Steve Edwards’ commitment coincides with 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act
Coinciding with this year’s 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Black & Veatch CEO Steve Edwards has joined a group’s global campaign to enlist 500 companies to make greater inclusion of special needs employees a priority.
As part of his signed pledge with “The Valuable 500” – the movement to persuade 500 of the world’s biggest businesses to place disability inclusion on their leadership agendas – Edwards agreed to make such inclusion a focal point of Black & Veatch’s corporate board. And as the top executive at a global infrastructure solutions company with roughly 100 offices on six continents, Edwards pledged to make at least one firm commitment to action and share that with the company’s professionals and the public.
Edwards’ move burnishes Black & Veatch’s recognized attention to diversity and inclusion (D&I), and it corresponds with The Valuable 500’s release of an inaugural report highlighting how companies are working to improve their D&I policies. Despite 88 percent of corporations claiming that disability inclusion is important to their business strategy, just 8 percent regularly include people with disabilities in marketing and communications, The Valuable 500 said.
On a global scale, the group’s research found that roughly seven of 10 businesses believe cultural differences in the way disability is understood is a huge challenge to establishing commitment. But encouragingly, roughly 80 percent of companies agreed that their organization was successfully achieving improvements for disabled colleagues and customers.
“We’ve always championed workplace diversity and inclusion as a competitive strength, and we proudly join in this global effort that’s so important and simply the morally right thing to do,” Edwards said. “Companies that embrace a variety of backgrounds and perspectives are more successful and offer the type of workplace experience that drives better decision-making, employee engagement and career development. As an employee-owned company, we believe deeply in listening to every voice, bringing out the best in our people.”
- In 2019, Edwards signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing D&I in the workplace. The pledge reflects the company’s commitment to nurturing a trusting workplace that values inclusiveness, enables difficult conversations about D&I, expands education about unconscious bias, and examines practices designed to create an inclusive work environment.
- In July 2019, Black & Veatch was named winner of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Champion of Diversity” award. The company also received a 100 percent score from the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index – a benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBTQ employees – and has been named by Forbes as a top employer for diversity.
- In May 2019, Ingram’s named Black & Veatch as one of the publication’s best companies to work for, among other things for its D&I focus.
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries by addressing the resilience and reliability of our world's most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2019 were US$3.7 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
About The Valuable 500
Launched by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in January 2019, the Valuable 500 aims to put disability on the global business leadership agenda. The Valuable 500’s mission is to ignite a historic global movement for a new age of business inclusion, with a goal of persuading 500 multinational companies that have at least 1,000 employees to publicly commit to advancing disability inclusion. By engaging the most influential business leaders and brands, The Valuable 500 wants to create a tipping point that unlocks the business, social and economic value of the 1.3 billion people living with disabilities worldwide, as well as the millions who will become disabled over time.
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