Valuable 500 Podcast 2, with Marianne Waite

By Christine Hemphill | 18th May 2019

Welcome to our second podcast in the 2-part series about the Valuable 500 Campaign. This is the powerful global movement launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year that is actively putting disability on the business leadership agenda. In this episode, Martyn Sibley, Open’s Social Media Manager and Community Leader, interviews Marianne Waite and Christine Hemphill.

Marianne is the Campaign Director for Valuable 500. She came to this from a role as Inclusive Design Consultant for the global branding agency, Omnicom. She is also the founder of a London based thought collective, Think Designable, that highlights and shares the benefits of inclusive design for businesses and their brands.

Last month, in the first part of this 2-part series, Martyn interviewed Dr. Caroline Casey who initiated the Valuable 500 campaign with her fabulous personal passion, energy, and intellect. If you haven’t yet seen it, please enjoy it here.

In this, our second episode of the series we interview Marianne who is also now the new Brand and Design Disability Champion appointed by the UK Government.

Marianne shares with Martyn,

  • how she came to inclusive design as a profession and a passion
  • what the Valuable 500 is doing to increase the awareness and impact of inclusion across global business
  • how corporate diversity initiatives have, to-date, significantly under-represented the inclusion of disabled people
  • how brands can reach more customers, more effectively by including disability through better understanding, consideration and good design

Martyn then interviews Christine Hemphill who is the Managing Director of Open Inclusion. Open is one of the nine global expert partners who are very actively supporting the Valuable 500 Campaign.

Christine shares with Martyn,

  • why she and Open Inclusion got involved with this campaign, and why it is so important
  • what is the role of senior leadership in inclusive business design and management
  • how Open is supporting the organisations that are making the commitment to V500
  • why this is a topic that all executive leaders should be engaging with, to grow their business both externally through customer experience and value, and internally through talent acquisition and retention
  • what are the areas of customer experience that need to be considered and designed to support varying individual needs and preferences, making for better engagement with valuable segments

Join the Valuable 500

This is a powerful campaign led by very influential businesses (Omnicom, Interbrand, Unilever and Virgin Media to name a few!). It will help organisations that engage with disability more actively to reduce the exclusion of customers and talent from their business.

This is a movement that is gathering momentum and differentiating markets. Make the decision to be on the side that is gaining from genuine engagement and action rather than losing out through apathy, fear or uncertainty as to where to start.

As Marianne says in her interview here:

“for those brands that don’t prioritise or consider disability, they disable by default” 

Would you like to ensure that your organisation delivers greater, more stable value through better customer engagement, loyalty and revenues and has access to deeper talent pools and greater ability to retain the best staff?

Are you a leader or influencer within a large commercial business?

Would your organisation be prepared to commit to discussing disability on the board agenda – possibly as a stand-alone item or as part of a discussion on product or service development, human resource management, customer experience management or another agenda item?

Would you be prepared to commit to a single clear, measurable action chosen by the leadership of the business, that can be delivered in 2019 and increases inclusion in some tangible way?

If you have answered yes to the above, SIGN UP! Being a part of this group of leading commerical businesses is an opportunity to benefit from a bigger market but also a movement that will greatly enhance your brand in a tangible, authentic and powerful way.

More information on how to sign up, some great videos and information and details of the businesses who are already taking a leadership position are available at The Valuable 500. Please take a look. Signing up takes less than 5 minutes!

Not an executive leader in your organisation? No problem!

If you are interested in the campaign but not an executive leader is your business, don’t worry. There is a role for you also! At the end of this podcast Christine shares some ideas on how all employees can help. We are all responsible for some element of the environment around us. Let’s each make sure that we use our influence, however great or focussed that is, to consider and identify exclusion, and work to remove it.

We disable people through lack of consideration, but conversely, we can enable people by design. So let’s do it!

The name of the campaign says what it is. It is valuable – for our businesses, individuals, communities, and our society. It is no longer acceptable to say it is too complex, too costly or not “a current priority”. These myths have been debunked and if your business is not leading the way, it may well lose out to others that do. Come join the movement.