Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Irish social entrepreneur Caroline Casey brought disability business inclusion centre stage at the World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos.
Diversity and Inclusion is a burning platform and she is asking businesses to stop being “diversish”. The campaign is called ‘Diversish’, a term Casey and her colleagues coined to describe
“Businesses that call themselves diverse, but overlook, ignore or postpone anything to do with disability.”
She has secured Paul Polman and Richard Branson’s backing for this disability business inclusion campaign.
“The time has come to make disability part of all board agendas. Unless we do that, none of us can truthfully say we’re addressing diversity. We’re just being diversish and that’s simply not enough,” Mr Branson said. Casey’s ‘Valuable 500’ target is to get 500 global businesses to put disability inclusion on their board's agenda.
The first six companies to sign up are Unilever, Microsoft, Barclays, Fujitsu, Cinepolis and Accenture.
Can we mirror that number here in Ireland? I believe we can and Ireland could be a global leader in authentic inclusion. This is an opportunity to collaborate and harness the fact that disability business inclusion is now on the world stage.
“I urge businesses to join The Valuable 500 movement and stop being diversish. It’s no longer good enough for companies to say ‘disability doesn’t fit with our brand’ or ‘it’s a good idea to explore next year’. Businesses cannot be truly inclusive if disability is continuously ignored on leadership agendas.” Says Casey.
There are more than a billion people with disabilities (PWD) in the world. It makes business sense to include us.
Clare Kennelly is a Diversity, Disability and Organisational Culture Consultant based in Cork. Additionally, she is passionate about making Cork a leader in Inclusion.
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