For the second year in a row, Chemonics earned a top score in the 2022 Disability Equality Index (DEI), a comprehensive benchmarking tool that measures disability inclusion at Fortune 1000 companies and Am Law 200 firms. Disability:IN recognized Chemonics as one of the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” on July 20 at the Inclusion Awards Gala during the Disability:IN Global Conference in Dallas, Texas.
The DEI is acknowledged as the most robust disability inclusion assessment tool in business, helping companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions to achieve disability inclusion and equality. Each company receives a score on a scale of zero to 100. Those earning 80 and above earn the designation as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.” Chemonics scored a 90.
“Since Chemonics received a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion designation for the first time last year, we have continued to build on our progress and expand our achievements in disability inclusion and equality,” said Dr. Kenya Dugger, senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “For our next steps, we look forward to engaging our partners and communities to support and improve disability inclusion at Chemonics and in all the places we work around the world.”
Chemonics received an additional “best practice” recognition within the DEI report for the 2021 “Count Me In” campaign, which provided employees the information they needed to self-identify as having a mental or physical disability. The campaign also shared insight into disability inclusion in the workplace, recognizing staff and their contributions to the larger company-wide culture of inclusion and accommodation.
Gwynn Pollard, co-chair of ChemABLE, Chemonics’ disability inclusion-focused employee resource group, is proud of Chemonics’ progress and is committed to continued research and programming to strengthen the culture of inclusion at Chemonics. She works to ensure that staff members are sufficiently supported and have the resources to be successful at work. “With a focus on data-based decision-making, last year’s Count Me In campaign was a significant achievement for us. We have twice as much data on our disabled staff now, and we will use that data to inform future policy changes to provide top-tier support to our staff,” she said.
More than 400 corporations used the DEI to benchmark their disability inclusion efforts in 2022. The 2022 DEI measured culture and leadership; enterprise-wide access; employment practices (benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention and advancement, and accommodations); community engagement; supplier diversity; and non-U.S. operations (not weighted in the DEI score). The index also included new leadership questions about including disability in corporate board diversity criteria (also not included in the DEI score).
“Disability inclusion is a rapidly expanding aspect of corporate culture, and it’s gratifying to partner with 415 companies on the 2022 Disability Equality Index,” said Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN. “These top-scoring companies not only excel in disability inclusion, but many are also adopting emerging trends and pioneering measures that can move the disability agenda from accommodation to inclusion and ultimately, genuine belonging.”
DEI was launched in 2015 by Disability:IN and The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).