. They provide career readiness and placement assistance as well as post transition support to all candidates. They have established a group of more than 110 companies and partners that share job candidates, best practices and create wider opportunities for veterans with disabilities. They are committed to creating a work environment that values diversity and inclusion because it creates innovation, improves productivity and boost profitability. People with disabilities are important component of a diverse pool of talent and we are determined to draw from this valuable resource. We actively seek to hire disabled employees because of the tremendous value they bring to the workplace. They've recently added new online accommodation tools for requests and case tracking; increased accessibility of her Internet website, including the careers section; expanded accessibility at our locations; and we have adopted a more focused approach for posting job requisitions with disability -related job boards.
AT&T is not only a top telecommunication corporation in the world, but a model for programs that support the disabled workforce. They are particularly successful in their implementation of diversity programs. They not only weave accessibility and inclusion into the fabric of their business, but they produce special opportunities for the disadvantaged disable workforce to get ahead. AT&T is a company where everyone's differences are authentically embraced, valued and vital to our business. People with disabilities are no exception. We ensure an accessible environment so employees can win at work and offer the accessibility products and services to our customers. We seek to find and hire college graduate students with disabilities and we play a big role in ensuring that we continue to stay ahead of the issues that this community faces.
Ernst and Young, a global leader in professional services, is proud of their mission to embrace all abilities. The company was built by a founder with a disability Arthur Young. Their commitment to disability inclusion ranges from signing on to the Business Task force On Excess abilities Charter to a variety of other programs, which give employees the resources, they need to develop their skills and advocate for accessible policies and disability awareness in the workplace. Ernst & Young seeks the best talent. To find specialized skills we need, we tapped the broadest available talent pools including people with a wide range of physical, cognitive and mental health abilities. We know that diverse teams produce better solutions so there is a clear advantage to bring people together with all kinds of differences. Differences in gender, ethnicity, orientation, age, background and abilities. Employees with disabilities have higher retention rates, so for many businesses, there can be a real cost savings to reduced turnover. Studies show that consumers prefer doing business with companies that employ people with disabilities, so there's brand value. Research is also shown that organizations that employ people with disabilities have higher morale and employee engagement which all drives profitability. People with disabilities often have well honed problem-solving skills and a good degree of adaptability that are especially valuable in today's fast changing business environment. We learned this early in our history as our cofounder; Arthur Young was deaf and had low vision. Unable to practice as a courtroom lawyer because of his disabilities, he became an innovator and entrepreneur.
In summary, these companies are not only extremely successful in their fields but powerful models of disability inclusion that make compelling arguments for greater disability workforce inclusion. They not only reject outdated ideas that disabled workers or liabilities, but actively promote the perspective that workers of all abilities bring different strengths to the company's mission. Businesses that embrace disability inclusion have found that there is a positive correlation between their profitability, employee morale and engagement. These businesses report lower turnover, better safety records, innovation and higher productivity among their employees with disabilities. For customer facing companies, there is a side benefit of customer loyalty from America's largest minority group, numbering 56.7 million Americans.