Posted: 06 Oct. 2020 5 min. read

I will never stop making spelling mistakes… but that’s okay

This is me
I am an Assistant Director in the Planning & Development team in Deloitte Real Estate. I have been at the firm for just over five years and I really enjoy the job, the projects and the people. I have worked on some exciting projects which really excites me when these building projects come to life.  

Reassuringly, Deloitte believes that Neurodiversity, the idea that people experience the world differently based on their neurological attributes, should not be a barrier to a successful and rewarding career.

I have only recently understood what ‘Neurodiversity’ means and being dyslexic, I am keen to share my experiences. I was diagnosed when I was in junior school and I have struggled particularly with spelling and pronunciation ever since. I am open about my disability although most people are not aware that I am ‘different’. Deloitte’s managing partner for people and purpose, Dimple Agarwal, inspired me last week to write this blog after watching her National Inclusion Week video about celebrating everyday inclusion in all its forms.

Diffability
Dimple reminded me that at Deloitte we are committed to providing an environment of respect and belonging for all, where everyone is able to be their true selves and feel they have an opportunity to grow. Our culture and working practices are inclusive for people with a disability, long-term health condition or neurodiverse condition. Importantly for me, the firm also wants to remove the associated stigma which is why we use the term 'diffability' (a different ability).

I have never written a blog and I took inspiration to write this after seeing the MP Peter Kyle being ‘trolled’ online for making spelling mistakes on twitter last year. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50206103). I am sure most of us have made spelling mistakes, so I find this particularly unpleasant.

Owning spelling mistakes
I confess that I regularly make spelling mistakes and this does frustrate me considerably. For those of you who don’t have dyslexia, the best way to describe what I have is that when I am writing or reading text I literally miss words out but subconsciously I put that word in, so that in my head it makes sense but on paper it simply doesn’t.

You might be surprised that according to the British Dyslexia Association the number of individuals in the UK with dyslexia is around 10% (7.3 million people), so it is very likely that you know someone personally who has the condition. The Equality Act 2010 identifies dyslexia as being a disability as both adults and children suffering from this struggle to fulfill their potential. I have never used my disability to hold me back in both my work and personal life. Anything is possible if you have a positive mind set. It is inspirational to know that Richard BransonWalt Disney and Jamie Oliver have all suffered with dyslexia and they have all been successful.

Throughout my career my spelling and report writing has become increasingly better. While everyone has their own way of dealing with dyslexia, I find the following helpful:

  • I draft or half draft emails and then go away and come back to them after doing something else. This really helps me as when I re-visit the email after clearing my head I often find spelling mistakes and this ensures that emails go out with minimal typos.
  • I find reviewing work on the screen quite challenging so, I always print off work so that I can move away from my desk and fully concentrate on reviewing the hardcopy without any distractions. The new office layout was really helpful with providing multiple different spaces away from my desk, but since being at home I read documents away from my work desk.
  • Asking colleagues or using Google how to spell a word can be a quick way of resolving a seemingly impossible word spelling. I find Google surprisingly helpful at predicting the right spelling of different words.

Deloitte Programmes
Deloitte is expanding its recruitment approach by recruiting more people with neurological differences. It is encouraging that Deloitte is becoming a more inclusive and diverse employer. Within Deloitte, the ‘Workability’ network is open to anyone in the firm impacted in any way by a physical disability, chronic ill health, a neuro-diverse condition or mental health conditions. The network has provided me with a like-minded group of colleagues I may not have met otherwise. Together we share our thoughts and feelings and help each other with the aim to engage those who have personal experiences of these issues or an interest in them.

Conclusion
I have never let my condition hold me back. A testament to my hard work and passion are my two promotions since joining the firm. I will never stop making spelling mistakes but through my various mitigation processes, I am ensuring I cut down to ensure I produce high quality work.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like any help or support.

Key contact

Timothy Cakebread

Timothy Cakebread

Assistant Director

Tim is a planner in the real estate team focusing on public and private sector projects across London and the South East. Tim is highly experienced in providing commercially astute real estate advice on the use and development of land and property. A career highlight for Tim was his secondment to a Central Governmental Department, helping to deliver infrastructure funding for major housing proposals.