I am a young woman with Down Syndrome and I don’t think of myself as any different to anyone else. I have achieved so many wonderful things over the years and having a permanent job makes me feel accepted and included in society. I began working in Cpl in 2016, as one of the first graduates to do a six-month placement and I am so proud to be part of the Cpl workforce.

My first weeks & becoming a permanent employee

As a woman with an intellectual disability inclusivity, support and acceptance of diversity in the workplace are important to me and Cpl is certainly all of those things.

During my first week I was told about their Annual Ball. I was delighted to be invited as It was a great opportunity for me to dress up and meet lots of staff from all the branches. I was also petrified at the thought, but on the night everyone I knew made a great effort to make me feel at ease and to introduce me to others.

When I started work, Cpl were also filming for the official launch of BeProud@Cpl, the LGBT & Ally Network within Cpl. I was invited to attend and was delighted to be part of it.

My original work placement was just 6 months, but on the 8th of August 2017 I had a meeting with Sharon Vize, the Group HR Director, who confirmed that I was being made permanent. You have no idea how much this means to me. I was on the verge of tears of happiness.

The work I do:

Since I started, I have worked with HR, Cpl Healthcare Compliance, Science & Engineering, Finance and Group Marketing. I would like to see more of Cpl, and to explore the other areas that I haven’t been in yet.

I love working with each of the departments, and each team is very different. Some of the work I do includes admin support, helping with events, blogging, stock taking, and anything else that the team needs help with.  Each department has different skills, which is great for me, and I get to bring some of my own ideas to the table. It’s great that I have the chance to move around the Cpl offices and learn first-hand from the experts.

I also love public speaking and I was excited to be asked recently to speak for the first time at Cpl’s Anti-Discrimination Day event on 12th of April.  I spoke about my own experiences of discrimination. This was a wonderful opportunity, and I would love to do more public speaking at events of all sizes.

I love my job and my colleagues, and I look forward to going to work. What I find challenging about work is being included in social opportunities with my work colleagues and finding the right opportunities to show off what I can do. On the whole everyone I’ve met has made me feel very welcome and been very inclusive, supportive and accepting.

In the future I see myself growing and developing my abilities, strengths, skills and knowledge and finding more opportunities to show what I can do. Ultimately, I want to be an advocate for inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

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