The Importance of Disability Disclosure Among Leadership
People with disabilities and chronic illnesses continue to be underrepresented in the corporate world. We know this because the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is more than double that of non disabled individuals.
Yet, it has been proven that disability inclusion in the workplace helps businesses both economically and culturally.
According to Accenture’s report Enabling Change, Getting to Equal 2020: Disability Inclusion, “companies led by executives who are focused on disability engagement are growing sales (2.9x) and profits (4.1x) faster than their peers.”
Just two years earlier in the Disability Inclusion Advantage Report by Disability:IN and Accenture, it was noted that disability inclusion champions achieved 28% higher revenue, 2x net income, 90% higher retention, and a 72% increase in employee productivity.
These numbers are too great to ignore.
Companies are aware of, or should be aware of, the benefits of hiring from this population. Yet, a recent study by the National Organization on Disability indicates that only 13% of companies in the U.S. have reached the Department of Labor’s target of having 7% disability representation in their workforce. Why?
If over 60% of the U.S. population suffers from a chronic illness or disability, there is a clear gap in the number of people who actually disclose.
In the Enabling Change Report mentioned above, it was found that leaders with disabilities aren’t always transparent about their illness or disability. This survey found that “the majority of employees (76%) and leaders (80%) with a disability are not fully transparent about it.”
If we don’t see leadership standing up as role models and mentors, people will not feel comfortable disclosing.
There is a wonderful organization called The Valuable 500 which is a “global CEO community revolutionising disability inclusion through business leadership and opportunity”. If you are a leader with a disability, or one that cares about representation in your organization, this is a great company for you to check out.
Now, time to get a bit personal here. I am someone who lives with Chronic Lyme Disease, ADHD, Hypothyroidism, and POTS. I am also someone who is the CEO of a growing company. It is my personal duty as someone living with a chronic illness/disability to stand up and be an advocate and role model so that others can see that they are CAPABLE of finding and retaining meaningful work opportunities.
Your voice matters. Your story matters.
If this article has resonated with you, I encourage you to reach out to us. We are constantly looking to grow our employer partnerships and bring on more inclusive organizations to support the tens of thousands of job seekers in the Chronically Capable network who are looking to get hired. Only 1.3% of our job seekers have found other job platforms helpful in their job search. These applicants are looking for inclusive employers like you to believe in them, hire them, retain them, promote them. Our community wants to see companies who are capable of being change makers.
The following events are offered free to our community. We built Chronically Capable to be accessible for everyone, but we know that accessibility is an ongoing process. All events will be virtual and include Live Closed Captions for all attendees.
Interviews are stressful for everyone! We all get the pre-interview jitters and second guess ourselves. Being prepared is key! We hope the below tips will equip you to ace your next interview and can provide you with a fresh sense of hope.
In this 8 week class series, Noa Porten, a meditation and mindfulness teacher in training living with chronic illness, will demystify meditation and mindfulness with accessible practices that can serve as tools for living and working alongside chronic illness.
Chronically Capable's website and digital assets are not only fully compliant with the ADA but are elevated to the worldwide standards of WCAG.
We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Flatiron School to provide opportunities for chronically ill and disabled professionals to build a career in tech.
Chronically Capable is excited to announce our new partnership with IndeCollective: The Modern MBA, for the Modern Independent Worker.
Disability is diverse. Just because someone may not appear to be disabled at first glance does not mean that an individual may be disabled / chronically ill.
Many disability advocates and supporters believe that using person-first language helps people remember they are speaking with a person who has dignity, feelings, and rights.
Club Capable was designed to be a space for discovering and connecting with others in our community. Club Capable is the first community designed for chronically ill and disabled professionals to get advice, seek help navigating a job search, and access exclusive events and resources.