Tegan Hughes (Customer Representative, Nationwide Building Society)
How do you define your disability?
I suffer from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (more commonly, though somewhat misleadingly, known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), as well as depression and anxiety.
Chronic illnesses such as these are sometimes called ‘invisible disabilities’, because sufferers do not usually have any visible signs of their disability, such as a wheelchair.
How does your company promote and support disability in the work place?
Nationwide has processes and policies to enable everyone to be their best at work.
Personally, I’ve had support from our central HR teams, such as Occupational Health; from the Nationwide Group Staff Union; and from my line managers. I have a support plan, with adjustments to accommodate my needs and enable me not only to stay in work, but to thrive in my role.
More generally, Nationwide is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible workplace, with differences valued and celebrated.
We partner with organisations such as Business Disability Forum and PurpleSpace, and have a growing disability network for peer-to-peer colleague support.
What words of encouragement would you give to disabled people looking to find success in the workplace?
Everyone faces challenges – you are not alone. Focus on your strengths and be proud of them, but do not be ashamed to admit to your weaknesses. Be confident in what you can do, and endeavor to do it well.
Don’t be afraid to be your own advocate and to ask for help when you need it. You’ll often be pleasantly surprised at the response you get.
Where can people find out more?