I am an associate at Stephenson Harwood in the projects and infrastructure team. I have recently finished my training contract, during which I also sat in real estate, tax, and spent six months on a client secondment. I am also visually impaired with some useful vision in my right eye.
What value do you feel you add to the organisation?
Most importantly, I believe that the value I add to the firm is linked to the work I produce. With adjustments in place, I always work hard to produce a high standard of work. I find that having a disability has equipped me with certain valuable tools as well – I am accustomed to working hard, adapting quickly, and finding solutions to problems as having a visual impairment means that I use these skills every time I walk out of my house.
More broadly, my presence and that of others with disabilities is going towards normalising disability in the workplace and increasing understanding and communication among colleagues. I have been involved in Enable, the firm’s disability and neurodiversity network, which is bringing people together to make the workplace more accessible and to reach out to future talent with disabilities.
How much do you think your success reflects your organisation’s values and culture?
The firm puts a strong emphasis on encouraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I have found that adjustments have always been readily made where needed to ensure that I am able to do my job to the best of my ability. Even more importantly, once these adjustments have been made and people have been made aware, I have been treated as any other colleague would be.
Changes to adjustments post-pandemic
In terms of adjustments, the increased flexibility over working from home has been helpful to some extent. I find navigating in the dark much more difficult, and so recently I have started leaving the office on time to get home before it gets dark and picking up work at home in the evening. This is allowing me to prioritise my safety whilst continuing to deliver the same standard of work.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I hope to stay at the firm and continue to develop under the strong culture of diversity and inclusion.