Building on a foundation of progress, WBA is recognized for creating opportunity for individuals with disabilities through multiple hiring and inclusion programs throughout the business.
Submitted by Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has been named Disability:IN’s Employer of the Year for 2023. The award recognizes a company’s achievement in exemplary policies, strategies and initiatives that have resulted in measurable results in the areas of disability inclusiveness in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain.
"Thank you Disability:IN for this honor and for the work that you do to promote disability inclusion in the workplace," says Holly May, executive vice president & global chief human resource officer of WBA. "We are so proud of Walgreens Boots Alliance's leadership in the space, which we credit to our values, commitment, signature Walgreens disability hiring and inclusion programs and partnerships."
This follows seven consecutive years of recognition from Disability:IN and The American Association of People with Disabilities with a 100% score on its Disability Equality Index. Disability advocates and business leaders developed the index, which is the most comprehensive benchmarking tool for corporate disability inclusion.
WBA was recognized with the award on July 11, during Disability Pride Month, a time to celebrate the strengths and achievements of people with disabilities around the world, and for us, a time to look back on our progress through the years.
While Walgreens has always championed a commitment to hiring individuals with disabilities and equal opportunity, our revolutionary “same job, same expectations, same pay” operating model was developed more than 16 years ago with two signature programs: Transitional Work Group (TWG) and Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI). Since then, Walgreens has further expanded our commitments to disability representation through our work with Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, the establishment of a neurodiversity hiring program for corporate roles and the redesign of the annual incentive plan to create leadership accountability for diversity representation. Through this work, Walgreens has enabled thousands of people with disabilities to build lives they may not otherwise have been able to, simply because opportunities were not presented to them.
In addition to training and work placement programs, WBA sponsors a disAbility Alliance business resource group (BRG) that educates and supports individuals with disabilities and allies by providing informational content, fostering an inclusive workforce and furthering disability-related initiatives. The BRG hosts educational programming and learning experiences for team members throughout the year, welcoming those with all abilities to join, learn and network.
A lasting impact
Due to the success of this progressive and inclusive hiring model, other businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, have taken note, asking, “how does Walgreens do it?” Rather than withhold the knowledge, the company decided to share it for the greater good, establishing Walgreens Inclusion University.
Through the program, companies can tour TWG- and REDI-enabled distribution centers and stores and sit in on disability training curriculum to learn how a properly equipped working environment can empower team members of all abilities.
“We’ve always been proud to open our doors to other companies interested in learning about our approach, programs and practices, as others set up their models, through Walgreens Inclusion University,” says Holly May, executive vice president & global chief human resources officer of WBA. “The invitation is always open.”
A commitment that continues
To ensure accountability among our leadership, last November, WBA became the first company in the S&P 500 to redesign our annual U.S. bonus plan to include a standalone disability representation metric.
This new metric will unlock a pipeline of talent and help foster equity for a previously underrepresented sector of the workforce.
As an award-winning employer, WBA continues to combine both our past emphasis on disability support with our future in leading new initiatives to create opportunity and access the value provided by our diverse workforce.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities.
A trusted, global innovator in retail pharmacy with approximately 13,000 locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, WBA plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem. The company is reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all as part of its purpose – to create more joyful lives through better health. Through dispensing medicines, improving access to a wide range of health services, providing high quality health and beauty products and offering anytime, anywhere convenience across its digital platforms, WBA is shaping the future of healthcare.
WBA employs more than 325,000 people and has a presence in nine countries through its portfolio of consumer brands: Walgreens, Boots, Duane Reade, the No7 Beauty Company, Benavides in Mexico and Ahumada in Chile. Additionally, WBA has a portfolio of healthcare-focused investments located in several countries, including China and the U.S.
The company is proud of its contributions to healthy communities, a healthy planet, an inclusive workplace and a sustainable marketplace. WBA has been recognized for its commitment to operating sustainably: the company is an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) and was named to the 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2022.
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