• By Ethan Grove

Mayo Clinic Scores Highly on Inaugural Disability Equality Index

July 14, 2016

Disability Equality Index logoROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has been recognized by the U.S. Business Leadership Network and the American Association of People With Disabilities for its efforts in its disability inclusion efforts. On a survey of Fortune 1,000 companies, Mayo Clinic was 1 of 42 companies that scored a perfect 100 on the Disability Equality Index. Mayo Clinic is featured on the 2016 DEI Best Places to Work list.

“It is an honor for Mayo Clinic to be recognized among the leaders in disability-inclusion practices,” says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and director of Mayo’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “Mayo prides itself on bringing healing, hope and inclusiveness for not just our patients, but our employees, as well.”

The Disability Mayo Employee Resource Group plays a vital role in improving the work environment and patient experience for those with disabilities.

Mayo Clinic created its Return to Work Program more than 30 years ago. Mayo collaborates with a variety of external organizations, including Rochester Public Schools, Olmsted County, the Minnesota Department of Education, and Regional Workforce Investment Board.

Return to Work brings together Occupational Health Services, employees, their supervisors and Human Resources to bring supports to employees as they recover from an injury or illness by providing accommodations that allow employees to return to the position they held before their disability, keep employees at work in a transitional job until a return to a regular assignment, or help employees in a job search if they cannot continue in their current role.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ethan Grove, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

“We look at retention of employees with disabilities as just as important as hiring and recruiting employees with disabilities,” says Jane Ryan, section head of Return to Work at Mayo Clinic. “Our job is to find out what the obstacles are and to find a solution.”

Disability Equality Index points are awarded in four categories: Culture and Leadership, Enterprise-wide Access, Employment Practices, and Community Engagement and Support Services.

Highlights from the 2016 Disability Equality Index include:

  • In the inaugural index, 66 percent of surveyed companies had a disability-focused employee resource group , with 64 percent having an executive sponsor (vice president or higher). In the 2016 survey, 84 percent of participating companies had an employee resource group and 81 percent had an executive sponsor
  • In the first index, 75 percent of companies reported senior executive teams (within first two levels of the CEO) supporting disability inclusion through board or working group membership or public statements.

“The Disability Mayo Employee Resource Group gives a voice to people’s concerns and stories, lets people know it is OK to talk about having a disability and how change can be initiated,” says Kristi Carrington, a return to work consultant at Mayo Clinic and past chair of the Disability Mayo Employee Resource Group. “I think that’s one of the best things about Mayo,” Carrington says. “We have so many resources internally that we can really make things happen.”

About the DEI
The DEI is a joint initiative of the U.S. Business Leadership Network and the American Association of People With Disabilities. Developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts and disability advocates, the DEI is a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool that enables businesses to receive an objective assessment of their overall disability inclusion policies and practices. It is an aspirational and educational recognition tool that goes far beyond legal compliance, helping companies identify opportunities for continued improvement, while building their reputations as organizations that value diversity and inclusion.

The DEI was first introduced in 2012 and piloted in 2013-2014 with 48 companies. The inaugural DEI launched in fall 2014 and concluded in 2015.

About the U.S. Business Leadership Network
The U.S. Business Leadership Network is a national nonprofit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. The U.S. Business Leadership Network serves as the collective voice of nearly 50 affiliates representing more than 5,000 U.S. businesses. Also, the U.S. Business Leadership Network Disability Supplier Diversity Program is the nation's leading third-party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

About the American Association of People With Disabilities
The American Association of People With Disabilities is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the more than 50 million Americans with disabilities.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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