Powered by Inclusion

As allies, we can create a more respectful culture

During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we recognize the outstanding contributions of teammates with disabilities and further our commitment to creating an inclusive workplace for all.

Boeing is honored to be recognized as a 2021 Leading Disability Employer by the National Organization on Disability and to have received a 100% ranking on the Disability:IN Disability Equality Index for the sixth consecutive year. Yet we have more work to do to shape a culture where everyone is included, valued, respected and supported in reaching their full potential.

This National Disability Employment Awareness Month and year-round, we encourage all teammates to seek out diverse perspectives, speak up when they see behavior that is not inclusive and take time to listen to better understand the experiences of teammates with disabilities.

Speaking Up and Expanding Accessibility for All

At Boeing, we know it’s our responsibility to create a safe, inclusive environment for all. We’ve demonstrated our commitment to disability inclusion by joining The Valuable 500, a global campaign that strives to place disability at the top of business agendas. The Valuable 500, which launched at the World Economic Forum, aims to put disability on the leadership agenda of at least 500 large, multinational enterprises. The campaign recognizes that when businesses take the lead and take action, society will follow, and it challenges businesses that claim to be diverse yet exclude workers with disabilities from their definition of diversity.

Boeing has made efforts to empower all employees to help expand accessibility on our commercial airplanes, including:

  • Incorporating inclusive designs to accommodate passengers with physically reduced mobility or who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Blind or Visually Impaired, or Neurodiverse.
  • Distributing more than 5,000 transparent face masks to employees who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and their teammates through the Boeing Employees Ability Awareness Association Business Resource Group.
  • Launching an Autism at Work pilot program in Pennsylvania in 2020 to recruit neurodiverse talent, and successfully hiring three teammates through this program in 2021.
  • Receiving certification from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) as a Certified Neurodiverse Workplace at our Boeing Defense Services Fabrication Electrical Center of Excellence in Mesa, Arizona. To receive this certification, 80% of the employees in an operation must receive specialized training from IBCCES on neurodiversity — including autism, dyslexia or neurodivergent team members.

Employee-Led Groups Promote Inclusion


Boeing Employees Ability Awareness Association (BEAAA), an employee-led Business Resource Group, connects thousands of employees who strive to cultivate an environment promoting awareness and inclusion of the disability community and to provide avenues for education, networking, professional development and leadership opportunities for people with disabilities and for allies.

Rodd Gatewood at desk

Rodd Gatewood

Rodd, a Boeing electrical technician, keeps his professional skills as sharp as his referee skills. Among those skills is teaching basic sign language to enable effective communication on the job.

Read Rodd’s Story
Taylor Mickelson standing with plane

Taylor Mickelson

To Taylor, who was born Deaf, the key takeaway to inclusion is accessibility for every disability. “People with disabilities … introduce unique opportunities with competitive advantages,” she said.

Read Taylor’s Story
Kirsti Melby image

Kirsti Melby

Kirsti became legally Blind after eye cancer as a baby. When she first came to Boeing she was secretive about her vision. Then one day, something switched in her heart and in her head.

Read Kirsti’s Story
Tamika Grandy image

Tamika Grandy

Tamika is chief of staff for the Space and Launch program deputy director. Of the achievements in her 14-year Boeing career, she is most proud of advocating for people with disabilities.

Read Tamika’s Story
Jonathan Stephens image

Jonathan Stephens

Jonathan has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and uses a wheelchair for mobility. “Although I am physically challenged, I do not let it stop me from what I want to accomplish,” he said.

Read Jonathan's Story
Donna DeFreece image

Donna DeFreece

Through her role as co-chair of the SoCal Boeing Employees Ability Awareness Association, Donna leads events on low vision and participates on an Accessible Virtual Meetings panel.

Read Donna's Story
Olivia Halvorson Image

Olivia Halvorson

When Olivia began her career at Boeing, she decided she wanted to help make her workplace somewhere her brother, who has Down syndrome, would be welcome.

Read Olivia's Story
Chris Jeckel Image

Chris Jeckel

Chris helps create new programs to improve Boeing employees’ financial well-being worldwide. He also helps ensure Boeing aircraft provide a more accessible flying experience for all passengers.

Read Chris' Story
Kim Baker image

Kim Baker

Kim has had hearing loss since she was a teenager. “I spent years feeling embarrassed,” Kim said. “Working at Boeing has changed this — I’m now very outspoken about hearing loss and disability awareness.”

Read Kim's Story
Anthony Anderson image

Anthony Anderson

Engineering manager Anthony, who has paraplegia, said his greatest career achievement is being part of the design team that enabled Boeing twin-aisle airplanes to be accessible for reduced mobility.

Read Anthony's Story

Supporting Opportunities for Empowerment

Boeing is committed to building on its strengths to support our global future, our heroes and our homes.

We believe it is our responsibility to ensure our people can bring their best, most authentic selves to work so that they can flourish as Boeing employees and contribute to our long-term success.

Boeing also proudly supports programs and organizations that support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of veterans and their families. Boeing-funded community partners focus on veteran rehabilitation and recovery programs that heal visible and invisible wounds as well as foster a sense of community and belonging.

Boeing grant partners focused on improving the lives of veterans with disabilities include the Adaptive Training Foundation and the National Ability Center.

  • Adaptive Training Foundation

    A $150,000 Boeing grant supports the Adaptive Training Foundation’s Military to the Mountain program, which helps empower veterans with disabilities to transform their lives through exercise, community and mindfulness.

  • National Ability Center

    A $75,000 Boeing grant will support 989 individuals in Project SERVE, which provides adaptive sports and recreational programs to veterans, military service members and their families living with physical, cognitive and mental health disabilities.