Yesterday’s headline “Corporate America Still Struggling to Hire People with Disabilities” from the National Organization on Disability. But when you dig into the data, it describes the real issue is not actually about hiring, but that employees are not disclosing disabilities. Most employees choose to not answer the question “are you a person with a disability?” (or however it is worded at your company). Until a culture of inclusion and acceptance is created within the workplace, and it gives employees the confidence in disclosing, there really isn’t a way to measure if a company is employing people with disabilities or not. Getting employees to provide personal information can be risky when working in a culture that breeds an air of caution (which is typical in highly competitive companies).
Ironically, I just released (last week) the latest masterclass on employing people with disabilities, which provides actionable solutions through 4 Ways to Get Employees and Applicants to Disclose Disability. FYI my masterclasses are free!! If you are one of the thousands of companies interested in employing more people with disabilities, you need to ask; and you need employees and candidates who are willing to disclose their disabilities. And this all comes down to a level of trust. Approximately, three quarters of disabilities are non-apparent. Most of these individuals opt to not identify due to fear of some negative consequence.
But additional help will come as CEOs join the #valuable500. In the US, Debra Ruh is leading the effort and helping more and more CEOs understand how their leadership can influence an entire company culture in a very positive (and profitable) way.