Award Banner
Award Banner

Almost half of business leaders believe there aren't enough candidates with a disability despite over 1M disabled people wanting to work

Almost half of business leaders believe there aren't enough candidates with a disability despite over 1M disabled people wanting to work
  • According to new research conducted by the Valuable 500, 47% of businesses believe there aren't enough candidates with a disability, however, research in the UK shows there are 1M disabled people who want to work but are being denied the opportunity
  • The research highlights how misconceptions, lack of representation and taboos are still playing a huge role in recruitment policies
  •  Research also showed that almost two thirds (63%) of businesses didn't know how many people within their organisation identify as disabled

LONDON, Feb. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Global business collective, the Valuable 500, today announces new research showing that almost half of businesses believe that a key barrier to the recruitment and retention of disabled employees is the lack of candidates.

This contrasts evidence from government figures showing that there are one million disabled people in the UK who can and want to work but are being denied the opportunity.  The data, highlighted by Virgin Media and Scope with their ground-breaking campaign was supported by an Opinium survey of 2,000 disabled people which found that when applying for jobs only half of applications result in an interview, compared with 69% for non-disabled applicants. 2021 Government figures show that the disability employment gap sits at 28.4%, a decrease year on the year by just 0.7%. This shows a clear need for a shift away from misconceptions in recruitment.

One major factor behind the lack of job candidates with disabilities could be attributed to lack of representation of disability inclusion.   It is often a forgotten aspect in the broader business agenda – particularly when it comes to business leadership where just 4% of CEOs have a disclosed disability.

Disabled people bring immense contribution to business and society as a whole, making up 15% of the global population, they bring diversity of thought, lived experience and a wealth of talent, all vital for business sustainability.

Christophe Catoir, President of Adecco who is a member of the Valuable 500, explains : "At Adecco, we intend to make the future work for everyone, and we really mean it. We have developed a sound culture of inclusion that enforces integration in the workplace for persons with disabilities across all our markets. With perseverance, we demonstrate every day that persons with disabilities are reliable, skilled and talented individuals with the potential to belong fully to the world of work in all industries and types of positions."

Since reaching the goal of 500 organisations in May 2021, the Valuable 500 has launched phase 2 of the campaign and it has received the largest ever investment into disability business inclusion, with The Nippon Foundation investing $5 million to catalyse new Valuable 500 initiatives.

Caroline Casey, Founder of the Valuable 500, commented:

"We are now entering 2022, and employers who have gone through two years of disruption are re-building and need to ensure that disability inclusion is at the heart of their agendas. What the research shows us today, is that whilst many companies are striving to do just this, we still have a lack of representation and businesses still have a long way to shift the dial truly and irreversibly on disability inclusion. 18% of the UK population have a disability and they need to be seen and heard.

"But more than this – we need to strive to fundamentally transform the global business system and fight for an inclusive society.  At some point in our lives, every single one of us will experience disability and we all have a responsibility to make humanity function better."

Paul Polman, Chairman of the Valuable 500, commented:

"Having a diverse and inclusive workforce is a powerful driver for improved company performance, and this must extend to including people with disabilities. It's not only the right thing to do, but also the smart and profitable thing to do for any business leaders looking to unlock talent, boost innovation and build a culture of trust, respect and inclusion throughout the company.

"We've seen progress in recent years as the biggest business groups across the globe have signed up to disability inclusion commitments through the Valuable 500. 2022 must bring faster action to close the disability employment gap once and for all."

Media contacts

Please contact:

Jess Buckley
Seven Hills

Richard Poston
Director of Communications, the Valuable 500

Notes to Editors

About the Valuable 500

Valuable was launched by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey at One Young World 2017 in Bogota, Colombia and the inception of the Valuable 500 was announced at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2019. Today the Valuable 500 is the largest community of Global CEOs committed to disability inclusion in business.

Since its creation, the Valuable 500 has achieved its initial goal of persuading 500 multinational organisations to make a public commitment to disability inclusion in their organisation, igniting a historic global movement for a new age of diversity in business. The Valuable 500 and their global impact partner The Nippon Foundation, will be working closely with the World Economic Forum and International Disability Alliance - bringing together a leading philanthropic organisation with the most prestigious global business network and the voice of the global disability community.

By engaging with the world's most influential business leaders and brands, the network now has a combined revenue of over $8 trillion and employs a staggering 22 million people worldwide. Its members include 13 global CEOs and companies who will be spearheading the programmes and services to be offered under Phase 2 of the campaign, which will be activated through global disability surveys, disability trend reports and an executive disability resource hub.

After reaching this important milestone, the Valuable 500 is determined to create a community that supports and empowers its 500 members to systematically transform their businesses, so they include the 1.3 billion people living with disabilities worldwide, thereby unlocking their business, social and economic potential.


This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.