How did you get started in your career and what drew you to the organisations you have worked for?
I started work in a building services consultancy following graduation and it gave me a good start in my engineering career and allowed me to interact with many different groups of people. I then moved back to my home town to carry on my engineering work at GSK. I was trained in continuous improvement techniques which led me back into consultancy where I have been doing business improvement ever since – it’s very rewarding improving processes and building capability in others.
How do you manage your disability at work?
I became disabled in 2007 when I lost my right leg below the knee having earlier been diagnosed with type II diabetes – this was just before I moved to Accenture, who were not fazed by my disability and have always been good with adjustments that have helped.
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
I attended a personal development training course for persons with disabilities which was an interesting session and soon after that I became Accenture’s Accent on Enablement Network Champion. Accent on Enablement UK is a network and forum open to all employees that want to contribute to creating improved disability confidence at Accenture. My role helped to build a really vibrant network within the company. We aimed to increase disability awareness and understanding, spread the word about the type of support available for employees with a disability and offer a network of friends for everyone touched by an impairment. Be it their own, or that of a family, a friend or colleague.
What advice or top tips would you offer?
Whilst it sounds easier than it is, be open about your disability – that way people can help when needed and there are some very easy adjustments that can be made to help you reach your full potential.
What has been your proudest moment since starting work?
Focusing on my Enablement Network Lead role, it was seeing the Network grow significantly and then getting into the top 10 companies in the BDF Disability Network Survey.
What has been the most challenging part of your job and how have you overcome it?
The most challenging part is when the work involves a lot of walking or physical effort, but I always make people around me aware of my disability and we then find a safe way of doing things (or don’t do it if deemed unsafe).