This article originally appeared on Nielsen.com.
For the third year in a row, Nielsen earned a score of 90% on the Disability Equality Index (DEI) and earned the distinction of being included on DEI’s “Best Companies for Disability Inclusion” list. The DEI—a joint effort of Disability:IN (formerly the United States Business Leadership Network) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)—is the most trusted comprehensive benchmarking tool for disability inclusion in the U.S. The index measures key performance indicators across organizational culture, leadership, accessibility, employment, community engagement, support services, and supplier diversity.
Our rating on the DEI was announced at the Disability:IN conference from July 9-12 in Las Vegas, which we sponsored via our Abled and Disabled Employees Partnering Together (ADEPT) employee resource group (ERG). ADEPT leaders spoke on panels and interacted with job seekers and business owners with differing abilities. This work fulfilled a key part of ADEPT’s mission, shared by each of our nine global ERGs, to influence business success by supporting talent acquisition initiatives, community outreach, and education.
Megan Belden, Director, Consumer Neuroscience and ADEPT ERG Regional Co-lead, participated in a panel discussion on strategies for communicating with colleagues with different communication styles, as well as how to approach difficult work conversations. The content of this panel was particularly important for people with differing abilities, who occasionally have to proactively raise their hand to ensure their employer provides a workplace that will enable them to thrive. Megan was joined on the panel by representatives from Caterpillar, 3M, Fidelity Investments, and Ernst & Young. The client interaction Megan had as part of the panel is a shining example of how our ERGs drive conversations with our clients around workplace inclusion to the benefit of our shared business ecosystem.
“Nielsen is a global company that employs over 46,000 associates of differing abilities around the world and, therefore, has a responsibility to empower its associates to ‘raise their hand’ when their ability to thrive at work is limited,” said Megan. “Our global ADEPT ERG, which is active in five countries and three continents, provides a communication infrastructure to ensure our associates have a voice while also serving as a supportive community where everyone’s unique background and perspective is included and valued.”
Beyond the panel discussion, our ADEPT leaders also had the opportunity to interact directly with students and job seekers with differing abilities. Our leaders held on-site job interviews for prospective Nielsen interns and judged a “shark tank”-style competition where students pitched business ideas to a panel of professionals from a variety of industries. ADEPT leaders consistently seek to forge connections with students with differing abilities to ensure Nielsen is seen as an inclusive employer of choice that will make the accommodations needed to enable all our associates to perform their best at work.
ADEPT has been instrumental to our recognition on the DEI list and continues to make a positive global impact for our associates of differing abilities. A perfect example of this occurred last year when our company’s brand changed. The updated brand-compliant desktop background that was pushed out to our 46,000 associates was too bright for some associates with visual impairments. As a result, these associates found it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks. ADEPT leaders stepped in and worked with our marketing and technology teams to devise a new background that is accessible for all Nielsen associates, while still in full accord with our brand standards. Associates with differing abilities exercised their input and voice through ADEPT—without their input, our internal teams may not have noticed the accessibility issue and taken action.
“Our ERGs are creators of positive change for all our associates, not just those who participate in and lead them,” said Myriam Vidalon, VP Diversity Programs, who leads our ERGs globally. “Our new desktop backgrounds are a real-life example of how ERG members drive tangible improvements to our workplaces around the world. It is through ERGs that our everyday associates have the opportunity to shape our inclusive culture in their image.”
Pictured above: Nielsen attendees of the Disability:IN conference accepting our 90% recognition on the DEI and designation as a Best Employer for Disability Inclusion.