What led you to this role? Why did you choose to join this organisation?
Taylor Wessing works with some very dynamic clients so has a reputation for being an innovative and creative law firm. I had first heard of them through the sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Prize.
It was imperative that I joined a firm with an ambitious and progressive approach to the work that they do. Also I found the people at interview incredibly open and approachable, which is unusual to have a driven high performance environment that also has very supportive people at the heart of what they do.
Tell us a bit about the type of work you’re doing at the moment; what are your day-to-day tasks?
I manage the graduate recruitment and development programme at Taylor Wessing. This is a hugely varied and busy role to ensure we attract, engage and retain top early talent for the firm. Therefore, throughout the year we organise and support numerous brand building events, programmes, produce branding materials to share messages about our firm. We also ensure our trainees are supported throughout law school and in their first two years of training contract. Basically the team are focussed on wanting to ensure the best possible candidate experience which is open to all.
How do you manage your disability at work?
It is perhaps bold to say but I honestly believe that being dyslexic makes me better at what I do. If you have a disability you naturally have more self-awareness and this makes you often produce better quality of output as you are more in touch with your strengths.
I was identified as dyslexic very early at school so was lucky to receive lots of support so have an abundance of tools to support my working memory to be high performance. When I started work I lacked confidence due to always feeling like I have had to work a lot harder to compete with others academically but once you start working you realise that the workplace is diverse in strengths and this drive to achieve is a very desirable trait in the workplace.
What is your organisation’s approach to disability; how has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
Taylor Wessing’sculture fosters support, understanding and collegiality. There is a strong ambition to create an accessible, safe and user-friendly environment for all colleagues. I personally have developed various coping strategies over the years so I have not needed any specific support. However there are various initiatives in place:
We have a Disability, Mental Health and Wellness Committee to raise awareness of disabilities and identify ways to create an accessible workplace with the best support in place for all colleagues and to promote wellness in the firm to ensure that we get the best out of our people. We are also lucky to have our Chief Operating Officer Rachel Reid championing this committee.
Agile working – enhances productivity as ability to complete specific tasks can be increased when away from office distractions and greater efficiency. The office facilities are fantastic to get away from the desk to our roof terrace Cloud 9 and breakout pods on each floor.
Inclusive Technology – all have laptops and double screens and there are lots of individualised technology enabled support options to meet any needs.
What has been your proudest achievement since starting work?
Winning people of the year award twice at Taylor Wessing and also the graduate talent team being externally recognised various awards across the industry. Also seeing all the trainees qualify each year who have worked so hard to get where they are especially when you supporting them throughout the recruitment process.
What advice would you give a student with a similar disability, who wants to pursue a career in the field you work in?
Often people with Dyslexia lack confidence but from working across industries you see that diversity of thinking is highly valued and celebrated. It is just about learning about where you need to focus your energy to excel. If you want to pursue a career in law it is helpful to chat to a member of the team to discuss the process and there are any support needs. As someone with a disability I know what is like to be mindful about sharing information prior to securing a job but from my experience it is actually been the best way forward and also a very reassuring process.