Virgin Media has become a strategic partner of #valuable, a worldwide call to action for businesses to recognise the value and worth of the one billion disabled people globally.
“Disability inclusion is an issue that has been pushed to the sidelines of business for far too long. Momentum is now building and we have reached a tipping point,” #valuable founder Caroline Casey said. “We’re delighted that the World Economic Forum have announced that the need to bolster inclusion of those living with a disability will be a main message at Davos in 2019.”
To drive forward this change, Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Janet Riccio, EVP of Omnicom Group and dean of Omnicom University have become the first business leaders to support the #valuable campaign and commit to be accountable for disability within their businesses and across their full supply chain.
Alongside Virgin Media, Omnicom has also become a strategic partner of the campaign and will take the lead in spreading the message of disability inclusion in business.
Virgin Media is becoming a leading business voice on disability in the UK. It has joined forces with disability equality charity Scope to support a million disabled people to get into and stay in work by the end of 2020. It has also worked to transform its workplaces, practices and policies for both disabled employees and customers. As a key partner of the #valuable movement, Virgin Media will encourage other UK business leaders to join its campaign to create workplaces where disabled people can thrive.
Today more than one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability – 15 per cent of the global population, or one in seven people – but their value is routinely ignore by business. This is equivalent to disregarding a market the size of the US, Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan combined. Additionally, 80 per cent of disabilities are acquired later in life and the ageing global population means that the prevalence of disability is also on the rise.
Currently the employment rate for disabled people is half that of non-disabled people – a gap that has widened since 2010.
“Businesses and business leaders have a vital role to play in transforming the lives of disabled people and that’s why Virgin Media is proudly joining #valuable as one of its strategic partners and making disability and inclusion one of our highest priorities,” Jeff Dodds, managing director at Virgin Media, said. “At Virgin Media we celebrate the fact that everyone is different. It’s these differences that help us to come up with new and innovative ideas and better address the needs of customer and communities we serve.
“Around 20 per cent of the UK population is disabled, so any business not engaging with disabled people is doing its customers a disservice. Just like #valuable we believe that by being an inclusive business, we’re helping to create an inclusive society.
“We’re on a mission, in partnership with Scope, to support a million disabled people to get and stay in work by the end of 2020 and, by becoming a strategic partner with #valuable, we’ll now be able to reach more business leaders and encourage them to do all they can to create better opportunities for disabled people across the UK.”
Find out more about Virgin Media's work with Scope and their #WorkWithMe campaign.