The National Organization on Disability released its 2021 Employment Tracker findings in a white paper that was created in conjunction with DiversityInc. The results show that more companies need to track self-ID rates among employees.
The NOD Employment Tracker is an annual survey that helps employers understand and assess where they are when it comes to the inclusion of employees and veterans with disabilities in their workforce. The tracker was created nine years ago and is a free, confidential benchmarking assessment.
Companies are given a scorecard upon completion of the survey that compares them with the other 200+ companies that take it and also provides year-over-year progress. In 2021, 228 companies across every industry sector completed the survey.
Self-ID rates are an important metric for companies to track because they determine how inclusive a company’s culture is and whether employees possess the necessary psychological safety to “come out” as having a disability. NOD defines psychological safety as “the belief that your environment is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. It consists of beliefs concerning group norms – what it means to be a member of that group.”
To be truly inclusive, companies must track self-ID rates to understand how many employees identify as having a disability. While that might seem obvious, the 2021 Employment Tracker results revealed that only 76% of the companies that participated in the survey track self-ID rates, meaning that 24% don’t know where they stand in terms of employees who have disclosed their disability.
Self-ID rates dropped 11% in 2021 compared to companies that participated in the survey in 2020. NOD reports that this decrease could have been driven by outside factors that led employees to reconsider self-identifying.
“The pandemic, for example, hit people with disabilities harder in the early months of the crisis, where 1 million people with disabilities lost their jobs,” the report states. “This fact, combined with an unpredictable workplace, the great resignation and the stigma associated with disability, certainly have had an impact.”
View the 2022 list of Top Companies for People with Disabilities (PwD) here.