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Life at Deloitte
Who we are: Joe Guintu
Striving for success through injury, travel, and parenthood
Employees with disabilities add to the intricate fabric that makes up America’s workforce. This year Deloitte is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place in October. The purpose of this initiative is to educate and to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. As a part of efforts to spread awareness, we are sharing stories of Deloitte professionals who have or know someone affected by a disability.
October 31, 2018
In 2007, Joe Guintu, senior manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP, went surfing. “Seven hours later I couldn’t walk,” he said.
Joe had started with Deloitte right out of college. He enjoyed travelling, collaborating with his colleagues, and learning from leadership. But now, everything had changed. Joe had suffered a spinal stroke, which paralyzed him permanently. He was hospitalized for months and went through extensive rehab. His colleagues put together a care package and visited him in the hospital. “It meant a lot,” he said. “Everyone was very helpful.”
When Joe returned to work, he just wanted things to get back to normal. “I just wanted to keep doing what I had been doing,” he said. “My partners checked in on me and everyone was incredibly supportive.” He was dedicated to keeping focused on what he wanted and where he wanted to go. Joe travelled every week for a client project, similar to what he had been doing before. But Joe wanted more, so when the opportunity to go on a global assignment to Australia emerged, he seized on it. “I was abroad for two and a half years. It was an incredible experience.” He spoke about his time in Australia at an Inclusion conference to share with others how his injury didn’t limit his options for global mobility within Deloitte.
Joe also credits his success to Deloitte’s culture of empowered well-being. “One of the best things about being with Deloitte and having an injury is the ability to scale up or down with physical therapy,” Joe said. “With the type of work that we do, you can get your work done, but you also have the flexibility to work with your teams to do it in whatever way works for you.”
Joe also appreciated this flexibility when he and his wife started a family. “I was participating in a leadership program and was nervous about how to balance it all,” he says. “But my peers in the program shared how supportive Deloitte was through the process and I found that to be incredibly true. I was able to be there for all the important milestones, while still being able to advance in my career.”
From his injury to global mobility, and now parenthood, Joe has undergone a number of changes and new phases in his life. “Deloitte supported my career growth through all of these phases,” he said. “Our culture of inclusion and empowered well-being has been there every step of the way.”