Enabling my journey within Tesco Bank
4 December 2018 By Jay Gordon-Rolfe
Monday 3 December was International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a global awareness day aimed at raising awareness of disability, while empowering and driving social change.
Ahead of this, we caught up with Enabled at Tesco Network Chair Joe Logue, who shared his experiences of living with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, as well as his hopes for the network.
Today, we are delighted to also share Jay Gordon-Rolfe’s story. Jay joined Tesco Bank as a Customer Service Representative in February 2018, and in a relatively short period of time has moved to a specialist role within our Digital Team. Jay has been involved in our Enabled at Tesco Network since it was first established.
“I have autism, a condition which impacts the way I think, communicate and relate to other people. Growing up, as a result of my autism, I experienced some real challenges including bullying and depression, both of which had a huge impact on my confidence and self-belief.
I always wanted to work with computers or websites, as this is something I not only feel passionate about, but have skills in, however, because of my autism, I didn’t feel I could cope with the interviews for these types of roles, and over time this put me off applying.
I first started at Tesco Bank as a Customer Service Representative and it struck me how different the organisation was, compared to the other places where I’ve worked. At my first interview, I genuinely felt like I could be myself, and that this was really encouraged and valued. Through working here, this first impression has strengthened, and this, as well as the support I’ve received, encouraged me to apply for a role within the Digital Team as a Website Content Publisher. I was nervous throughout the interview process, anxious that my autism would hold me back, but the interviewers really recognised my skills and experience, and I was delighted to be offered the position.
Here at Tesco Bank we’ve a number of colleague networks, all of which help to raise awareness, advocate and create a community of like-minded individuals. I’m a loud, gay, autistic guy, having these networks available, really helped me to connect with others and settle in to the organisation. I took part in the activities that Out at Tesco organised in celebration of Pride which was not only great fun, but made me feel included, and part of something really great.
Enabled at Tesco is the newest of our colleague networks and when I first heard about it, I knew I wanted to get involved. To me, it felt like something really unique, offering a fantastic opportunity to be part of, and further encourage open and honest conversations about disability and mental health. Everyone who is involved, from Joe the Network Chair to the members, like myself, are so passionate, determined and driven, and that collective energy is really empowering.
I strongly believe that my autism doesn’t define me, instead, I am the sum of my experiences. My journey with Tesco Bank is only just starting, but already, I feel I’ve been supported to achieve so much. I can’t wait to see where my career can go within Tesco Bank, and look forward to Enabled at Tesco continuing to grow and develop, making a real impact for our colleagues and customers along the way.”
To find out more about Enabled at Tesco, please visit https://corporate.tescobank.com/205/about-us/disability/
In recent years, the colour purple has become increasingly associated with disability, symbolising a positive narrative about the contribution of disabled people both in the workforce and the wider community. With this in mind, yesterday, our colleagues wore purple to show their support for International Day of Persons with Disabilities.