How did you get started in your career and what drew you to the organisations you have worked for?
My choice to pursue a career in the IT profession was really because I can see how technology application together with a human touch can make improvements to individuals and businesses. I’m blind and my life significantly changed when I was independently able to use a computer which would read aloud comments and documents. I recognised how empowering technology can be and was very keen to pursue my career in technology enabled solutions.
How do you manage your disability at work?
Technology has been a huge enabler, but it was also a huge disabler. I have experienced many programs which were not designed to work with my jaws hence meaning I had no proper means to accessing information such as a calendar, emails and some websites when I first joined the company. Over the years I have been able to access more and more information as technology improves but have also had the opportunity to develop strategies to overcome technology limiting situations. Being able to continually find improvements in both my personal and professional life ensures that I am thinking ahead and am flexible in creating a positive change in my environment.
For my first project in the company, I delivered an award-winning interactive E-marketing book which transformed the way we did business. The online system I designed streamlined the overall ordering process, saving the company £90K per year. Our business customers began placing e-orders for brands like Hugo Boss, versus paper-based catalogues.
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
Few specific adjustments are made by P&G to accommodate my disability. They value all their people and I’m no different. I’m very confident if/ when I need any adjustment, they will accommodate me. My aspiration is to progress to becoming a world class IT professional, recognised for being an expert in business transformation.
How would you describe the diversity culture at your organisation?
We recognise that our consumers whom we serve are diverse and we want to reflect that diversity within the organisation. It is only when you get diverse groups of people together who are talented and work productively with one another we get great results.
What advice or top tips would you offer?
Do the best you can. Manage your disability the best you can and don’t be afraid to educate people along the way and ask for help when you need it. Most managers in my experience don’t always know how to help, but the best managers work with you and ask you how they can help and jointly you can crack the nut!