CEOs make stand for disability inclusion with open letter during postponed Paralympic games


Leading CEOs from some of the world’s largest businesses have signed an open letter calling for disability inclusion to be addressed more than once every four years.

The letter, titled “Disability inclusion does not just come around every four years for business leaders,” highlights the disability inequality crisis in business ahead of what would have been the closing ceremony of the 2020 Paralympics

The Paralympics bring great hope and visibility to the 1.3bn people living with some form of disability globally – 15% of the world’s population.

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The games also provide businesses a valuable opportunity to proudly display a strong message of support to people with disabilities, elite athletes or not, through sponsorships and partnerships.

The letter explained how after the last medal is awarded, people with disabilities are still being excluded.

It said that while 90% of companies claim to prioritise diversity, only 4% focus on making offerings that are disability-inclusive. Recent findings show only 8% of companies feature people with disabilities in their marketing and advertising collateral on a regular basis.

The business leaders are calling for this to change and for other CEOs to stand together as one and pledge to commit to disability inclusion, by joining The Valuable 500.

It states: “It is not enough for the business community to only make a visible display of solidarity and representation when disability inclusion is trending internationally due to the Paralympics. Businesses need to commit to disability inclusion when the world stops watching, all year round, every year.”

Business leaders who have signed this letter include;

  • Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500
  • Yuji Hirako, President and CEO, Member of the Board, ANA
  • Elie Girard, CEO, Atos
  • Michael Corbat, CEO, Citi
  • Yoshinari Kitajima, President, Dai Nippon Printing (DNP)
  • Keiichi Yoshii, President, CEO and COO, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Yuji Akasaka, Representative Director, Executive President, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
  • Akimasa Yoneda, President, KNT-CT Holdings Co., Ltd.
  • Takashi Niino, President and CEO, NEC Corporation 
  • Jun Sawada, President and CEO, NTT
  • Noriaki Kiyota, President, Representative Director, TOTO LTD.

All businesses signing the letter are official partners of the Tokyo Paralympics, and members of the global disability inclusion movement The Valuable 500 – which is working to get 500 of the world’s largest businesses to commit to placing disability inclusion on their business leadership agendas.

Tags : accessibilitydisabilityinclusionparalympics
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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