Making disability more visible - Clayton Nash, Strategy Director
Category: disability at work, disability awareness training, employee network, CityFibre, testimonial, disability, Disability Awareness, Disability and Neurodiversity, Staff Networks, Disability Inclusion, Disability Access, Disability Inclusive, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, Disabilities, support network, Network, networking, staff network group
At CityFibre, we want to nurture an accepting and inclusive culture for everyone, regardless of their background. We know that diversity of thought brings innovation and we want everyone to feel empowered to create an inclusive workplace and ensure that we all have a voice. That’s why we’re launching our new Employee Networks, to continue making CityFibre an organisation where everyone feels their opinion is important and valued.
We spoke to Clayton – leader of our new Disability Employee Network – about his aims for the future and how CityFibre can improve its diversity and inclusion as a business.
So, Clayton, what’s your background?
I joined CityFibre 4 years ago. Prior to that, I worked for a series of large companies including BT, Network Rail and Vodafone, but I wanted a smaller business where I could make a bigger difference. When I joined CityFibre there were just 100 or so people. Now, there are over 1,000 of us! My role is to define our commercial strategy. – I look at where we need to be in a few years’ time and how we’re going to get there.
What made you choose CityFibre?
I wanted to build something. One of my first roles was with a small company that built WiFi hotspots – I used to love running into people who’d used one of the networks we’d built. It was great to look at something and think “I did that”. CityFibre is a mission-driven place and I can play a tangible part in achieving that mission. We’re one of the few companies that can say “this is what we’re doing”, “this is why it matters”, and stay true to this throughout the entire process.
Why did you decide to head up the Disability Employee Network?
I have an autistic son. He’s seven years old, and we’re trying to figure out what his autism means for his life. Clearly, he’s going to need help and I want to make sure that CityFibre is somewhere that people like my son can be successful while getting the support they need. There are smart people with disabilities out there who could really help us as a business. Our job is to figure out where they are, how we can get these people to join us and how we can be a place they want to stay.
Why are Employee Networks so important?
When we asked for volunteers, we had loads of people put their hands up and offer to help. Every single one of them will have something they’re struggling with, or something they’re going through that nobody knows about. If we can understand those struggles and do things a little bit differently to support them, we can make a huge difference to people’s experiences at work.
What’s the key to creating a successful Network?
It’s important that we’re not simply representing a community, but that we provide tools for that community. Empty gestures are useless. We need to take practical action and make tangible change to make life and work easier for people living with disabilities or mental illness.
Do you think CityFibre has a long way to go?
We’re doing OK. We’d never buy an inaccessible building, for example, but there’s much more we could be doing as a business. Just a few simple changes could make a world of difference.
Clayton will be leading our Disability Network. We look forward to seeing what he and his volunteers achieve at CityFibre.
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