Inclusive Workplaces: Making the Business Case

Recently the National Disability Institute (NDI) in partnership with Kessler Foundation and Poses Family Foundation invited business and community leaders in Pittsburgh, for an event: Disability at Work, a Conversation with Randy Lewis.

 Lewis, a former senior vice president at American drugstore chain Walgreens, related how workforce productivity, and ultimately a company’s bottom-line can be improved once diversity becomes an integral part of its philosophy.

“Most of us believe that people with disabilities cannot perform as well on the job as others,” said Lewis in his address where he stressed the need to change the perceptions of the role of people with disabilities. “At Walgreens, we found that to be untrue.”  Lewis went on to recount how the retailer had hired more than 1,000 people with disabilities and their standards were never lowered during the process.

Jeremy Shapira, Special Projects, Diversity and Inclusion, and spokesperson for the event’s corporate host, Giant Eagle, Inc. affirmed Lewis’s sentiments by saying people with disabilities make great team members who are consistently punctual and love their jobs.

Senior Vice President of Grants and Communications from the Kessler Foundation, Elaine Katz, said, “People with disabilities are an untapped source of incredible talent.”The hope is to create more successful employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and for employers to be mindful of the benefits this sector of the population can bring to their corporate image and bottom-line.

For more information about the business case for hiring people with disabilities, click here.