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The Valuable 500 becomes first disability organisation to reach number one in the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 list 2021

The Valuable 500 – a global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda – has become the first organisation to reach the top spot in the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 list 2021.

The Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 list is an annual publication containing the 100 most influential disabled people and organisations in the UK. It celebrates the achievements of disabled people in arts, media, entertainment, community action, sport, education, science, business and politics.

Shaw Trust

The Valueable 500 recognised in the Power 100 list 2021

Founded by social entrepreneur Caroline Casey – who is registered blind – The Valuable 500 is a catalyst for an inclusion revolution that exists to position disability equally on the global business leadership agenda.

The campaign began in 2019, on the main stage of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, where Caroline came forward and asked CEOs from the world’s biggest businesses to join her and break the leadership silence on disability.

Over the two years that followed, the Valuable 500 team engaged with companies all over the world, working towards the ambitious goal of getting 500 CEOs, and their companies, to make a public commitment to disability inclusion.

On 18th May 2021, The Valuable 500 reached the goal that had once seemed impossible, announcing a collective of 500 CEOs of multinational businesses, committed to disability inclusion. It was a truly historic moment.

Today, The Valuable 500 collective includes many of the most influential brands and businesses in the world, including Apple, BP, The Coca-Cola Company, EY, Microsoft, Nestle, P&G, Prada, Shell, Sony, Twitter, Unilever, Virgin Media, Verizon and many more.

Speaking at the Shaw Trust Power 100 virtual event on Wednesday 27th October, Caroline said:

“Just to see The Valuable 500’s name there [is amazing]. That’s a name that is an organisation, but organisations are made up of people – it’s the team.

That’s really emotional as it’s the first time “it” gets it and that this incredible team, many of whom are around here as some of the award winners on this list. It just shows you the power of the collective.”

You can watch the full ceremony below, which includes Nikki Fox – who was awarded number one in 2020 – announcing the Top 10 Power 100 list for 2021 (starts at 35:35).

Plus listen to Caroline Casey’s full acceptance speech on behalf of The Valuable 500 (starts at 56:42).

Disability Horizons recognised in the Power 100 list 2021

Disability Horizons was also recognised this year’s Power 100 list with our Co-founder Martyn Sibley joining the list for another consecutive year.

Martyn Sibley
CEO and Co-founder

As well as being recognised for his blogging, accessible travel site Accomable that sold to Airbnb and growing the Disability Horizons community, Martyn’s latest success, the launch of Purple Goat, has also been celebrated. It is the world’s only influencer-first disability marketing agency for brands to connect with disabled consumers.

Despite starting in a pandemic, the agency is now on track to turnover millions of pounds in revenue this year.

Supporting a variety of brands including Tesco, Virgin Media and Starling bank to help grow their business by working with amazing disabled talent and creating economic opportunity for the disabled community.

Another familiar face in the Disability Horizons community to feature in the Power 100 list is Mik Scarlet. Best known as a TV presenter in the late 80s and 90s, he was one of the most recognisable disabled people in the media.

Mik Scarlet

Nowadays, he works as an access and inclusion expert, helping businesses and the public sector to become more welcoming to disabled people, whether as customers or employees.

But we, of course, know him best as one of our co-presenters on Disability Horizons TV, alongside Zec Richardson and Dan White.

Top 10 of the Power 100 list 2021

This year’s top 10 influential disabled people are:

  1. The Valuable 500 – global leadership movement
  2. Shani Dhanda – social entrepreneur and disability specialist
  3. Cerrie Burnell – author, actor, activist. disability ambassador for the BBC
  4. Dr Amy Kavanagh – freelancer and disability consultant
  5. Ciara Lawrence – Big Plan Engagement Lead at Mencap
  6. Frances Ryan – Guardian columnist and author
  7.  Andrew Miller MBE – cultural leader and broadcaster
  8.  Euan Macdonald – co-founder of Euan’s Guide
  9.  Chris Fry – solicitor
  10. Abbie Breakwell – wheelchair tennis player

Other well known disabled people featured in the Power 100 list include Bake Off’s Briony May Williams, journalist and writer Simon Sansome, journalist and influencer Samantha Renke, founder of Ability Today Grant Logan, Paralympic fencer Oliver Lam-Watson, AccessAble founder Gregory Burke and bloggers Pippa Stacey, Hannah Deakin and Carrie-Ann Lightley.

Visit the Shaw Trust website to view the full Power 100 list for 2021.

By Emma Purcell 

More on Disability Horizons…


Emma Purcell

Editor & Writer at Disability Horizons. Blogger at Rock For Disability. Loves live music, comedy, acting, chocolate and is a Harry Potter fanatic.
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