I’ve been at UBS for 29 years now. I formerly started my Bank career at SG Warburg which evolved into the company it is today.
How do you manage your disability at work?
I have Chronic Heart Disease with a pericardial constriction which I acquired in 2003 following open heart surgery and a triple by-pass. I try to live as normal as possible but do have physical restrictions especially in climbing stairs and hills. I have had superb support from my line manager and UBS as a whole in coming to terms with this and managing accordingly. I’m lucky that I’m able to work one day a week from home when required and I’m also revelling in the environment of our new office at 5 Broadgate in London.
What is your organisation’s approach to disability and how has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
I find the way our company is dealing with disability excellent. As an employer of choice there is a reasonable adjustment program for all employees with either long or short term requirements. There is an excellent Occupational Health team situated on site within the Bank along with all other associated support such as physios, ergonomic assessments, safety and security. We also have individual Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans, (PEEPS) free parking and Nuffield Health on site for further guidance and advice as our gym provider.
All front of house staff are trained twice a year on disability etiquette for staff and clients alike and all aspects of the building facilities are assessed on a regular basis. On the human side, I eventually had to take 15 months out of the business due to further complications and I was fully supported by our company throughout this period and they put together a diligent return to work program for me. I had been encouraged back into the workforce without feeling under pressure and eventually built up resilience to return full time. Our company had invested in me and I respected that.
Aside from your day-to-day role, are you involved in a disability network at UBS?
I’m co-chair of our Ability Network together with Sarah. We work with our committee to make sure that our colleagues and candidates can be sure that we have their best interests at heart.
What advice would you give a student with a similar disability, who wants to pursue a career in the field you work in?
At UBS, disability is no barrier to ability, performance and success, regardless of any type of incapacity if either visual or hidden. They work with you to create the best environment for you. This applies to all roles, not just mine. The financial services sector along with many others has changed beyond recognition in relation to employment. And it fully understands that there is a workforce out there with untapped potential. I would recommend any individual to apply and see how the world is changing.