West Michigan employers rate among ‘best’ for disability inclusion

West Michigan employers rate among ‘best’ for disability inclusion

Walker-based Meijer, which operates more than 245 stores, began in 1938 when barber Hendrik Meijer purchased $328.76 worth of merchandise on credit to serve customers during the Great Depression. Courtesy Meijer

A pair of large West Michigan employers have been named among the nation’s top corporations for inclusive disability policies and practices.

Walker-based Meijer and Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation have been recognized by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) as one of the 2019 Disability Equality Index (DEI) “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.”

This is the fifth year for the DEI ranking and the third year Meijer and Whirlpool have made the list.

“Research shows that companies that champion disability inclusion significantly outperform their peers across key financial indices, including revenue, net income, profit margins and shareholder returns,” said Ted Kennedy Jr., disability rights attorney and board chair of AAPD.

“AAPD is truly impressed by this year’s DEI participation, and we’re proud to collaborate with the business community to prioritize industry-wide disability inclusion practices.”

Timothy Williams, VP of diversity and inclusion at Meijer, said the company’s score reflects work conducted by the Meijer Disability Awareness & Advocacy Group, a Meijer employee resource group.

“We’re incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made over the years to help Meijer team members not only find career opportunities within our company, but also help them thrive,” Williams said.


Via a voluntary survey sent to leaders in 28 business sectors, including financial services, technology, insurance and health care, the 2019 DEI measured several key metrics of disability inclusion: culture and leadership; enterprise-wide access; employment practices, such as benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention, advancement and accommodations; community engagement; supplier diversity; and non-U.S. operations.

Whirlpool Corporation was one of 111 companies nationwide to receive a score of 100%, while Meijer was one of 29 companies that scored a 90%.

Altogether, 156 out of 180 participating companies received a qualifying score of 80% or higher.

Other Michigan companies

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (score of 100)

Dow (100)

DTE Energy (100)

DuPont (100)

Ford (100)

General Motors (100)

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