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Companies leading in disability inclusion outperform peers: Accenture

October 29 2018

US companies that embrace best practices for persons with disabilities in their workforces outperformed their peers between 2015 and 2018, according to a new research report from Accenture in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities.

The report, “Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage,” analyzed the disability practices and financial performance of the 140 companies participating in the Disability Equality Index — a benchmarking tool that scores US businesses on their disability inclusion policies and practices — over the past four years.
 
The 45 companies that Accenture identified as standing out for their leadership in areas specific to disability employment and inclusion had, on average over the four-year period, 28% higher revenue, double the net income and 30% higher economic profit margins than the other companies in the index.

The 45 leading companies were also twice as likely to have higher total shareholder returns than those of their peer group. And companies that have improved their inclusion of persons with disabilities over time were four times more likely than others to have total shareholder returns that outperformed those of their peer group.

“This research is the first to correlate an inclusive workplace for persons with disabilities with financial performance,” said Chad Jerdee, Accenture’s general counsel and chief compliance officer. “By making companies aware of the potential gains and sharing success stories, we can get more persons with disabilities into the workforce, where they can thrive.”

Accenture provided four actions that organizations can take to attract, hire, retain and advance diverse talent:

  • Employ: Ensure that persons with disabilities are represented in their workplace. Beyond hiring, employers should implement practices that encourage and progress persons with disabilities.
  • Enable: Provide employees with disabilities with accessible tools and technology and/or a formal accommodations program.
  • Engage: To foster an inclusive culture, generate awareness-building through recruitment efforts, disability education programs and grassroots-led efforts (for example, an employee resource group).
  • Empower: Create empowering environments for employees with disabilities through mentoring and coaching initiatives, as well as through skilling programs.

The research is based on an analysis of 140 respondents to The Disability Equality Index between 2015 and 2018. Accenture developed a scoring system to identify companies that stood out for their leadership in areas specific to disability employment and inclusion. Accenture also analyzed two measures of financial performance for all 140 companies: profitability (revenues and net income) and value creation (economic profit margin). 

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