2019 marks the first year Nielsen has earned the top 100% score on the Disability Equality Index (DEI) and our fifth year recognized as “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.” The DEI, a joint effort of Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), measures the sustainable progress participating companies have made toward achieving equality and inclusion for associates with disabilities on the basis of workplace culture, leadership, accessibility, employment, community engagement, support services and supplier diversity.
After several years of securing a score of 90%, this new top score, announced at the Disability:IN conference in Chicago on July 17, attests to our progressive strides toward global diversity and inclusion efforts among the differently-abled community. We now stand alongside several well-established companies, many of whom we have collaborated with in the past, with this coveted 100% score.
Nielsen strives to extend its commitment to disability inclusion and accessibility throughout the organization. Our employee resource group, Abled and Disabled Employees Partnering Together (ADEPT), has been instrumental to our recognition on the DEI list and continues to make a positive global impact for our associates of differing abilities across the company. For example, this past year, ADEPT created #MyStory, a digital campaign that encouraged associates to share their stories around personal disabilities to generate an open conversation. One story at a time, associates sought to change perceptions and remove stigmas, enabling a safe space for all associates.
Throughout the year, ADEPT offered streamed webinars to associates across the country to bring awareness and build an open forum to discuss mental health and occupational stress. ADEPT also shed light and fostered discussions on neurodiversity through events at Nielsen’s Global Technology and Innovation Center in Tampa, our largest office in the world. In one of our notable events, ADEPT leads collaborated with the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health to bring in an expert that gave employees an overview of working with professionals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and tips on how to help our associates thrive in the workplace by feeling supported.
This commitment to building a different kind of company, one where everyone is welcome and where inclusion is at the core of what we do, is fundamental for our associates and the community. In support of Polar Plunge for Special Olympics in Maryland, ADEPT associates braved the cold of the Chesapeake Bay to raise over $5,000 for individuals participating in the Maryland Special Olympics. The raised funds provide differently-abled athletes with year-long training opportunities, health and inclusion programs.
Nielsen recognizes that our partners are the key to our success and that creating an inclusive environment contributes to our strength as a company. This year, ADEPT leaders stepped in and worked with the National Federation of the Blind to implement a redesigned Nielsen desktop screen for our associates who are color blind.
Each effort is the direct result of input from our associates, and we then use our channels to voice them.
“Employees with diverse abilities bring varied perspectives to the workplace, where everyone’s ideas are heard, and where every individual is afforded the chance to succeed,” said Natasha Miller Williams, SVP of Diversity and Inclusion. “We have not only opened up conversations; we have taken action to provide our associates with the most inclusive environment possible. We all share in the responsibility of creating an inclusive culture within our community.”