25 BC companies join forces to promote inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities
VANCOUVER September 9, 2019 – The Presidents Group, a network of change-driven BC business leaders who are champions for more accessible, inclusive workplaces, is announcing a new initiative to improve the representation of people with disabilities in the workplace. All 25 companies, which collectively employ over 50,000 British Columbians, will begin publicly reporting the number of employees and senior leaders with disabilities within their organizations. The first public report will be posted June 2020.
“Inclusive employment means that people with disabilities have more opportunity to contribute to the economy, earn good wages, and better support themselves and their families,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The Presidents Group’s Pledge to Measure should inspire more B.C. businesses to increase inclusive hiring practices, remove barriers to employment, and lead the way in making our province a place where people of all abilities have access to the workplace.”
“The Presidents Group has set a vision to make BC the province with the highest employment for people with disabilities by 2030,” said Kirsten Sutton, VP & Managing Director, SAP Labs Canada and Presidents Group Co-Chair. “Creating a diverse, inclusive and bias-free culture fuels SAP’s innovation, enhances our engagement with both customers and employees, and helps drive business success in a rapidly changing digital world. In joining the Pledge to Measure, we hope to unlock better insight into how best to serve our employees and to continue to diversify the talent who choose to grow their career at SAP. I’m honoured to co-chair the Presidents Group to help deepen these outcomes for SAP and extend them to businesses across the province.”
The Presidents Group, which also serves as an advisory committee to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, is marking the sixth annual proclamation of Disability Employment Month with the announcement. While group members in federally regulated industries or crown corporations already measure and report these numbers, new companies, including small businesses, will be reporting for the first time. This is particularly significant since small businesses account for 54 per cent of total employment in the province.
“Beginning with our own commitment to measurement and reporting, we hope that members of the Presidents Group can create a roadmap for employers in British Columbia to join our efforts to create opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Craig Richmond, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Airport Authority and Presidents Group Co-Chair. “This movement will improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities, and businesses who will benefit from the skillsets of this largely untapped talent pool.”
All information on the 25 Presidents Group companies and the number of employees with a disability will be publicly available on the organization’s website accessibleemployers.ca, beginning in June 2020.
About the Presidents Group
Formed in 2013, the Presidents Group is a network of 25 change-driven BC business leaders who are champions for more accessible, inclusive workplaces. Representing businesses of all different sizes and sectors, including crown corps, transportation, tech, and food and beverage, the Group also plays an advisory role to BC’s Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. In 2018, the Presidents Group launched an online Community of Accessible Employers to invite employers and business owners around the province to join the inclusive employment movement. The Group’s vision is to make British Columbia the province with the best employment of people with disabilities.
Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC, is a member of the Presidents Group.
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