Looking Back at NOD’s Networking Roundtable | “Driving Innovation through ERGs”

RECAPPING: DRIVING INNOVATION THROUGH EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS
April 4th, 2019 | Hosted by L’Oréal USA

Today, 90 percent of the country’s Fortune 500 companies have ERGs. Many of these groups were founded as a response to discrimination, but in recent years, these groups have been increasingly recognized for their valuable contributions they bring to their employers, especially with regards to diversifying talent streams.

The NOD Corporate Leadership Council‘s Networking Roundtable, Driving Innovation through Employee Resource Groups, provided an in-depth look at businesses excelling at building disability inclusive cultures through their Employee Resource/Affinity Groups (ERGs/AGs).

  • The event, moderated by Karen Brown, featured opening remarks from NOD’s Carol Glazer, while L’Oréal USA’s Frédéric Rozé discussed his company’s commitment to workplace disability inclusion.
  • DiversityInc’s Shane Nelson dove into case studies from companies activating their ERGs to target new business opportunities.
  • Panelists, Cassie Liverance of L’Oréal, Laura Bailey from Capital One, John Sasso of EY, and Stephanie Magner-Tripp from New York Life, gave real life examples of how their companies’ ERGs are changing attitudes and actions from the inside.
  • Closing remarks were shared by L’Oréal USA’s Angela Guy and NOD’s Carol Glazer.

 

Welcome remarks by NOD President Carol Glazer

Welcome remarks by L’Oréal USA President & CEO Frédéric Rozé

CLC Members: See full video coverage of the event by logging in to our Members’ Only Portal and visiting the Resources page | Not a member? Find out about the many benefits of joining today!  

 

 

Tom Ridge: Trump Cuts to Disability Programs ‘Unjust,’ ‘Foolish’ Read Newsmax: Tom Ridge: Tens of Millions of Dollars in Trump Cuts to Disability Programs

By Solange Reyner | Wednesday, 17 April 2019 08:08 PM

Close up shot o Gov. Tom Ridge
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former GOP Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge called President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to a number of disability programs supporting people with disabilities “not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.”

Ridge, who currently serves as the chairman of the National Organization on Disability, said in an op-ed for The New York Times that Trump’s proposed 2020 budget would cut tens of millions of dollars in programs for people with disabilities.

“Of particular urgency to me and many of my colleagues are the devastating impacts that the weakening of these agencies would have on job seekers with disabilities,” Ridge wrote.

“Independent living centers, assistive-technology programs, supports for individuals living with brain injuries and family caregiver support services are among those programs and services on the chopping block. So, too, is the Office of Disability Employment Policy,” he added.

Trump’s proposal includes cuts to domestic spending and an increase in money for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

A Labor Department office that promotes the hiring of people with disabilities is also proposed for cutbacks.

“Combined, these cuts total in the tens of millions of dollars,” Ridge wrote. “Cutting funding to these critical programs — that turn tax consumers into taxpayers — is not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.”

Read on Newsmax

Tom Ridge, Former GOP Governor of Pennsylvania, Takes Aim at Trump Cuts to Disabilities Programs

Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge
Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge appears in Harrisburg, Pa., in January 2015 (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

April 17, 2019 | By John Wagner

Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania and the nation’s first homeland security secretary, criticized the Trump administration on Wednesday for proposed budget cuts to an array of programs supporting people with disabilities.

Ridge, who now serves as chairman of the National Organization on Disability, called the proposed cuts “not only unjust but also fiscally foolish” in an op-ed published by the New York Times.

His criticism comes in the wake of a high-profile reversal by President Trump last month of an administration proposal to cut federal funding for the Special Olympics. Trump said he was overruling Education Department officials in the face of bipartisan backlash.

“That reversal was welcome,” Ridge wrote. “But it was also incomplete. Most Americans do not know that the 2020 budget is still full of cuts that aim directly at many other programs that support people with disabilities.”

Among the programs that Ridge identifies as being “on the chopping block” are independent living centers, assistive-technology programs, supports for individuals living with brain injuries and family caregiver support services. A Labor Department office that promotes the hiring of people with disabilities is also proposed for cutbacks.

“Combined, these cuts total in the tens of millions of dollars,” Ridge wrote. “Cutting funding to these critical programs — that turn tax consumers into taxpayers — is not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.”

In its budget proposal, the Trump administration maintained that it is committed to federal disability programs, including those that promote greater labor force participation, but is also seeking to “reduce unnecessary administrative burdens.”

The nonprofit organization that Ridge leads says its mission is to promote the “full participation and contributions” of the roughly 56 million Americans with disabilities.

Read on The Washington Post

Trump’s Budget is Full of Cuts Aimed at People with Disabilities

Funding for the Special Olympics may have been restored, but many more important programs are still on the chopping block.

April 17, 2019 | The New York Times Op-Ed By Tom Ridge
Mr. Ridge is the chairman of the National Organization on Disability.

Gov. Ridge gesturing while speaking at a podium

Last month’s proposal from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to cut millions of dollars in funding for Special Olympics caused a public uproar and a bipartisan backlash fierce enough to force President Trump to restore it days later. That reversal was welcome. But it was also incomplete. Most Americans do not know that the 2020 budget is still full of cuts that aim directly at many other programs that support people with disabilities.

The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget would make cuts across multiple agencies and offices that serve Americans with disabilities, stripping them of essential resources. Of particular urgency to me and many of my colleagues are the devastating impacts that the weakening of these agencies would have on job seekers with disabilities.

Independent living centers, assistive-technology programs, supports for individuals living with brain injuries and family caregiver support services are among those programs and services on the chopping block. So too is the Office of Disability Employment Policy. This office, within the Labor Department, is the only nonregulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities. It also holds federal contractors to account for meeting certain hiring goals.

Combined, these cuts total in the tens of millions of dollars. Cutting funding to these critical programs — that turn tax consumers into taxpayers — is not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.

That’s especially true now, at a time when our nation is seeing historically low unemployment rates and employers need to find new sources for talent.

Work is one of the most important issues affecting the some 50 million Americans with disabilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2018 that roughly 30 percent of Americans ages 16 to 64 with a disability were employed, compared with nearly 75 percent of those without a disability. The unemployment rate for job seekers with disabilities is roughly 9 percent — more than double that of the nondisabled population.

Employment for Americans with disabilities remains one of the great unfulfilled promises of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act. The law has improved lives in many significant ways. And while some employers have taken important steps in inclusion and hiring, most are not fully tapping that rich talent pool of 20 million people with disabilities who are ready to work.

Just recently, the National Organization on Disability, which I have been privileged to lead for 13 years, joined with 12 of the largest, most politically influential disability organizations from across the country to work on behalf of policies that support disability employment.

It’s something that really ought to have happened much sooner. But each of our organizations — the National Down Syndrome Society, the American Association of People With Disabilities, the National Federation of the Blind and many others — has been focused on its own priorities. But when we sat around a table together we realized that the issue of employment connects us all. It remains one of the most vexing challenges facing the disability community today.

Fortunately, these groups have been able to put aside our disparate agendas and find common cause. We recognized that collectively, we represent a powerful political constituency of scores of millions of people.

When this coalition of disability organizations recently met with the labor secretary, he notably didn’t ask about political affiliations. He understood, as we do, that our issue cuts across party lines. The most important social and economic issues all do.

That’s why the funding must be restored by the administration. And I hope to see bipartisan support from Congress. Budget decisions that harm people with disabilities and their families will hurt our economy and weaken us all. Any business that hasn’t figured out how to benefit from the problem-solving abilities and the tenacity of people who spend their lives navigating a world that wasn’t built for them isn’t trying hard enough. We can help them.

I agree with Senators Bob Casey and Sherrod Brown, who recently wrote to the director of the Office of Management and Budget and said that any budget proposal by any administration should reflect the goals of the A.D.A.: equal opportunity, independent living, full participation and economic self-sufficiency. The exclusion of any group of people from our economy is not only a problem for those who’ve been excluded. It’s a scourge on our democracy that touches us all.

I urge the Trump administration to immediately restore this essential funding.

Tom Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania and the first secretary of homeland security, is the chairman of the National Organization on Disability. 

Read on The New York Times

Roundtable Coalition Convenes to Advance Critical Issue of Employment for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (APRIL 11, 2019) – Yesterday, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) convened twelve of the leading disability organizations from across the country to focus attention on the critical issue of employment for people with disabilities. Last year, the Roundtable coalition collectively identified two policy priorities to work on together: (1) phasing out 14(c) certificates, which allow employers to pay workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage; and (2) enforcing the 503-rule change for federal contractors, which sets a 7% target for disability workforce representation.

NOD Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, leads discussion with representatives from disability organizations
NOD Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, leads discussion with representatives from disability organizations

The Disability Roundtable participants have continued to meet to pursue legislative and administrative efforts to address these issues vital to ensuring meaningful employment for the 57 million Americans with disabilities. In this week’s meeting, the Roundtable participants backed the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, sponsored by Senators Bob Casey and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Bobby Scott and Cathy McMorris Rogers, to phase out 14(c) and provide supports for an effective transition to competitive, integrated employment. They also highlighted the work of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ focused review of Section 503.

Roundtable participants gathered at a conference table
Roundtable participants gathered at a conference table

The Disability Roundtable plans to meet on at least three more occasions in 2019 to continue their collective efforts.

The Disability Roundtable coalition includes:

  • American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
  • The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
  • Autism Speaks
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Disability:IN
  • DiversityInc
  • Judy Heumann
  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • National Council on Disability (NCD)
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
  • National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
  • National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
  • National Organization on Disability (NOD)
  • Ridge Policy Group

NOD Welcomes Marriott International, Prudential Financial, The Boeing Company, Ruderman Family Foundation Executives to Distinguished Board of Directors

Four Executives Join Distinguished Group of Corporate and Civic Leaders Committed to Advancing Disability Employment

NEW YORK (APRIL 10, 2019) – The National Organization on Disability (NOD) today announced four new members to its Board of Directors. Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President, Multicultural Affairs, Marriott International; Steve Pelletier, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Businesses, Prudential; Jenette Ramos, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Operations, The Boeing Company; and Jay Ruderman, President, The Ruderman Family Foundation, were recently elected to the NOD Board joining 17 other civic and corporate leaders working to advance disability inclusion in the workplace.

“I am proud that this diverse group of corporate leaders chose to join the NOD Board,” said NOD Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge. “They each bring unique talents to our Board that will allow us to continue advancing our mission of disability inclusion in the workplace. Our sole focus is finding employment opportunities for the 20 million Americans with disabilities who are ready to work.”

Apoorva Gandhi

Apoorva Gandhi is responsible for creating and executing an externally focused global strategy that builds preference and loyalty from diverse customer segments for the Marriott International portfolio of brands. He helps ensure that the company’s marketing, sales and operations consider and reflect multi-cultural markets and alliances as Marriott continues its aggressive growth throughout the world.

Gandhi has nearly 25 years of proven strategy, business process, program management and organizational change skills, leadership and delivery expertise.  He also has extensive management and delivery experience working with diverse business clients and a solid track record delivering measurable success to clients across various business disciplines.

Stephen PelletierSteve Pelletier heads up Prudential’s U.S.-based businesses comprising PGIM (the Global Investment Businesses of Prudential Financial), Prudential Retirement, Prudential Annuities, Individual Life Insurance and Group Insurance. Before he assumed his current role, Pelletier was CEO of Group Insurance and also served as president of Prudential Annuities and chairman and CEO of Prudential International Investments.

He is an advocate for workers with disabilities. He has long encouraged companies to organize internal work groups tasked with coordinating their business strategies with respect to people with disabilities and to make concrete commitments to recruit and retain people with disabilities. Prudential operates a business resource group called ADAPT — Abled and Differently Abled Partnering Together — that supports the personal and professional development of its members. ADAPT has an established intern program that has created full-time employment for people with disabilities and advises on increasing employment of people with disabilities across Prudential.

Mr. Pelletier serves on the American Council of Life Insurers board of directors, the Executive Business Cabinet for the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership, and on the Perkins Board of Trustees.

Jenette RamosJenette Ramos is senior vice president of Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Operations at Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and provider of global services. Appointed in June 2017, Ramos is a member of the Boeing Executive Council.

Ms. Ramos is actively involved in the community. She is currently on the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy of Washington and serves as a mentor for the Executive Development Institute.

Jay RudermanJay Ruderman heads up the Ruderman Family Foundation, which was founded by his family in the early 2000s.  Mr. Ruderman and the Foundation are advocates who focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. In addition, the Foundation has also done advocacy work around mental health issues, particularly for police and for other first responders.

The Ruderman Family Foundation has three main approaches to its mission including program development through grant-giving; advocacy; and internal programming.   Mr. Ruderman has been vocal about the role of media in our society today and the regular casting of actors without disabilities playing the role of characters with disabilities.

Learn more about the NOD Board of Directors

VIDEO: NOD Celebrates World Autism Month

It’s World Autism MonthMeet Jacob Waltuck, whose autism enables him to excel at his job. Jacob’s autism gives him a keen focus and a deep imagination that is a perfect fit for his job in the entertainment industry.

In this video, “Employing New Sources of Talent”, created by the F.B. Heron Foundation, NOD President Carol Glazer and Jacob #LookCloser at how Americans with disabilities, like him, are a valuable talent pool waiting to be tapped by hiring employers.

Take the #LightItUpBlue pledge to help create a more inclusive world for people with autism sponsored by our partners at Autism Speaks.

NOD Convening Discusses Activating Employee Resource Groups to Build Disability Inclusive Workplaces

L’Oréal USA Hosted the Networking Roundtable for the NOD Corporate Leadership Council, a Membership Group Promoting Best Practices in Disability Employment

NEW YORK (APRIL 5, 2019) – Last evening, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) convened its Corporate Leadership Council, a membership body comprised of 50+ companies committed to promoting disability inclusive workplaces, for a Networking Roundtable hosted by L’Oréal USA. The forward-thinking event, Driving Innovation through Employee Resource Groups, provided an in-depth look at businesses excelling at building disability inclusive cultures through their Employee Resource/Affinity Groups (ERGs/AGs). Today, 90 percent of the country’s Fortune 500 companies have ERGs. Many of these groups were founded as a response to discrimination, but in recent years, these groups have been increasingly recognized for their valuable contributions they bring to their employers, especially with regards to diversifying talent streams.

L’Oréal USA including President & CEO, Frédéric Rozé
L’Oréal USA including President & CEO, Frédéric Rozé

The evening featured speakers from L’Oréal USA including President & CEO, Frédéric Rozé, as well as Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, Angela Guy. In addition, there was a lively panel discussion featuring representatives from L’Oréal USA, Capital One, EY, and New York Life. Shane Nelson from DiversityInc also presented on best practices of ERGs.

Panelists seated on a stage, before a projected screen.
Panelists seated on stage

“I am thrilled that our Corporate Leadership Council members could come together for this exciting networking program,” said National Organization on Disability President Carol Glazer. “Disability ERGs are important for pushing employers to be more inclusive of people with disabilities, and they can also help businesses reach the $490 billion disability consumer market and the millions of unemployed people with disabilities in the communities in which we live, work and serve.”

Attendees seated in rows listening to panel
Attendees seated in rows listening to panel

“At L’Oréal, we believe that all abilities are beautiful, and while we have a lot more work to do, our results show that we are, indeed, ‘breaking the silence’ around disability 365 days a year,” said Angela Guy, Senior Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at L’Oréal USA. “The National Organization on Disability helps to ensure that we’re all on the right path in meeting the needs of employees with disabilities, and that we’re leveraging the innovation, talent and creativity of individuals with disabilities in the workplace.”

DiversityInc's Shane Nelson + D&I Executive Karen Brown
DiversityInc’s Shane Nelson + D&I Executive Karen Brown

Glazer added, “We are grateful for the Corporate Leadership Council, the very heart of the National Organization on Disability. Our corporate partners distinguish themselves everyday as leaders in diversity and inclusion, and employers of choice for people with disabilities.”

Elaine Perez-Bell, ADP + Rachel Noiseux from Stanley Black & Decker
Elaine Perez-Bell, ADP + Rachel Noiseux from Stanley Black & Decker

Don’t Miss the next Corporate Leadership Council event! June 13, New York City | Executive Luncheon: Closing the ‘Trust Gap’. Not a member of the Corporate Leadership Council? Find out about the many benefits of joining today!