Richard Branson Challenges Top Businesses on Workplace Inclusion

The Valuable 500

International businessman Richard Branson has always been known for speaking up when others won’t–and standing up for those who aren’t being heard.

He’s now using his voice to back The Valuable 500, a new global campaign to get 500 international conglomerates to focus on building fully-inclusive workforces.

“After more than five decades as an entrepreneur and investor, I know firsthand how valuable different perspectives are in every aspect of business. I also see the value in creating a world that caters to the needs of the whole spectrum of humanity.” said Branson in a recent video for The Valuable 500.

Irish human rights activist and head of the Binc organization Caroline Casey launched the campaign at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland. She has been hailed by The Irish Times as “one of those people who, instead of just talking about changing the world, gets up and actually does it however tough the doing of it turns out to be.” Casey, registered as legally blind, made the decision at 28 years old to leave her career in management consulting and launch multiple global programs for the inclusion of people with disabilities.

“I urge businesses to join The Valuable 500 movement to take a stand against being diversish – and instead be the tipping-point for change, and unlock the business, social and economic value of disabled people across the world. We also need brands that are already great examples of inclusive behavior 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.” said Casey.

Diversish

[Above] The Valuable 500 campaign coined the phrase “Diversish” to explain current attitudes toward workplace inclusivity taken by most of the world’s workplaces.

So far, twenty five businesses have signed up, including Unilever, Microsoft, and Branson’s media company, Virgin Media. We fully support this campaign and hope that it truly becomes a tipping point for workplace inclusion across the globe.