Diversish – adjective

Selectively inclusive of some types of people within a company, group or business, depending on which type suits the company best.

At Blue Badge Style we’re all too familiar with diversish and accessibleish businesses. While we prefer to focus on highlighting design and venues that are accessible and stylish, sometimes diversish or pseudo-accessible shortcomings need to be called out – which is why we’ve included a Ludicrous Loo category at the upcoming Blue Badge Access Awards! Make sure to send in your nominations here.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting two inspiring women who are behind an exciting and high profile new campaign which aims to tackle diversish businesses on the global stage. Caroline Casey founded The Valuable 500, which is calling on 500 multinational organisations to commit to putting disability on their board agendas in 2019.

Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500 (credit: TED talks)
Marianne Waite. Credit: Campaign Live website
Marianne Waite. Credit: Campaign Live website

In the spirit of Blue Badge Style, I met Caroline (who is registered blind) and Marianne Waite, the campaign’s director, while they were buying new outfits in Oliver Bonas. They were celebrating the recent launch of The Valuable 500 at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Caroline and Marianne’s enthusiasm and positivity were infectious, and no wonder they were so excited; as platforms go, you can’t get much bigger than the annual meeting of the world’s political and financial elites!

Here’s a short extract from the campaign’s press release, where Caroline explains what was addressed at Davos:

Businesses cannot be truly inclusive if disability is continuingly ignored on leadership agendas.

I urge businesses to join The Valuable 500 movement to take a stand against being diversish – and instead be the tipping-point for change, and unlock the business, social and economic value of disabled people across the world. We also need brands that are already great examples of inclusive behaviour to show other businesses how it’s done, and help us end à la carte inclusion – because the potential of 1.3 billion should not be ignored.

And the campaign is conducted with humour and intelligence – watch this hilarious and painfully accurate film which demonstrates the kinds of attitude that The Valuable 500 is challenging:

We wish Caroline and Marianne the best of luck with their brilliant campaign, which is already gathering momentum, and look forward to seeing it grow in 2019 and beyond.

Read more about Caroline’s work around disability inclusion, and watch her fabulous TED talk here.

And here you can read an interesting piece written by Marianne about the work she does around disability inclusion and representation in design and marketing.

The Blue Badge Access Awards are coming up and we want YOUR nominations! Visit the awards website for more info on how to nominate your favourite stylish and accessible venues.

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