Transcript: Pat Romzek Makes the Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities
PEAT asked Pat Romzek of Cisco: If you were riding in an elevator with a Fortune 500 CEO, what’s your pitch for why hiring people with disabilities is important to their company?

>>What I would tell businesses, and we’ve proven this at Cisco, is it’s not just good for human beings and good for society, and it is – because it turns benefit recipients into taxpayers – it’s good for the business. You know, we’ve done, we’ve hired people at Cisco and their productivity is significantly higher than their co-workers in the exact same job. We also have demonstrated that it’s good for our business and our brand and our workforce. So, if you don’t want to hire people with disabilities because it’s the right thing to do or you have a sense of social commitment, social justice, or you want to do what’s good for society or give back, right, this notion of social justice, do it because it’s good for your business and good for your brand, because it is. People with disabilities represent a huge population of consumers. Family members of people with disabilities are huge advocates of people with disabilities, so if you’re an inclusive company and you brand yourself as an inclusive company, you’re gonna have more customers. And the other point I would make is people with disabilities represent a giant, untapped pool of talent. At the same time you have employers looking for new sources of talent, you have an enormous pool of talent, 80% of whom are not working but want to work, and are capable of work and are capable being as productive or more productive than anybody else you hire. If you focus there and you make it easier for them both to enter the workforce and to stay in your workforce.