REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Equilar, the leading provider of corporate leadership data solutions, today announced a partnership with Disability:IN, the global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. It is the first partnership dedicated to advancing boardroom diversity through the inclusion of business executives with disabilities.
The two organizations consulted with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) to develop a new data flag in the Equilar BoardEdge platform that will capture disability self-identification data on individual profiles of board-ready candidates. Senior executives and board members can create a profile in the Equilar BoardEdge database of over one million candidate profiles. As data accumulates, Equilar will use the metrics to help companies find talent with disabilities as well as report on the progress made toward improved representation.
Disability:IN will join the Equilar Diversity Network of nearly 50 partner organizations that work with Equilar to support board diversity initiatives, including Nasdaq, Executive Leadership Council and Out Leadership.
“We’re proud to work with Disability:IN to expand the scope and depth of diversity and inclusion efforts at the board level to people with disabilities,” said David Chun, Founder and CEO of Equilar. “People with disabilities are integral to our society and our workforces. It’s important that they have representation at the highest level of corporate organizations to ensure their voices are heard.”
Representation and disclosure of individuals with disabilities at the board of director level and in the C-suite has emerged as a material issue in ESG investing and corporate governance. Investors increasingly recognize the impact board diversity has on business performance and are asking companies to measure, benchmark and publicly disclose their disability inclusion metrics. This includes 30 institutional investors representing $2.8 trillion that have signed the Joint Investor Statement on Disability Inclusion.
“You can’t be what you can’t measure. To create a truly inclusive workforce, we need leadership at the top from those who openly identify and talk about having a disability, in order to reduce the fear associated with self-identification and recognize disability as a strength,” said Chad Jerdee, Board Chair, Disability:IN. “Through our work and with the support of Equilar, we can start to gain that representation in the boardroom and create meaningful change in business and society.”
According to the 2021 Disability Equality Index (DEI), an annual benchmarking program created by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), only 5% of 12 million employees and 10% of senior executives at the 319 participating companies self-identified as having a disability. The 2022 DEI will include three new questions to ascertain whether companies are pursuing the nomination of board members with disabilities as well as publicly reporting this information.
“People with disabilities have been calling on corporate America to recognize their status as a marginalized minority group akin to other underrepresented populations. Equilar believes that people with disabilities are an important component of building diverse board talent. The addition of disability metrics is a powerful tool for advancing corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives and for giving people with disabilities an opportunity to lend their diverse abilities and perspectives at the highest levels—in the boardroom,” said Ted Kennedy, Jr., Co-Chair, Disability Equality Index.
Disability:IN is a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 280 corporations trust Disability:IN to activate and achieve disability inclusion across their enterprise and in the broader corporate mainstream. Through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking; best-in-class conferences and programs; and expert counsel and engagement, Disability:IN works with leading businesses to create long-term business and societal impact. Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN
About the Equilar Diversity Network
Launched in September 2016 to advance diverse representation in boardrooms across the globe, EDN now consists of more than 45 partner organizations and nearly 170,000 diverse board candidates, supplementing nearly one million candidate profiles already in the Equilar BoardEdge database. EDN is a consortium of leading diversity-focused organizations consolidating robust registries of board-ready executives into one searchable database. Since the Network was founded, more than 2,000 members across EDN partner organizations have been appointed to corporate boards.
Equilar is the leading provider of corporate leadership data solutions. Companies of all sizes rely on Equilar for their most important business decisions, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over $20 trillion in assets. Equilar offers data-driven solutions for business development, recruiting, executive compensation and shareholder engagement that bring together business leaders to drive exceptional results. Founded in 2000, Equilar is cited regularly by Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets. Learn more at www.equilar.com.