Many people with disabilities face barriers in the workplace. At CGI we’re always looking at ways to ensure our members with a disability are supported to perform their best, with a DE&I team dedicated to meeting their varied needs.
A few members of our Disability Network share their experiences as a CGI member so far, and why they’re confident they can thrive here, regardless of the challenges of their disability.
When I started with CGI, I was travelling three hours a day to get to and from work. My manager saw how difficult it was for, me being unable to walk without crutches, and we set up a new flexible working plan. This allowed me to work from home two days a week, and have at least one rest day between office days, to give my legs a chance to recover. It was absolutely brilliant and made a huge difference.
If you ask me what comes to mind when describing CGI, the words 'supportive' and 'inclusive' are the first words I think of. There's such a supportive culture here and I hope everyone realises how much support is available to them. All you have to do is ask.
I’ve always struggled a lot with planning, organisation, deadlines, working as part of a team and not fitting into the dynamic. It resulted in negative experiences and a very 'squiggly' career path. When I was diagnosed as autistic with ADHD, it all started to make a bit more sense.
CGI is the first role I've had where I've been 'openly' myself and able to officially disclose the struggles I have. There was no judgement, just the offer of support and signposting to the Disability and Neuroverse networks. Being part of the Neuroverse employee network and committee has made my role at CGI even more enjoyable.
On joining, everyone was so welcoming and reassuring. I read through so many posts on the Teams channel and kept saying 'Oh my gosh, they get it!' and 'I experience that too!'. It’s given me a confidence boost but has also made me feel part of a community. There's such a can-do attitude and passion for talking about experiences and helping others. I'm so fortunate to have joined and been accepted for who I am.
I’ve been with CGI since 2012. In September 2019, I became ill very suddenly and during my long-term sickness I was treated with care and respect. I felt ‘looked after’ even though I was not at work.
It was touch-and-go as to whether I would return to work and I was worried that I would not be able to. I was at my lowest at this point. My immediate line manager and HR arranged it so I could return to work over a period of time. The lift to the first floor was repaired (it had been out of order for a while) and as there was no designated disabled parking at the office, I was given a cone so I could park right outside the front doors.
I have been back full-time now for a couple of years. I am able to work at different customer sites, at home and in the local office. If I need to travel by train, I am able to get a taxi to sites so that my restricted mobility does not interfere with my ability to work. CGI has made it possible for me to continue doing the work I love.
The culture at CGI has always been very supportive, which has helped me feel comfortable working here. The quantifying of performance and measures and gamifying feedback helps me as well because I'm a very figures based individual. Being an autistic person, the numbers give me clear goals and expectations.
Furthermore, the management here has been very attentive in answering my concerns and helping when I have had issues such as panic attacks, high levels of anxiety when adjusting to the new workplace, and dealing with some difficult users.
The biggest benefit of sharing your experiences with CGI’s Disability network is knowing that you are not alone. When you join, you can ask any question you may have. If you’re interested in joining, I suggest browsing the disability section of our website where we post some information to get you started.
Anyone with a disability should just approach their manager with any concerns, because they will have been given the tools to help you. Our HR and Clear Talent (work assessment) policies have both been updated as a result of our Disability network’s monthly meetings and I advise members to make sure you are aware of these. There are many assessments that you can benefit from, and you’ll get access to things that will help you in your day to day work such as lamps, a big screen, a foot rest and many more. Remember: you are not alone, so do not hesitate to ask for assistance.
Living with a disability should not be a barrier to a successful career
Whatever your particular needs, we’ll support you at CGI.
Whilst disclosing any disability is up to the individual, we welcome and encourage this as it enables us to collect data to improve our understanding of members' unique needs so we can better support them.
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