Sally Smith, Head of Global Portfolio Marketing at Vodafone Business, refers to herself as a boomerang. Having first worked at Vodafone back in 2011, she re-joined the company in 2019.
“We’re lucky at Vodafone, because it offers great flexibility,” Sally said about her return to Vodafone. “Not required to be in the office every day means that if I'm having a painful day, need to pop out for treatment or just need a day without the (prosthetic) leg, I am empowered to do so.”
When Sally turned three, a nasty accident with a lawnmower left her right foot permanently injured. Since then, she has adapted to a life of regular hospital appointments, operations and amputations, including very painful major limb reconstruction at the age of 22 where she had to stretch her limb by six centimetres.
“The most horrendous two and a half years of my life,” she recalls.
Having had a tough time at school, her earlier years have only heightened her resilience and her determination to never apologise for her disability. Although she admits she may have pushed it by playing county hockey and being captain of the tennis club.
“I think I'm probably going to need another batch of revision surgery if I'm really honest, because I'm waiting to see the consultant as my bone has started growing in a weird direction,” Sally explains and tells us that this is where Vodafone’s hybrid working policy really supports her.
At Vodafone, employees are offered a 60-40 hybrid working model which allows employees to split their time between remote and office working. Employees can also benefit from 100% remote working for 4 weeks a year within the UK or overseas.
“My disability doesn't affect my day to day, but I appreciate the additional support,” says Sally. “If I have to log off to attend an appointment, it's never been an issue and I can imagine that might be very different at some companies.”
She adds, “I'm always really open in interviews that I am disabled because I don't see it as something I should hide.”