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Passionate about being a facilitator to the creation of a community that welcomes people with disabilities into its mix

Meet Joshua Melinecs Valayapathy, a Sign Language Interpreter at GBS India. 

How did you begin your career in this field? 

I first became interested in sign language when I had the opportunity to interact with the Deaf community during my second year of college. I realised that sign language is a complete language with its own grammar and syntax that can convey all types of information, from the most basic to the most complex. The two years I spent getting to know the people and learning the language from them were the greatest gift I could have ever received since they enabled me to advance professionally by training as a sign language interpreter.

What drew you to a career with Standard Chartered? 

My first employment gave me the chance to visit Standard Chartered Global Business Services (GBS) in 2018 as a vendor to train the GBS staff who are Deaf. Due to the infrastructure and inclusivity of Standard Chartered, I had a small but persistent dream of working there. Back then, I had a dream about that, but I never imagined it would come true. Even now, it still takes some convincing for me to accept that my dream has come true. 

What do you enjoy about working at Standard Chartered? 

I consider myself fortunate and am appreciative because I'm not sure how many people will have the chance to do the thing they love while getting paid to do it. Additionally, being given the chance to work for a company that values diversity & inclusivity—specifically, Standard Chartered GBS—was a great advantage. They were always ahead of time when it comes to inclusivity. I am the only Sign Language Interpreter in GBS, and I am grateful to work with the leadership team and empowered to share my initiatives and thoughts and supported by them to make them to reality. 

What advice would you give someone who is looking to work at Standard Chartered? 

I would advise them that their time spent working for Standard Chartered would undoubtedly rank among their best experiences because the company, from the management team to the processing staff, are committed to upholding the mission and core principles. Here, we adhere to guidelines because it is the right thing to do.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced when working? 

The challenges I face at work are outside of my control. Persuading individuals to be more inclusive see things the way I do is sometimes challenging. Inclusion is a process, not something we can achieve fast. These are thus challenges rather than barriers. 

How have you built flexibility into your every day? 

The foundation of my flexibility-building is my team. My working style centres on teamwork and mutual support. I am part of the Retail team and work alongside of Training team. We are a diverse team and support one another. This enables me to do my assignment the way I had hoped. We should concentrate on work-life satisfaction, as my boss always recommends. As a result, we might feel good about how we operate and like we fulfilled our promises. 

Do you have any hobbies outside of work? 

I adore creating short poems and epigrams. I write whenever I'm feeling down or inspired. When I write, I feel a sense of joy, and I believe this is because I have built something out of nothing, and it makes me feel even happier when other people can relate to what I have written. 

Tell us about your role and the projects that you have been working on. 

My primary responsibility would be to interpret for our Deaf colleagues during one-on-one meetings, process trainings, town halls, and events. Additionally, I ensure that our employees are involved in all aspects of their employment with Standard Chartered, including learning and development opportunities and initiatives like Knowledge Fest to keep them interested. I support the programmes that are organised and planned as a member of the People With Disabilities ERG committee and other local department committees. I am working on building on the career progression and identifying the process where we can employ them. 

What is your most notable achievement since starting your role with Standard Chartered? 

Apart from receiving SPOT awards, I am grateful to receive a Technology and Transformations consolation award last year in the Diversity and Inclusion category. Also, with the assistance of PWD ERG and Deaf co-workers, I had the chance to train and sensitise our GBS colleagues on Indian Sign Language across Chennai and Bengaluru in 2022. 

As employers, we believe in the principle of equity and we encourage the inclusion of facilitators like Joshua who have the skills and the drive to sensitise the larger collective on how to be more inclusive and more empathetic towards people with disabilities, who add tremendous value to the business and the culture of the organisation.