In crafting its list, CAREERS & the disABLED asked its readers to list the top three companies or government agencies that they would most like to work for or believe would provide a positive working environment for people with disabilities.
The Disability Matters awards are presented annually by Springboard Consulting, a Mendham, N.J. firm that works with companies to successfully market their products and services to people with disabilities and their families, as well as support this segment of the population in the workplace through diversity, work life, and human resource initiatives.
Work Life Matters, a national business publication that educates senior executives of companies about the importance of work life benefits and services, partners with Springboard Consulting in presenting this award.
"We are honored to be recognized by CAREER & the disABLED and Springboard Consulting. The Hartford has a long-standing history of helping people of all abilities, through its products, services, research, and philanthropy," said Ron Gendreau, executive vice president of The Hartford's group benefits division. "These two awards demonstrate that The Hartford is leading by example."
Both publications hailed The Hartford's Ability Philosophy, which focuses on an individual's abilities, not perceived limitations. That ability focus is embodied in The Hartford's claims and rehabilitation services provided to claimants. "We strongly believe that people want to return to active, productive lives," Gendreau said.
The Hartford ranked 19th on the CAREERS & the disABLED's Top 50 Employers List, the second time it has been recognized by the publication's readers.
The Hartford was nominated for the Disability Matters award by Bonnie St. John, a U.S. Paralympic silver and bronze medalist, author and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. She will serve as the keynote speaker for the 3rd Annual Disability Matters Conference on April 16 in New York.
"I am thrilled that The Hartford has been honored with the Disability Matters award. I don't know of a company that has started earlier or has done more to support individuals with disabilities," she said.
The Hartford will receive the 2009 Disability Matters award in the category of marketing products or services to individuals with a disability. The Hartford is the leading U.S. seller of group disability insurance, according to LIMRA International (as of Sept. 30, 2008). The company recently expanded its claims services to ensure experienced medical experts help ill and injured workers at each step of a short-term disability claim.
The Hartford's Ability Philosophy is demonstrated through its corporate citizenship and philanthropic activities, including its support of U.S. Paralympics, the division of the U.S. Olympic Committee dedicated to recruiting and training elite athletes with physical disabilities; the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a non-profit that honors and empowers disabled U.S. veterans; and Casting for Recovery, a national non-profit organization that helps women recover physically and emotionally from breast cancer through fly fishing.
In 2003, The Hartford became the first company to forge a multi-year agreement exclusively with U.S. Paralympics, resulting in the most significant corporate commitment in U.S. history. As part of the partnership, The Hartford sponsors and organizes more than 200 events featuring U.S. Paralympic athletes annually. Most events are designed to raise awareness about the value that employees with disabilities bring to the workplace. For the past four years, WWP members have found hope and healing by learning how to ski at The Hartford Ski Spectacular, the nation's largest winter disabled sports festival.
"The Hartford, through its sponsorship of U.S. Paralympics and its Ability Philosophy, has proven to be a progressive employer in the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of people with disabilities," said James Schneider, editor of CAREERS & the disABLED magazine.
"Springboard Consulting and Work Life Matters are proud to honor The Hartford for its industry-leading initiatives in marketing to people who have disabilities," said Nadine Vogel, president and founder of Springboard Consulting. "The award specifically honors The Hartford for its Ability Philosophy."
About CAREERS & the disABLED
CAREERS & the disABLED magazine, one of seven diversity recruitment magazines published by Equal Opportunity Publications (http://www.eop.com/), is read by 42,000 people with disabilities who are student, entry-level, and professionals in all career disciplines. This publication also goes to all 1,400 university placement offices, and to all related student and professional associations and societies. CAREERS & the disABLED magazine sponsors four career fairs for people with disabilities around the country.
About Springboard Consulting LLC
Springboard Consulting works with Corporate America, government agencies and national non-profits on appropriately marketing their products and services to people who either have a disability or who have a child or other dependent with special needs. Springboard also works with these firms on how to appropriately support this segment of their employee population through a variety of diversity, work life, and human resource initiatives.
About Work Life Matters
Work Life Matters magazine is a national quarterly publication that educates senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies about the importance of providing work life services and resources to our nation's workforce.
About The Hartford
The Hartford is one of the nation's largest financial services companies and a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property and casualty insurance. International operations are located in Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and Ireland. The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com/.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.