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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Opinion: Diversity must include people with disabilities


Former Sen. Tom Harkin and Harkin Institute fellow Robert Ludke recently published an opinion piece about the need for companies to include people with disabilities in their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Those unwilling to do so owe their organization’s stakeholders an answer as to why. “The Nasdaq stock exchange is poised to push businesses to a new level of inclusion with its proposal to require all listed companies to have at least two diverse board members, but we are dismayed that it took such a narrow definition of who qualifies,” they wrote. “Notably absent are persons with disabilities. “This omission leaves out a segment of individuals who represent more than $8 trillion in purchasing power, not to mention a largely untapped workforce of millions of qualified Americans eager to find competitive, integrated employment. What’s more, research shows that companies that embrace disability employment and inclusion outperform their peers. These companies have 28% higher revenues and are twice as likely to have higher total shareholder returns than those in their peer group.”

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