Dalcour Maclaren encourages everyone to bring their whole selves to work, and in the six years that I’ve been here, I have been embraced for who I am

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress", which focuses on five key areas: Equality, Poverty, Gender Responsive Financing, the Green Economy, and Women Making Change. Reflecting on this theme through my own experience, the area of equality resonates with me the most– reminding me of the incredible support and investment made in me as a woman to accelerate my progress, personally and professionally. 

As a people-focused business, Dalcour Maclaren encourages everyone to bring their whole selves to work and in the six years that I’ve been here, I have been embraced for who I am. From the very beginning, my skills, experience, and contributions were appreciated and used without the need to struggle to be heard. 

Two years ago, I switched up my career direction by moving from Project Management in our Infrastructure team to a new role as a Learning & Development Consultant at the DM Academy. While I enjoyed my previous role, this new direction allowed me to grow and develop in ways I never imagined. This was made possible thanks to the support from DM in making this change, as well as the encouragement and investment I’ve received since.

A few months before taking this leap, I found myself having to re-learn a lot about my identity after receiving a diagnosis of ADHD and subsequently discovering I am autistic. With this new understanding, I realised that I had been concealing parts of myself to ‘fit in’ and avoid being seen as odd, having always struggled with things others found easy and puzzled by why I felt so different. While going through the process of letting go of the need to mask my differences and accepting myself as I am, it was brilliant to feel that I could do this at work, as well as in my personal life and be met with nothing other than encouragement.

I’d never really known what direction I wanted for my career, only that I knew supporting and developing others is a personal value I’d always brought into any position I’d held. I’m now in my dream job, expanding my knowledge, experiences, and skills in an environment I can thrive in, due in no small part to the investment of opportunity, encouragement, and acceptance I’ve had at work.

It is a rare and valuable experience to feel supported and understood in the workplace as a neurodivergent individual, especially as a woman, but DM has done just that! With our values and people being the core of the business, I believe this helps to address the barriers around inequality many women in society sadly face.

~ Helen Sanderson

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