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Beyond the CV: Understanding the impact of disability on applying for jobs


Tuesday 17th April; 9.00am – 10.30am

Breakfast Seminar

Hosted by Macfarlanes; Central London

Our Breakfast Seminars are designed to bring the topic of disability to life by providing our Recruiters’ Club members with the exclusive opportunity to hear from those who have first-hand experience of disability. This morning we were joined by five undergraduates / recent graduates who talked about their disability, how they manage they challenges they are presented with on a daily basis and their thoughts and concerns regards employment. Between them our speakers shared their experiences of deafness, anxiety and depression, Asperger’s Syndrome, having a heart condition and dyslexia.

As our speakers spoke about how they managed their disability it was overwhelmingly evident that they had developed incredible attributes to do this; attributes such as resilience to come to terms with their situation and other’s judgements of them, flexibility to manage fluctuating conditions, determination to continue with their studies or work when things seem to be going against them to name but a few. Yet despite having these strengths, which employers are crying out for, they still voiced concerns about how their disability would be viewed by employers and what judgements would be made thus reminding employers of how important it is to address these issues in their marketing messages.

Another theme that emerged from our speakers was around their coping mechanisms and support requirements. Employers are often concerned about what support they will need to provide for disabled individuals and how to ensure they are doing the ‘right thing’ however listening to our speakers it was evident that they had huge self-awareness regards their needs and, providing an employer was prepared to listen and act, providing relevant support wasn’t hard. 

Our speakers also reminded us that support isn’t always difficult to implement or expensive to do so. Support can be as simple as enabling someone to sit near the front so they can hear better, different coloured paper to read from or just having the understanding from others about someone’s situation.

This Breakfast Seminar wasn’t intended to make experts of the delegates in the different types of disabilities being spoken about; rather it was aimed to build knowledge and understanding about the topic of disability as a whole in order to enable employers to better engage with this talent pool. Thanks to our remarkable speakers it was also a fantastic reminder of the unique skills and talents that disabled people have and that are an asset to any organisation.


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Adam Dempsey

Adam is a trainee solicitor with Baker McKenzie. Before starting his career in Law, Adam studied Politics at Durham. During his time at university, Adam struggled with bouts of depression, upon which his condition was diagnosed for the first time. On moving to London, he volunteered for two years with a mental health helpline, serving for one year in their executive committee. Adam is involved in a mental health campaigns addressing associated stigmas in workplace environments, and is keen to improve access to mental health services. He believes it important to reduce the stigma around those suffering from mental health-related issues, and is involved with this project for that end. 


Deborah Brako-Amaoafo

Deborah is currently a second-year chemistry student at the university of surrey. At the university of surrey, she works as a student ambassador for the Widening participation and outreach programme, which works with people whose circumstances prevents them from going into higher education for example having a disability. In addition, Deborah also plays rugby, as well as being a member of the University of Surrey Christian union and the chemistry society.

Deborah was diagnosed with high-functioning autism with anxiety problems. Her autism affects every aspect of her life including studying, social life and her personal life. Her autism also affected her work life, especially when applying for one-year placements for the third year of her course. After first year, she designed and patented a device as part of a project that measures the concentration of food allergens when you are going out to eat for those with food allergies. This September she will be working at a chemical company in Worms, Germany called GRACE, in FCC catalysis research. After she graduates, she hopes to further study for a PhD in Chemistry and become a computational chemist.


Jasmine Rahmen

Jasmine is currently studying for her GDL at BPP Law school. Having read Anthropology at Durham University, she went on to secure a role with SABMiller through the Change100 Disability Internship programme. Following this, Jasmine was awarded a British Council & CRCC Asia Disability Scholarship to work in Marketing and Relationships with the British Council in Shanghai. Jasmine has a heart condition and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.


Mark Linnane

Mark Linnane is currently an LPC student at The University of Law, London. He previously spent eight years in the fine art world, working at Sotheby's auction house before pursuing a career in law. After experiencing a number of health conditions in 2016 Mark now has moderate hearing loss in both ears, which necessitate the permanent use of hearing aids. From this he became involved with Diversity Role Models, volunteering to provide a positive disabled LGBT+ presence in schools to tackle homophobic and minority bullying. He also co-founded The University of Law Moorgate's first LGBT+ society to raise awareness and representation for minority groups. 

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Mollie Rolfe

Mollie is currently a final year student at Liverpool John Moores University reading for a BA hons degree in Business Studies as well as being a campus brand manager for Enterprise Rent-a-car in the North West. During high school Mollie was tested for a learning disability however it was just put to visual stress. A few years later Mollie was then retested at Hereford sixth Form college and diagnosed with fairly severe dyslexia as well as being slightly dyspraxia. 

After her 2nd year of studies at LJMU Mollie completed a placement year with Enterprise Rent-a-Car as a management trainee for the West Midlands, where she also undertook a place within the disability committee in the Birmingham group. During her time in the disability committee Mollie wrote a blog on her experiences of being dyslexic and working for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, this blog was shared across social media and Mollie was asked to come and speak about her experience at the British Dyslexia Conference. During Mollie’s time at Enterprise Rent-a-Car she was nominated for the Women of the Future Awards in 2017, she featured in people management magazine for the January/February issue 2018 as well as receiving the highly commended award at the NUE awards for best placement student in February 2018.

Breakfast Seminars are exclusively for members of the Recruiter’s Club. They are ideal for anyone wishing to build their understanding of different types of disabilities and the impact it can have on the individual from study, extra curricular activities and the workplace.

MyPlus Recruiters’ Club Platinum and Gold members are entitled to 2 complimentary places.

If space permits additional places may be available to Platinum and Gold members. Alternatively additional places may be purchased by members at a reduced price of £175 +VAT

Silver members may purchase places at a reduced price of £175 + VAT

Contact to purchase places.