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Navigating the workplace with a physical disability



Daisy is a results-focused, energetic and driven project and operations leader offering eight years’ combined experience in leadership, project and resource management and change management positions within the IT and Finance industries. Consistently delivering the highest levels of service to the businesses, vendors and stakeholders she works with, Daisy steadily helps businesses achieve their goals, ensuring seamless project delivery that meets deliverables. A combination of excellent interpersonal & communication skills, a passion for working with people, and the ability to recruit, develop and lead high performing teams have been instrumental in Daisy's successful career growth.

Tell us about your background

My name is Daisy Wong and I work at Flybuys as their Security Culture and Awareness Lead. My parents are from Hong Kong, however I was born and raised in Melbourne, a true Australian Born Chinese (ABC) as we like to call it. I have a physical disability caused by spine bifida, which has resulted me in having to walk with crutches and drive with hand controls. This also means that walking long distances and climbing stairs can be difficult, but other than that I find myself to be self-sufficient.

Have you experienced any obstacles you feel were a direct result of your physical disability?

There have been many obstacles that I’ve experienced due to having a physical disability. For instance, when I was younger in both primary and high school, I would be excluded from certain outdoor excursions where I experienced bullying by other students. Moving into adulthood, I have continued to have similar experiences of unconscious bias from managers and colleagues, who do not believe I’m capable of participating in certain work events (such as conferences) due to my disability.

What advice would you give to hiring managers looking to improve their DEI development, actions and progression?

I believe the best advice is to ask potential candidates what their needs are and how best to assist, without making any assumptions. For example, unlike some other people I do not require a wheelchair, so the type of support I need will be unique and different to them. Whilst I have the ability to walk up a couple of steps, I do still need a seat instead of an empty space to put a wheelchair. It’s much more beneficial when people ask if they can help so I can share how they can best support me, instead of feeling embarrassed to ask. It would also be great to see more workplaces widely share their DEI policy and programs.

Are there any instances where positive DEI development and progression has particularly stood out to you in a workplace environment?

Having recently started at Flybuys, they have been particularly helpful by giving me the flexibility to start my new job remotely. All the equipment was couriered to me a couple of days before my start date and my team were also made aware of my disability, which alleviated any pressures for me to explain this in my introductions. Having this in place took that mental load away from me, helping me to feel very supported and empowered with Flybuys and their ‘Flexiwork’ policy - without feeling like I am getting special treatment because of my disability.

Which organisations / charities would you recommend in terms of DEI resources and education?

I volunteer with the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN) as their Sponsorship Manager. They have been an amazing source of support, as it can be quite challenging working as female with a physical disability in a male dominated industry. AWSN has provided me with the same opportunities and supported me in participating in all their events, both virtually and physically. I would highly recommend females in the security industry to join.