CEOs as the driving force of accessibility and inclusion

The Valuable 500 is a global movement that puts accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities on the agenda of businesses worldwide. Together with UniCredit Bank Austria we are bringing Caroline Casey's campaign to Austria!

Robert Zadrazil, chairman of UniCredit Bank Austria, is convinced that "People with disabilities can be just as productive and successful at work as everyone else, assuming that there are the right working conditions." Gregor Demblin, founder of myAbility, shares this view, "It is important that decision-makers recognize the huge potential of people with disabilities as employees and customers."

The Valuable 500

At last year's World Economic Forum in Davos, founder Caroline Casey, with the support of global business leaders, such as Richard Branson (Virgin), Paul Polman (Unilever) and Janet Riccio (Omnicom), launched a global movement to put the issue of "inclusion of people with disabilities" on the agenda of the most influential business people worldwide. The Valuable 500 was born. The signature of 500 CEOs should draw attention to the social and economic potential of people with disabilities. The objective of the movement is to celebrate pioneers in inclusion and to give orientation to newcomers. At the World Economic Forum 2020, the first annual report of this initiative for a modern and fair society was presented on the main stage.

Appeal to the leading companies in Austria

At the invitation of Chairman Robert Zadrazil, founder Caroline Casey and Gregor Demblin met at UniCredit Bank Austria in Vienna to discuss further steps and actions in Austria. "We want to send Caroline Casey to Davos with as many Austrian declarations of support as possible," says Zadrazil. "Furthermore, we want to use this international platform to enable interaction between the companies, to share best practice examples and to support companies that are not yet active in this area."

In addition to UniCredit Bank Austria, “The Valuable 500” campaign gained the following supporters in a first attempt: the CEOs of ÖAMTC, Oliver Schmerold, of the PremiQaMed Group, Julian Hadschieff, of the Porr AG, Karl-Heinz Strauss, and of Verbund, Wolfgang Anzengruber. Together they want to convince as many other local companies as possible to support "The Valuable 500".

People with disabilities as economic contributors

“More than 1.3 billion people worldwide live with some form of disability. Eighty percent of these disabilities are acquired during the years of employment between the ages of 18 and 64”, says Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500. “Together with their friends and families, this group has a purchasing power of $88 trillion, while just four percent of all companies worldwide focus on accessible products and services. The exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday social and economic life costs the OECD countries seven percent of their GDP.”

Accessibility and inclusion are future topics

Together, Caroline Casey, myAbility and UniCredit Bank Austria want to win over leading Austrian companies for this global movement to ensure that the inclusion of people with disabilities is on the agenda of managers in the future.

"Manager’s main tasks include designing and developing changes, processes and structures. Raising awareness among all employees of the needs and challenges of people with disabilities is a lengthy process and needs to be deeply entrenched in the corporate culture. Therefore, it is important that it is initiated and promoted directly by the company management."

Robert Zadrazil, chairman UniCredit Bank Austria

The Valuable 500 –

More information about accessible services and offerings of UniCredit Bank Austria:

Source: UniCredit Bank Austria press release, December 17, 2019