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17.12.2019

The Valuable 500:
UniCredit Bank Austria and myAbility join forces to bring international initiative for the inclusion of people with disabilities to Austria

  • “The Valuable 500” is a global movement that puts people with disabilities on the global corporate agenda, founded by Caroline Casey.
  • myAbility, a management consultancy specialising in inclusion strategies, has brought “The Valueable 500” to Austria
  • UniCredit Bank Austria, one of the leading companies in the field of accessibility and inclusion, is the first domestic signatory and assumes patronage for Austria.
  • ÖAMTC, PremiQaMed Group, Porr and Verbund are among the first supporters in Austria, along with UniCredit Bank Austria
  • Joint call for support to as many companies as possible in Austria

“People with disabilities can be just as productive and successful in working life as everyone else, provided that the right conditions are in place,” says Robert Zadrazil, Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Bank Austria. Gregor Demblin, founder of myAbility, shares this view: “It is important that decision-makers in business recognize the huge potential of people with disabilities as employees and customers.”

The Valuable 500
At last year's World Economic Forum in Davos, founder Caroline Casey, with the support of global business leaders such as Richard Branson (Virgin), Paul Polman (Unilever) and Janet Riccio (Omnicom), launched a global movement to put inclusion of people with disabilities on the agenda of the world's most influential business leaders. The Valuable 500 was born. The signature of 500 CEOs is intended to draw attention to the social and economic potential of people with disabilities. The aim of the movement is to celebrate the pioneers of inclusion and to give newcomers orientation. At the World Economic Forum 2020, the first annual report of this initiative for a modern and equitable society will be presented on the main stage.

Call to Austria's leading companies
At the invitation of CEO Robert Zadrazil, founder Caroline Casey and Gregor Demblin met at UniCredit Bank Austria in Vienna to discuss the joint next steps in Austria. “We want to send Caroline Casey to Davos with as many Austrian declarations of support as possible,” says Zadrazil. “But also afterwards we want to use this international platform to enable an exchange between the companies, to share best practice examples and to support companies that are not yet active in this field.”

In addition to UniCredit Bank Austria, the CEOs of ÖAMTC, Oliver Schmerold, PremiQaMed Group, Julian Hadschieff, Porr AG, Karl-Heinz Strauss, and Verbund, Wolfgang Anzengruber, were won as signatories of “The Valuable 500” in a first attempt. Together they want to convince as many other domestic companies as possible of the support of  “The Valuable 500”.

People with disabilities as an economic factor
“More than 1.3 billion people worldwide live with some form of disability. 80 percent of these disabilities are acquired between the ages of 18 and 64, i.e. during gainful employment,” says Caroline Casey, founder of “The Valuable 500”. “Together with their friends and families, this group has a purchasing power of 8 trillion Dollars, and at the same time only four percent of all companies worldwide focus on barrier-free offerings. This exclusion of people with disabilities from daily economic life costs OECD countries seven per cent of their GDP.”

Accessibility and inclusion are topics of the future
Together Caroline Casey, myAbility and UniCredit Bank Austria want to win the leading Austrian companies for this global movement and thus ensure that the inclusion of people with disabilities is on the agenda of their managers in the future. “The design and development of changes, processes and structures are the main tasks of managers. Since sensitizing all employees to the needs and challenges of people with disabilities is a lengthy process that should be deeply anchored in the corporate culture, it is important that it is directly initiated and driven by the management,” says Robert Zadrazil.

For more information on barrier-free services and offers of UniCredit Bank Austria: https://www.bankaustria.at/barrierefrei/index.jsp

Further information about myAbility https://www.myability.org
Further information about The Valuable 500 https://www.thevaluable500.com/

Printable photos are available for download on our website, just go to www.bankaustria.at Presse > Pressefotos.

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UniCredit Bank Austria Pressestelle
Volker Moser, Tel.: +43 (0) 50505 - 52854
E-Mail: volker.moser@unicreditgroup.at