Humans of Qualtrics: Claire
Disability Pride Month is a dedicated time to raise awareness of disabilities, to show our support, and for those in the disabled community to take pride in who we are.
I was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), which is a genetic lifelong illness. For me, it mostly affects my lungs, but CF can bring a multitude of complications, so it’s a very unique experience for every individual with it. I have good days and bad days, but mostly good ones, which I thank my lucky stars for.
When I was 2 years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Talk about the terrible twos! Having both of these disabilities from such a young age has made me into the person I am today. Taking on such a big responsibility at a young age has made me a very independent person, empathetic to others, and lighthearted. I enjoy my life and try to not let my disabilities get in the way of the things I want to do. That being said, I never dreamed I would be living the life that I am today.
Growing up with a hospital as a second home made me believe that some things in life weren’t going to happen for me. But I didn't give up on the idea that they could. I took things one step at a time and didn’t plan too far ahead as my future felt uncertain. I managed to complete my undergraduate degree and went on to complete my Master's degree, which I’m very proud of. My peers, lecturers, and family and friends were so understanding and supportive and really got me through it. After graduating I didn’t think too much about what kind of career I would like because I didn’t believe I would be able to manage a full-time job. But again, I took things one step at a time. I started working part-time and contract jobs, and soon built up my confidence. Before I knew it I was working full-time as a recruitment coordinator, and as they say, the rest is history.
Now, I’m here at Qualtrics managing university recruiting for EMEA. In the past, every time I started a new job I would be afraid of telling them about my disabilities, in case I would be treated differently or worst-case scenario, lose my job. It took me a long time to feel comfortable telling my employer about my illnesses and about the support I might need at times. When I was contacted by Qualtrics, it felt different. I didn't feel that fear. I could see the many Qualtrics Life stories from people in Qualtrics with different life experiences, sharing their stories with pride. I resonated so much with the TACOS values and felt the values being lived out from the moment I joined. Everyone I have met in Qualtrics has been so open, transparent, accepting, and encouraging. I know if I need any support or time off for hospital appointments, my manager and my team are here to help. It’s been a true One Team effort from day one. I am grateful to be where I am, proud of who I am, and excited to see where my journey with Qualtrics will take me.
There are so many wonderful people who are open to sharing their stories, educating others, and raising awareness. I would encourage everyone to consider joining our QGroup, Q&Able, where you can join in on the conversations, hear people's stories, and maybe even share your own. Whether you’re a person with a disability, have a family member or friend with a disability, or are just interested in different perspectives on life, it’s a great community to be a part of.