Go-Ahead supports neurodiverse employees to thrive at work
Go-Ahead’s vision is to create an environment where all colleagues feel they belong and can give their best at work. The Group recently developed a Dyslexia toolkit to support neurodiverse colleagues. Thomas Bailey, Go Cornwall Bus, Area Manager says the support he has received since his diagnosis has helped him to progress in his career. He shares his story for Dyslexia Awareness Week.
I started as a bus driver and have now progressed to Area Manager for Go Cornwall Bus. It was a requirement to pass my Transport Manager CPC qualification for my new role. I knew the preparation for these exams would involve reading and that made me nervous. I wouldn’t have been able to take this next step in my career without Go-Ahead’s support.
Asking for help wasn't always my strongest point, I would shy away from academic work due to the challenges I faced with reading and writing. So, I didn't get the help I needed and I failed my exam, twice! The Group believed in me, and the Head of Operations and People at Go South West, Carolyn Giles suggested I should take an assessment with the British Dyslexia Association. This is when I was diagnosed as Dyslexic.
Carolyn organised a workplace assessment with the British Dyslexia Association, and additional learning on a 1-2-1 basis, which helped me to digest information at a slower pace without feeling too overwhelmed. One of the things which really helps me is using software that has spell check or an immersive reader. My typical day can involve writing letters or reports, so spelling, grammar and use of the correct pronunciations can be difficult. Reading reports and processing data also takes a lot longer for someone with Dyslexia.
I’m so grateful for the support Go-Ahead has given me, I never thought I'd be equipped to cope with the literacy demands of being a manager. Inclusivity is embraced here, and because of this it has given me the ability to do what I love most – to ensure our communities have the best possible bus service. My journey has only just started in Management, and I'm excited to be part of a growing and inclusive transport company.
According to the British Dyslexia Association, the number of dyslexics in the UK is around 10%, with 4% severely impacted by the learning difficulty. Diversity and Inclusion continues to be at the forefront of Go-Ahead’s ‘The Next Billion Journey’s’ business strategy and the new Dyslexia toolkit is available to colleague across the business.