Authored by Talented People’s Diversity Coordinator and Talent Manager, Tehona Waugh
It’s neurodiversity week, and I believe it’s important to share personal lived experiences during this time… so here’s mine.
Growing up, my Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia all went undiagnosed until I was about to start University. Looking back at my school years, it all makes sense; finding it hard to concentrate in class, reading slower than everyone else and the way I processed information was different, so I found it hard to listen and maintain focus.
My dream was to become a journalist. This dream quickly came tumbling down when my tutor sat me down and told me I should rethink my career path. She thought I would struggle with the writing but I wasn’t prepared to give up my dream. I did struggle, and while my friends were out enjoying the freedom that University brings, I was getting extra support and working that much harder to keep up with everyone in my class. In spite of this, I graduated and was even offered an internship at a magazine.
As I started moving up the ladder in TV, it became a scary time. Working in the freelance industry I did not want to mention my difficulties in case it would impact my getting the job when you are up against so many other people who are capable of doing the role. So I would never mention it, and when I had to write one-pagers and treatments I was constantly being asked “have you written this up yet, what’s taking so long?”. The reason it took me so long to do tasks that everybody else could do easily, is because I found it hard to concentrate when there were distractions. Let’s face it – there are so many when working in a busy TV office! I would also re-read my work over and over again to make sure it made sense and that my punctuation and grammar were right.
Still to this day I struggle and find myself reading over my emails numerous times just making sure I have read them right, but I am fortunate to work with such a supportive team that has put software on my laptop to help.
One thing I have always been passionate about is a full representation on teams and people feeling comfortable disclosing disabilities and getting the support they need. I am very glad to be in my role as Diversity Coordinator and have conversations with candidates who like myself thrive in working in telly but just need that little extra support.
Here’s to #Thrivingnotsurviving #Fullrepresentation #Diversity
Feel free to email Tehona directly with your CV and/or experiences here: email@example.com
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**As a proud champion of diversity and equity in production, Talented People takes positive action to reach and represent marginalised or under-represented groups in the industry – be that race, disability, sexuality, gender, socio-economic background or religion, or indeed any other personal circumstance we can encourage conversation to support to get the best talent into the right jobs without prejudice e.g. jobsharing / flexible working requirement.**