Big Four firms Deloitte, KPMG and PwC have announced today that they will be joining EY by signing The Valuable 500.

The Valuable 500 is a global initiative designed to tackle the exclusion of disabled peoples in business.

Over one billion people across the world – 15% of the global population, or 1 in 7 people – live with some form of disability, but they are routinely ignored by businesses.

The Valuable 500 was launched earlier this year at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in Davos. The campaign is seeking to put 500 global business leaders to place disability on their board agendas.

Businesses employing nearly two million employees globally have already signed up to place disability inclusion in their board agendas.

This is not the first campaign the Big Four have joined to improve inclusion in the workplace. Deloitte, KPMG and PwC have been working with Auticon which exclusively employs individuals on the autism spectrum. KPMG also works alongside the Department for Work and Pensions as a disability confidence leader.

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Deloitte supports Scope as one if it’s One Million Futures charity partners, including its #workwithme pledge.

EY was named on Fortune’s ‘Change the World’ list for working to recruit neurodiverse candidates, as well as collaborating with #valuable in 2018 to publish research to highlight the scale of disability inclusion in business.

PwC are focusing on digital upskilling and inclusion by working with assistive technology providers to ensure and bring awareness to specific technological tools available.

The announcement comes just one week before KPMG is set to host disability focused event ‘Leading from the front – disability and the role of the board’ in association with its Board Leadership Centre.

The Valuable 500 founder Caroline Casey said: “Deloitte UK, EY, KPMG UK and PwC UK, the big four professional services organisations have the national power to make a difference in their sector, and therefore the responsibility to really make a difference. It is fantastic that they are standing up together to speak for those who have been routinely ignored in business and society.”

Deloitte UK and Deloitte North and South Europe CEO Richard Houston said: “We’re committed to ensuring our firm is inclusive, where individual differences are respected and valued. An inclusive culture means encouraging true diversity of thought and creating an environment that allows everyone to play to their strengths.” 

PwC UK senior partner and chairman Kevin Ellis said: "We're very pleased to work with Valuable 500. Businesses like ours have a responsibility to promote inclusion and equality, and as business leaders we need to work together to unlock the value of disabled talent across society.”

EY global chairman and CEO Carmine di Sibio says: “As global signatories to Valuable 500 since 2018, we are proud to welcome other leaders in our industry as we use collective power to create positive change. We’ve seen the power of inclusive initiatives first hand through our Neurodiverse Centers of Excellence which recruit, train and employ individuals on the Autism spectrum.” 

KPMG UK vice chair and board sponsor for disability and mental health Tony Cates said: “As a large employer and with a broad client base we have a real opportunity to lead from the front and promote inclusion, diversity and social equality in our business and the people we work with. The Valuable 500 is another opportunity for us to speak out about the importance of disability inclusion and we look forward to working with others to further this agenda.”