Promoting disability inclusion in business

25 January 2019

Research shows that disability is still largely absent from board level discussions. As one of the first companies to commit to a new global initiative launched at Davos this week, Barclays is trying to change that – putting disability inclusivity firmly on the agenda. 

Barclays is one the first organisations to commit to The Valuable 500 initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos yesterday.

The aim of the measure is to hold global business leaders accountable for disability inclusion in their workplaces and commit them to putting disability on their board agendas.



Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Barclays UK speaking at Davos

Barclays’ commitment to The Valuable 500 reflects the bank’s ambition to be one of the most accessible and inclusive businesses in the world – and builds on its UK status as a Disability Confident Leader.

Recent research by Ernst & Young has found that disability is still woefully absent from the majority of board level discussions globally, with the majority (56%) of global senior executives rarely or never discussing disability on their leadership agendas.

Founder of #valuable, Caroline Casey, commented: “It’s no longer good enough for companies to say, ‘disability doesn’t fit with our brand’ or ‘it’s a good idea to explore next year’. Businesses cannot be truly inclusive if disability is continuingly ignored on leadership agendas.

“We need brands that are already great examples of inclusive behaviour to show other businesses how it’s done and help us end à la carte inclusion – because the potential of 1.3 billion should not be ignored.”

Barclays is one of the first companies to make the commitment alongside Unilever, Microsoft,  Fujitsu, Cinepolis, and Accenture.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Barclays UK said: “Barclays has a long commitment to the disability agenda, being a founding member of the business disability forum since 1991 and recognised by the UK government as a Disability Confident leader since the scheme was launched. We are absolutely committed to being accessible to everyone – colleagues, customers and clients of all backgrounds and abilities. We have made great strides in recent years when it comes to accessibility and inclusion, but there is still more that needs to be done by businesses across the globe.


“Being one of the first six companies to sign up to the Valuable 500, we hope to set an example and encourage more businesses to step forward and commit to putting disability firmly on their Board’s agenda.  Indeed, we are keen to learn from other organisations too.  We don’t need a business case to do this, let’s just work together and do it!”

Learn more about how Barclays is committed to attracting talented people of all abilities and supporting those with a disability or health condition at work.