“Increasing Access and Opportunity” is this year’s theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). To better support people in our global enterprise who identify as disabled, Labcorp, the parent company of Covance, is forming a new employee resource group (ERG) and spending time to learn more about employees’ needs to further an inclusive, accessible and welcoming environment for all.
Meet Alice, Senior Billing EDI Analyst
Alice loves books and really enjoyed her role of managing a bookstore, but once the store became part of a national chain, she decided to apply her talents to a different business. She joined LabCorp in 1999, supporting the revenue cycle management department and working her way up to become a supervisor and start a training program for employees in her earlier role. She then moved into an analyst position and found her niche.
“I’ve really thrived here. I have the position of senior billing EDI [Electronic Data Interchange] analyst, but I’m not sure if I’m called ‘senior’ because of my age or just because I’ve been here long enough,” she laughed.
As someone who uses a walker for support, Alice also found that people naturally approached her to share their own experiences with disabilities.
“When you see me, it’s very obvious that I have medical issues,” she said. “I also went through chemo at one point, lost all my hair and decided I was not up for wearing a wig. People would stop me at the elevator or during my lunchtime walks to talk to me about what they had been through. I think they felt there was a bond and were comfortable talking with me about their own issues.”
Alice shared that she been through a lot in the last 10 years and doesn’t shy away from discussing the range of emotions that she faces in her situation. But she has also realized that listening to other people share their own issues has been powerful.
“It doesn’t matter how bad a situation is for someone else – what you’re going through is bad enough, so I let people talk and just listen,” she explained. “I’ve become more comfortable with serving as a confidante.”
Based on her experience serving as an open ear to her co-workers, Alice is excited that Labcorp is starting a new ERG for employees who identify as disabled.
“People might have a condition that isn’t visible, or people might make comments about someone. I think this new ERG will help people become more aware and think, “There might be something else going on with that person that I don’t know about.’”
Alice also recognizes the importance of employment for people who identify as disabled and continue to play a significant role in today’s workforce.
“I can do my job with my eyes closed,” laughed Alice. “I don’t need to be able to walk to do my work. I know I’m good at what I do. Being employed is also really great for my mental health. Like anyone who is dealing with a disability, a lot has been taken from me. When I can still work and give back, it makes a big difference.”