New Delhi: Today, the Valuable 500 – the largest network of global CEOs committed to disability inclusion, announced the launch of Generation Valuable, a programme designed to accelerate opportunities for people with disabilities to become the talented voices of tomorrow’s C-Suite executives. Generation Valuable will connect and incubate C-Suite talent with disabled talent which they believe will have a profound effect on both.
Whether it be intentional or not, businesses exclude people with disabilities. Over 1.3 billion people across the world live with some form of disability, yet according to Return on Disability, only 4% of businesses are focused on making offerings inclusive of disabled people. Moreover, research shows that minority talent faces promotion barricades just below the executive rung.
The Valuable 500 will take the renowned World Economic Forum stage to announce the launch of Generation Valuable, thereby seeking nominations of disabled talent, from the 500 members of the collective, who aspire to reach C-Suite level. The programme will foster new perspectives, deepen understandings, cultivate growth and attack the challenges that rising disabled talent faces once they’ve achieved middle management.
There will be a concerted effort to ensure that the Generation Valuable mentees will be representative of all business functions, especially those with a P&L significance to their company rather than exclusively HR and DEI roles. The first cohort will consist of 75 rising stars with at least five years of experience, the announcement of which will coincide with International Day for Persons with Disabilities in December. With 15% of people living with a disability worldwide, announcing the first 75 Generation Valuable mentees representing 15% of our Valuable 500 members, holds great significance.
The first organisations to support the programme by agreeing to be part of the first cohort include Deloitte, L’Oreal, Mahindra Group, MSD, Omnicom Group and P&G.
“As one of the first organisations to join the Valuable 500, Omnicom is proud to be a part of Generation Valuable to help foster disability inclusion among tomorrow’s business leaders.” said John Wren, Chairman and CEO, Omnicom. “Omnicom’s agencies have a strong pipeline of talent with disabilities, and we look forward to the insight and knowledge this programme will help us in achieving systemic diversity, equity and inclusion across our organisation.”
Sharon Thorne, Global Board Chair, Deloitte commented: “The Generation Valuable programme offers the business community a much-needed solution to help build a more inclusive pipeline to senior leadership and enable greater diversity for tomorrow’s C-suite proffessionals. As a Valuable 500 Iconic Leader company, Deloitte is proud to participate in the first cohort of Generation Valuable, aimed to help progress disability inclusion. The initiative supports Deloitte’s commitment towards providing a workplace culture characterised by inclusive everyday behaviours and built on a foundation of respect and appreciation for diversity in all its forms.”
Chief Equality and Inclusion Officer P&G, Shelly McNamara, said “P&G believes that the Generation Valuable programme is an important step towards building the professional careers of people with disabilities, while providing valuable insights to senior leadership on disability inclusion. I have personally participated in the P&G People with Disabilities reverse mentorship programme (established in 2013) and what really sets this programme apart was the opportunity to be exposed to completely different perspectives and insights. The learnings here have helped me remain steadfast in moving our current programmes forward, stay focused on our employees and consumers, and confirms that we have more work to do.”
Rob Davis CEO MSD, commented: “Respect for people is one of our core values. We embed inclusion and accountability in all that we do, by cultivating a culture where our differences, abilities and unique contributions are valued and celebrated. We are honoured to be a founding member of the Generation Valuable programme as we continue to elevate ally-ship and invest in our people’s growth, success and well-being.”
Ethical Leadership is at the core of the Valuable 500’s strategy. By mobilising the collective to affect real change, ensuring that disability inclusion is on board agendas, and by providing tangible solutions, the Valuable 500 will strive towards inclusion for all. The Generation Valuable programme will provide insight into C-Suite roles and divisions, equipping each participant with the knowledge, access and tools required to enhance their professional development.
The C-Suite executives will gain invaluable insights into the inclusion gaps within their business line strategies, as well as the lived experience of disabled employees and consumers within their organisation and beyond. Generation Valuable will be an incredible launch-pad for disability leaders and champions of today so that they can drive disability inclusion and accessibility efforts in their companies, influence cultural and systemic change and sit in the boardrooms of tomorrow.
Each Generation Valuable participant will be paired with a mentor at the C-Suite level in their organisation. Over the course of one year the pair will engage in up to six discussions touching on each of the six pillars of the Valuable 500 Transformation programme, including other members of the C-Suite related to those impact areas. The six pillars are; C-Suite, Culture, Customer, Reporting, Representation and Research. In order to deliver against these pillars, the Valuable 500 are designing nine iconic solutions with their iconic leader companies.
The Valuable 500 is delighted to be collaborating and developing the programme with its Co-Chairs, KR Liu and Sam Latif.
KR Liu is a nationally awarded advocate, with a strong reputation in inclusive design, brand marketing, policy and inclusion. Diagnosed with severe hearing loss at the age of three, as a technology sales and marketing executive, KR has made it her life’s work to be a strong advocate and voice for the ways in which we connect in the world, over the last two decades. KR is a passionate thought leader and advocate for disability inclusion, gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights in technology and marketing. In addition to being on several boards (such as the American Association for People with Disabilities), in February 2022, KR Liu became one of President Biden’s Key Appointee to the United States Access Board.
KR Liu, Head of Brand Accessibility at Google, Brand Studio commented: “It’s important that we continue to create and support disabled creatives in their path to influence and grow in the industry. I’m excited to partner with the Valuable 500 to develop and deliver Generation Valuable. We will continue supporting our future leaders and creative influencers that will shape global societal change for our disabled community.”
Sam Latif’s vision is to make Procter & Gamble’s products, services and the workplace the first choice for the 1.3 billion people in the world with disabilities. Sam, who is blind, is P&G’s Accessibility Leader, and has developed some of the industry’s incredibly impactful designs for consumers with disabilities, in her 21 years at P&G, such as:
- Herbal Essence Tactile Markers – Sensory enhanced bottles
- Clearblue’s Be My Eyes – Pregnancy/fertility test app for blind and low vision users
- Olay’s Easy Open Lids – Grip, braille, high contrast and easy open features
Sam is one of the nineteen members of A List, a new project from Allure that honours the people driving and shaping the future of beauty.
Sam Latif, Company Accessibility Leader, P&G, said “Embedding a culture of disability confidence within organisations is fundamental – and schemes like Generation Valuable will help to do just that. I know from my own experiences just how important it is to create connections with other colleagues, especially those at the most senior levels of our business – the ones who can help to drive meaningful, long-lasting change from the top down. P&G’s internal reverse mentoring programme ultimately led me to where I am today, moving from my role in IT to become the organisation’s first Company Accessibility Leader, responsible for driving innovation at a global level to make our brands, and company, more inclusive and accessible. That’s why I couldn’t be prouder to be working with The Valuable 500 as Co-Chair of Generation Valuable, enabling other organisations to become more disability confident through meaningful connections.”
Caroline Casey, Founder, the Valuable 500 commented: “I am immensely proud of the progress the Valuable 500 has already made by convening 500 of the world’s biggest companies to commit to driving disability inclusion within their businesses. I am confident that this next step towards building the C-Suite of the future, by bringing them into direct contact with key decision makers, will expedite the necessary system change we want to see in business. Generation Valuable will enable the transformation to happen from within the businesses, serving as a platform to nurture the leaders of tomorrow, by providing equitable investment of resources and leadership.”