How did you get started in your career and what drew you to KPMG?
I joined KPMG when my previous employer Makinson Cowell was acquired by KPMG in July 2013, we linked in with their existing debt advisory team to create the Capital Advisory Group.
I joined Makinson Cowell in 2001 after finishing my A-Levels. About 6 months after joining I suffered a sudden loss of vision caused by a rare genetic condition which left me being registered blind.
How do you manage your disability at work?
I have always been given lots of support from my colleagues and they understand my disability and I feel comfortable and able to ask them for assistance if I need it whether it be with administrative tasks or simply getting lunch. With my disability I find I use my memory a lot and learn and remember how to navigate my way to and around the office, my workstation has been adapted and I have got some specialist equipment (screen reading and magnification software & video magnifier) which enable me to use my laptop and read documents.
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
My previous employer was very supportive and offered me all the help and support I needed and I can honestly say that this was a major factor in me being able to adapt to my life with a disability quickly and with the confidence of their support. When they were acquired by KPMG and we moved over to the KPMG offices I was given support and shown around the new office on my own on a few occasions to help get me used to the new surroundings which helped lessen the stress of such a move, I was also put in touch with the person in charge of IT accessibility and assessed if the equipment I was using was still working for me or if there was anything else I could consider.
How would you describe the culture at KPMG?
KPMG has its own internal disability network which is a great resource and platform to highlight, support and showcase issues around disability. Along with this the culture from the top down seems really focused on being a fully inclusive employer and has set new targets to increase recruitment around several under represented diversities including disability.
What advice or top tips would you offer?
Be positive, don’t focus on your disability instead focus on your strengths and what you can do, be honest and upfront about your disability to minimise any awkwardness and don’t be scared to ask for help, there is often ways of overcoming problems you just might not be aware of them yet.