What led you to this role? Why did you choose to join GSK?
I originally saw a vacancy at GSK back in 2002 I was very interested, but I nearly didn’t get a chance to apply since the agency I was with told me I wouldn’t be able to do the job due to my deafness. So I applied to GSK directly instead and was invited to an interview. The result? I joined GSK as a senior programmer.
Tell us a bit about the type of work you’re doing at the moment; what are your day-to-day tasks?
I’ve always worked in IT. I began my career in IT operations and programming. Now, I work in Risk Management, co-ordinating and managing IT Governance risk and Compliance for the global support functions. It’s a very diverse global role, with a lot of projects to juggle. I also act as a risk consultant for a large diverse IT support organisation for existing GSK IT applications.
What do you enjoy most about working at GSK?
I enjoy working for a large corporation. I love being part of a big company that does the right thing for people – patients and consumers. And GSK also looks after its own people too. I get plenty of support and I think this is a great place for someone to learn new skills.
I have a support network across the team and the organisation, which helps with any potential challenges I face from being deaf. I lip read; the video feed for meetings used to be poor and made some meetings tricky, but that’s now improved. The new lift system we’ve had installed has made things easier for me, as I no longer have to listen for a bell to tell me which lift has arrived. Circular meeting tables have also been introduced to make lip reading easier as I am able to see everyone’s faces.
How do you manage your disability at work?
I had a cochlear implant fitted earlier this year, and I’m still adapting to that – GSK has been very supportive in giving me time to adjust properly. Now, when I start working with new teams, it’s up to me to explain to them what kind of help I’ll need. I think that there are lots of people who don’t want to say anything about needing help. I want to challenge that and speak out – there’s nothing you can’t achieve with the right help in place.
What is your organisation’s approach to disability?
Over the past few years I’ve noticed the culture at GSK become more transparent it feels like there is a lot of openness and trust. Plus the workforce is becoming really diverse, so the company must be doing something right. At the moment, I’d not hesitate to recommend a career here to people with or without disabilities.