Manager – Audit

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I’ve been working at Forvis Mazars for 25 years and it’s the kind of place where people encourage you to believe in yourself. Where you can bring your whole self to work and feel valued for who you are.

I was born with hearing, but I lost it when I caught meningitis at four years old. It was really tough and I had to adapt quickly - learning to lip read and use sign language. But my family instilled a strong belief in me that I could still achieve my goals and ambitions.

My father and grandfather were both accountants. So, when I met my career adviser when I was 15, I told her I wanted to become an accountant too. She was very dismissive, not believing someone with my disability could do that.

I’m sure that conversation would be very different today, but the more she tried to dismiss me, the more determined I was to prove her wrong.

I didn't receive any communication support at school or college, so I had to work twice as hard as everyone else. I tried to lip read my teachers. And, while I’m a good lip reader, there was so much that I missed.

The hard work paid off. I passed all my exams at school, college and university and after completing my degree I went backpacking around the world.

I joined as soon as I was back from my travels. Even back then Forvis Mazars was thinking about giving me what I needed to thrive. They suggested having and organised a sign language interpreter for my second interview, and they provided me with the right equipment to do my job. This included organising deaf awareness training for the people I was working closely with.

With the help of sign language interpreters I passed my exams and became ACCA qualified in 2001. Since then, I’ve progressed to Audit Manager and now manage a team of 25 people.

I am able to communicate easily enough on a one-to-one basis with colleagues and friends. But when it comes to group meetings, I have the support of a sign language interpreter, so that I can truly play my part.

The awareness, support and technology available for people with a disability is improving all the time. And, at Forvis Mazars we always want to lead the way.


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