February 2023

In this article, Beth Rees shares why people are always top priority at CGI.

Here at CGI, we recognise the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) which is why we have a wide range of DE&I networks to support all of our members.

Support and care for members with disabilities

Our Oxygen Health and Wellbeing programme, for one, looks after member wellness with a range of initiatives and services such as:

  • a Member Assistance Programme (MAP)
  • a Mental Health First Aid app
  • Workplace Adjustment process
  • KnowHow sessions on various health topics.

It’s great to see the level of support available at CGI. When I first began here in March 2022, I shared my ADHD and autism diagnoses which were both respected and celebrated. I’ve since joined the Disability, Neuroverse, Part-time and Women’s Network, all of which are so welcoming.

Mentor access and support

My manager has been instrumental in my development, helping me gain confidence in my role. When I told him that I am autistic with ADHD, he immediately asked what he and the organisation could do. He asked about the adjustments that could be made to ensure that I was happy and healthy at work. I was also assigned a buddy to help me settle in - she’s been brilliant. I am truly grateful to both for their continued support.

My proudest achievement

Last summer, I co-hosted a webinar series - the CGI Summer Series of Wellbeing - with eight sessions covering topics from mental and physical health to creativity and spirituality. I'm proud of this because we had over 1200 members take part with positive feedback and calls for it to happen again in 2023!

If you’re neurodivergent and wanting to join CGI - my advice

As someone who has struggled in the workplace before, I know how overwhelming it can be from a sensory, social, and process-driven perspective. I hope I can offer reassurance and support.

When I first joined CGI, I didn’t even know how I could be supported at work as a late-diagnosed autistic/ADHD person. But I was signposted to the Neuroverse Network and the Adjustments Process - it made a big difference. To any neurodivergent person joining CGI, I’d say take things one day at a time and ask for help. Plan your ‘me-time’ because learning lots of new things can be mind-blowing!

Exciting initiatives I’ve been involved in

I’m glad that I accepted the invitation to join the Neuroverse Network and committee shortly after starting at CGI.  I’ve never been part of something where everyone thinks in a similar way to me! 

Recently, I supported Neuroverse in organising a KnowHow called Supporting ADHD at Work during ADHD Awareness Month. It seemed a good time to show how CGI could help. The network also arranged a Coping with Christmas Teams session and we’re currently planning for Autism Acceptance Week.

An inclusive culture really matters

Since I started here, CGI has been collecting disability data to get a better understanding of how members may need additional support and what can be done to help them to thrive professionally and personally. The Workplace Adjustment process is being reviewed to be even more inclusive and provide space for people to discuss their conditions openly.

It’s incredible for me as someone who has struggled with work due to not being understood.  This is really the first workplace where I have felt fully understood, appreciated and my condition respected.

To any new CGI member who may be living with a disability or caring for someone with a disability, I would say that CGI can act as a support for you. They want to ensure everyone is working to the best of their abilities and that they have the tools they need. I know that it’s not easy to disclose your disability - many people don’t want to. But for me, I did so because I could see that my manager and the business wanted to support me and help me move forward. They’ve provided me with adjustments that have made a tremendous difference to the way I work. Join the Disability/Neuroverse Networks for a real sense of peer support. You’ll have a feeling of “I can” instead of “I can’t”.

Learn more about CGI’s commitment to being Unconditionally Inclusive