Transcript: Ronald Johnson Makes the Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities

PEAT asked Ronald Johnson of the Wireless Infrastructure Association: 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?

>>I think these companies, the CEOs of these companies, because they are the chief executive officers, do have the authority, the power, and the interest in most cases to look across the broad spectrum of the workforce and try to find the best possible people to work in their organizations. And certainly as they do that, persons with disabilities, certainly as a segment of our workforce, that should not be overlooked. The other significant thing about this is that most CEOs in large companies are looking for ways to improve their stockholder value and inclusion and diversity is one way in today’s environment that resonates very well with investors because they want to know if these large companies are doing a great job in recruiting, hiring, and sustaining the workforce that represents all of America. And so my pitch to these companies, and I’ve made some pitches to them in the past has been, generally, do you believe that the hiring of disabilities will help your bottom line at your company, notwithstanding the challenges there might be for hiring folks with disabilities? But at the end of the day, we’ve learned empirically, by some data that we’ve collected, that most CEOs find this to be a very formal way to reaching out to, not only their investors, but potential investors in their company be they small or large industry investors.