Living with autism
During April’s Autism Awareness month, our disability network (Enable) arranged activities to promote understanding of living with autism. These included an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with three Nationwide leaders sharing their experience of raising children with autism and how this has changed their own way of thinking.
Phil, our Head of Strategy Pricing and Performance, spoke about how his son struggled with school but moving to a college has helped improve his confidence. “Being in an environment that gave him more freedom and being treated like an individual has worked for him. There are still challenges but he has made huge leaps in his personal confidence. It’s about finding the right environment and finding the ability to thrive.”Read more
All the speakers agreed that raising autistic children has made them think more of the needs of individuals at work. James, our Chief Credit Officer, spoke about how he is now aware that something that seems insignificant, like hot desking, can cause sensory overload to an autistic person to the detriment of them being able to do a good job.
“As a big employer we should have awareness of those things.”
The key to this for one participant was for managers to listen to what people need so they can best support their colleagues who are autistic or who have autistic family members. At Nationwide, we want to treat everyone as an individual so it’s not about policies but open, trusting conversations and finding solutions that fit each persons’ needs.
By being more inclusive and diverse we can better reflect the communities we work in across the UK and give our employees the opportunity to flourish.Read less