Disability as diversity in Fortune 100 companies

Phoebe Ball, Gregory Monaco, James Schmeling, Helen Schartz, Peter Blanck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

To investigate the inclusion of people with disabilities in the diversity policies of the most successful businesses in the United States, we examined the publicly available workforce and supplier diversity policies of the top 100 companies on Fortune Magazine's 2003 list of the 500 most profitable companies in the nation. The majority of these companies have extensive information about their diversity policies and practices available on their corporate website. The information was used to categorize the policies into those that include people with disabilities, do not define diversity, and enumerate what is meant by diversity (e.g. in terms of race or gender) but do not expressly mention disability. In addition, we looked beyond the diversity policies to information available on corporate websites relating to a variety of diversity initiatives. Findings suggest that the majority of the companies that top the Fortune 500 list have developed and implemented diversity policies. Of these, 42% have diversity policies that include people with disabilities in the definition of a diverse workforce. Furthermore, 47% of companies with workplace diversity policies discuss diversity in a way that neither expressly includes nor excludes people with disabilities. Far fewer (15%) supplier diversity policies include disability in the definition of diversity, but a significant number of companies use criteria that allow a business owner with a disability to benefit from the company's supplier diversity program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-121
Number of pages25
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology

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