Accenture, TD Bank Unveil Coalition With Disability:IN to Advance Disability Inclusion
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Leading marketers commit to accelerating change within their organizations by advancing representation, employment and accessible content in marketing and communications
Accenture, a leading global professional services company, and TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, announced the formation of a cross-industry coalition of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Communications Officers (CCOs) powered by Disability:IN, a leading global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. The coalition aims to accelerate disability inclusion across the marketing and communications professions at large by delivering on six shared objectives. Coalition members include CMOs and CCOs from Disability:IN’s partner companies such as Adobe, Experian and SAP.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.3 billion people, or 16% of the global population, are living with disabilities. Accenture has studied the advantages of disability inclusion since 2018, and its soon-to-be-released study indicates that champions—companies that are going above and beyond in the disability inclusion space—are approximately 25% more likely to outperform their peers in productivity as measured by revenue per employee. However, many organizations seek guidance in adopting sustained disability inclusion practices within their own marketing and communications departments and within their marketing-related content.
“People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority group, yet the opportunity to increase the representation of people with disabilities throughout marketing and communications is enormous. Bringing together this group of cross-industry marketing leaders has the power to shift the narrative around the way we, as a society, view disability,” said Jill Houghton, president and CEO, Disability:IN. “We want companies and brands to tap into this incredible market potential as well as employ more marketers and communicators with disabilities, whose lived experiences can help inform more inclusive and authentic messages that resonate with consumers.”
Members of the coalition are committed to focusing on measurable and tangible actions related to six shared objectives across the marketing and communications profession and their respective organizations:
- Representation: Facilitating the accurate, affirming and authentic representation of people with disabilities throughout marketing and communications.
- Education: Fostering awareness and continued learning on accessibility and inclusion best practices in marketing and communications.
- Employment: Creating and sustaining marketing and communications employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Thought Leadership: Acting as thought leaders in this space to elevate the conversation on disability inclusion into the mainstream.
- Accessibility Content: Developing strategies for advancing accessible content in marketing and communications.
- Community: Amplifying and expanding coalition membership, as well as creating an open community of progress to share and learn about best and evolving practices.
Under the guidance of Disability:IN, the coalition’s agenda and activities will be directed by coalition co-chairs Jill Kramer, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Accenture and John Pluhowski, Chief Communications Officer of TD Bank, N.A. Coalition members and their teams will regularly convene to advance the six shared objectives, including at the annual Disability:IN Global Conference & Expo in July, to share progress on workstreams, learnings from their organization’s disability inclusion efforts and to analyze initiatives and trends focused on disability inclusion in marketing and communications.
“Inclusion and diversity are part of Accenture’s DNA, and it’s also close to my heart. Being able to unite our people to further advance disability inclusion within our own walls and accelerate representation of persons with disabilities and the sustained creation of accessible content for the industry at large is one of my top priorities this year,” said Jill Kramer, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Accenture. “This is also just the beginning, as we’re inviting every brand and every marketer to join us on this journey, as together we’ll go further.”
“At TD Bank, our purpose is to enrich lives and build more inclusive tomorrows, not for some but for everyone,” said John Pluhowski, Chief Communications Officer, TD Bank, N.A. and Disability:IN Board member. “As marketers and communicators, we experience first-hand every day the power of collaboration and the creativity that results from joining forces. Striving to make content more accessible across industries is imperative, and we’re committed as a coalition to delivering on this ambitious goal.”