Global Survey Data Shows Companies Do Not Prioritize Engagement of Disabled Employees

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Global Disability Inclusion in partnership with Mercer release findings from a 10-year study analyzing corporate survey data on the experiences of employees with disabilities compared to their non-disabled colleagues. The report finds employees with disabilities are significantly less engaged, and their employment experiences rank lower than all other diversity groups.

People with disabilities represent 15% of the global population and are often left out of diversity initiatives, programs, and basic conversations about workplace inclusion. This one-of-a-kind report on disability employee engagement collected over 12 Million global employee responses. Employees with disabilities score far lower than employees without disabilities when evaluating leadership, equity, and opportunity.

The data demonstrates:

  • Significant disconnect in equity, opportunity, and how valued employees with disabilities feel at work.
  • Employees with disabilities do not feel their workplace offers the same opportunities or equitable professional development, fair pay, education, ability to speak up, and ultimately advancement.
  • Employees with disabilities are also more fearful to come forward to raise concerns or issues at work.

“Engagement surveys influence a company’s strategy, leadership, teamwork, culture, and more,” said Meg O’Connell, CEO, Global Disability Inclusion. Companies launch initiatives based on engagement results, investing significant resources to equalize disparities between segmented groups. A “call to action” for companies is when a 5%-point difference exists between groups. For example, if female employees score 5% less than male colleagues, this typically results in a detailed analysis to identify factors causing female employees to be less engaged. “However, companies rarely include or segment disability data as part of their diversity segmentation. This means companies lack information on approximately 15-20% of their employee population,” said O’Connell.

The report, The State of Disability Employee Engagement, found the engagement gap of employees with disabilities shows a difference in some areas of up to 12% to 13%, and an overall difference across all categories of 6% lower than non-disabled colleagues.

“In our research investigating employment experience across diversity groups, people with disabilities have the least favorable experience by far; this includes differences by race, gender, age, and sexual orientation,” according to Dr. Peter J. Rutigliano, Senior Principal, Mercer. “Unfortunately, people with disabilities have largely been ignored by corporate engagement surveys.”

As companies work to continue to advance diversity and inclusion efforts, they must do better to include and understand employees with disabilities in order to create truly inclusive and equitable workplaces.

About Global Disability Inclusion
Global Disability Inclusion, LLC is a boutique consulting firm providing disability inclusion strategies and solutions for global companies, foundations, non-profits, and universities. Our team of experts help organizations expand opportunities to reach new talent, create inclusive environments, and acquire new customers. We are changing the way the world perceives disability. For more information, visit

About Mercer
Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s more than 25,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 76,000 colleagues and annual revenue of $17 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.

Contact: Kelly Douglas, 910-824-4624,

SOURCE Global Disability Inclusion

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