CAMDEN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Water (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, today announced that it has been recognized as a top-scoring company, for the third consecutive year, on the Disability Equality Index (DEI)®, the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates.
"American Water believes that inclusion and diversity are vital elements to our success. We are more successful when our workforce reflects the communities that we serve,” said President and CEO Walter Lynch. “Our diversity is our strength and woven into everything we do at our company. We are proud to be recognized for our inclusion and diversity practices and as an ally to those with different abilities."
This year, 319 businesses participated in the DEI, and American Water’s top score of 100 percent earned the recognition of “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” The inclusion criteria measured culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices, community engagement, and supplier diversity.
Inclusion and diversity are just one of the areas in American Water’s journey to be an industry leader across environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. American Water’s values and strategy are focused on making a positive impact for employees and all the communities the company serves. This past April, American Water published its first annual Inclusion & Diversity Report, highlighting how the company is constantly striving, thanks to the contributions of every employee, to build an inclusive and mutually respectful workplace.
The DEI was created by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts and disability advocates. The DEI, now in its sixth year, exists to help business impact the unemployment/underemployment of people with disabilities.
"We are so pleased to partner with 319 companies this year on the Disability Equality Index. Part of corporate commitment to disability inclusion is recognizing your stance and using it as an 'aha moment' to drive the business investments needed to scale change. Inclusion and accessibility cuts across the enterprise, from cultural representation in the workforce, to technology acceleration, to incorporating supply chain diversity. These are tangible opportunities that leading companies can leverage to create sustainable impact for their business and brand," said Jill Houghton, President & Chief Executive Officer, Disability: IN.
Globally, people with disabilities represent over one billion people. Disability is a natural part of the human experience and we cross lines of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and religion.
About American Water
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About the Disability Equality Index®
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that helps companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions that they can take to achieve disability inclusion and equality. Each company receives a score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, with those earning 80 and above recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”
The DEI is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, and Disability:IN, the global business disability inclusion network, to collectively advance the inclusion of people with disabilities. The organizations are complementary and bring unique strengths that make the project relevant and credible to corporations and the disability community. The tool was developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates. Learn more at: www.DisabilityEqualityIndex.org.
About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power for people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 50+ million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at: www.aapd.com.
Disability:IN is a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 270 corporations trust Disability:IN to activate and achieve disability inclusion across their enterprise and in the broader corporate mainstream. Through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking; best-in-class conferences and programs; and expert counsel and engagement, Disability:IN works with leading businesses to create long-term business and societal impact. Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.