RTW Showcase: DEIB and Ability Metrics

Jai Hooker@Work


True DEIB Efforts Include Ability Metrics

By LeighAnn Jarry, Assistant Vice President, Allsup Employment Services; Diane Winiarski, Director, Allsup Employment Services

As companies strive to meet diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) goals, they should include one large, often overlooked demographic: individuals with disabilities, especially as staffing shortages continue. Approximately one in four Americans1 of employment age has a disability, and true DEIB efforts include gender, race, class, and ability metrics.2 In addition to showing where the rubber meets the road for an employer’s DEIB program, hiring people with disabilities offers financial and social returns on investment.3

Several national initiatives help employers hire people with disabilities and keep them at work with accommodations. For many employers, working with Social Security Administration-authorized employment networks (EN)4 is a useful way to tap into this talent pool.

For instance, Sodexo, an employer with more than 420,000 people globally, works with an EN to ensure its workforce reflects the communities it serves in hourly and salaried roles through its Workforce Initiative. The initiative helps candidates with disabilities reenter the workforce after medical absences and supports their success in a diverse workplace through mentoring, programming, and flexibility to improve workplace diversity.

A Collaborative DEIB Approach

Success relies on having a pool of diverse candidates with transferable skills in the job market and forward-thinking industry leaders who prepare individuals to reenter the workforce by offering expert advice and resources, such as Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program.5 To start down this path, consider these steps:

1) Dedicate teams and resources to the effort.

Decide whether to build a DEIB team in-house or externally, considering factors such as staff size and budget.

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