Tucker is a big believer in advocating for yourself. After losing his vision at 17 years old to a rare condition called LHON, he realized how powerful it can be to speak up. “I like to be an open book and out there with my disability, and I’m also conscious that if we don’t talk about the experiences of those living with disabilities then it’s hard to really move the needle,” he explains.
As a workplace colleague experience lead at bp, Tucker can advocate for others, too.
A big part of his role today is focused on arrangements for the return to office, making sure employees feel safe and comfortable as many emerge from the past 18 months of home working. But Tucker also works closely with the workplace services team to help build more inclusive environments. This means making sure bp offices are accessible for people with disabilities.
“I’m the boots on the ground in the Americas, helping check that locations are fit for purpose for all employees, including people with disabilities as well as members of the LGBTQ community. For example, at the moment we are implementing gender neutral bathrooms in our Chicago office to help make people feel truly comfortable,” he explains.
Tucker is also a member of bp’s Accessibility business resource group (BRG), where volunteers work to break down the barriers related to visible and invisible disabilities, long-term illnesses and injuries.
“Whether you’re the parent of a neurodiverse child or someone with caring responsibilities for a person with a disability, everyone has a different story and a reason why they’re at the table,” Tucker says.
Initiatives coming out of the BRGs are already making a difference for prospective candidates bp is looking to hire. For example, bp ran a piloted programme focused on hiring neurodiverse talent that involved sharing interview questions with neurodiverse candidates in advance of their interviews. This was a concerted effort to bring neurodiverse thinking into the business by making candidates feel more at ease.
“We’re not looking for special treatment. Instead, it’s about setting a level playing field for everyone in the room,” Tucker explains.
To get there, Tucker feels passionately about the need for open dialogue. He acknowledges that lots of companies are committed to the same end goal but feels bp stands apart from the rest because of our commitment to enhancing the wellbeing of its employees.
In Tucker’s case, bp offered support by providing the adaptions that he needs to work effectively. Tucker uses Apple products because of their voiceover capabilities and always wears headphones that read text back to him.
“Before I even joined the company I had a call with the IT team to figure out what kinds of accommodations I would need. On my first day of work, I was handed a MacBook and we were ready to go,” Tucker recalls.
Three years into life at bp, Tucker still remembers his first meeting with bp CEO Bernard Looney: “Bernard made a very bold statement and it blew my mind. He said: ‘if you’re not inclusive then you shouldn’t work at bp’.”
For Tucker, these attitudes are why bp feels like such a powerful place for a person with a disability:
bp supports WeThe15 – the global movement for disability inclusion, as we strive to provide an accessible work environment for everyone
Our aim 14 is greater diversity, equity and inclusion for our workforce and customers, and to increase supplier diversity spend to $1 billion
Our aim 15 is to enhance the health and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and local communities