Scott works for Thomson Reuters as a Legal – Key Account Manager, the Bar. He graduated from Durham University with a degree in Law.
Were you open about your disability during the application process? What support was provided to you?
Yes, I was. My deafness is clearly visible – though the extent of it is not always obvious. I was given full support during my interview with Thomson Reuters – it’s very much about openness.
What led you to this role? Why did you choose to join this organisation?
My experience in the legal sector – and I really enjoy being part of a large team.
Tell us about the type of work you’re doing currently; what are your day to day tasks?
I look after a substantial book of business and work closely with my colleagues in order to get our customers the products and services they require. I work alongside a substantial team of account managers and on a cross disciplinary basis with our legally qualified editors as well as our marketing and technology teams.
How do you manage your disability at work?
I have learned over the years to be as open as I can about my deafness and how it impacts on my work. I have sometimes downplayed this impact (not my deafness, I’m proud of that) in the past and tried to muddle through as best I can. It wasn’t possible to do this – and get it right with the sort of consistency that I can achieve if I am more open with my colleagues and allow them to help me.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Building my accounts and putting something into place for our customers that really works.
What was it about your job/organisation that surprised you when you first started?
How genuinely open and collaborative it is – in all kinds of ways. You can work flexibly, there is no onerous micro management and there’s a whole range of personalities and roles that work together to get the job done. All of this leads to a broader culture where no one is fazed by my deafness and they respond positively when I need help.
What aspect of your job have you found most difficult to manage? Is this affected by your disability?
Sometimes it’s a little tricky in an open plan office with lots of background noise. So people understand why I like to sit in certain places and why I manage them so as to optimise my understanding. People around me check in with me to see if I have picked up on things but not in a patronising way and I don’t feel exposed when I haven’t. There’s no pigeon holing or labelling. I also happen to be gay and I’m the first in my family to get any kind of further or higher education so a single label doesn’t really apply.
What is your organisation’s approach to disability; how has your employer helped you to do well in your workplace?
Completely open and for me – it’s all about attitudes and culture.
Tell us about a personal strength or a valuable plus which you have developed, as a result of your disability. How has it helped you in your career?
I’m resilient and I know that I am at my best when I work with really good people. It’s great being in an environment where there are so many different people involved in developing our products and getting them to market.
What do you wish you knew when you were at university?
It definitely gets better.
What advice would you give a student with a similar disability, who wants to pursue a career in the field you work in?
Speak to as many people as you can and be confident about explaining your deafness and the impact it’s had – and how it’s given you strengths which therefore mean that you can do a good job.