Maribel, Cristina and Teeramate are brilliant at their jobs and share a burning passion for their work. What isn’t as obvious is that they also share mobility challenges.
Maribel was a keen runner before a serious car crash almost ended her life. It took nine months to learn to walk again. Around 300 painful rehabilitation sessions later, Maribel’s determination shines through: “My physical limitation isn’t a barrier to achieving my goals. I give my best in this second chance at life.”
Cristina has difficulty walking, but she felt unable to tell people that things like dashing between floors or buildings to attend meetings were making her physically and mentally exhausted. All that changed with the pandemic, when AkzoNobel introduced home working arrangements and she felt able to be more open about her needs. “Someone with a disability will be their own hero without realizing, because we always push our limits,” she explains.
Teeramate lost his right arm and both legs due to severe burns he sustained in an accident seven years before he joined AkzoNobel. But wearing prosthetic legs didn’t deter him from travelling by fishing boat to a remote island to take part in his site’s local coral reef planting program. “It wasn’t easy, but my team never lets me give up!”
Creating a more diverse workforce that reflects the society in which AkzoNobel operates requires us to find a way to talk constructively and openly about disability. Join the conversation and let's work towards more inclusive workplaces in which everyone can thrive.