Disability advocate Isabelle Cabos supports EIB's reverse mentoring

 July 13, 2023

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EIB Group, Policy Officer (SG), Isabelle Cabos, and Deputy General Counsel (JU), José María (Pepe) Fernández Martín, participated in the EIB’s reverse mentoring program on disability, as mentor and mentee.

Isabelle shares her experience as to why she chose to participate; what concerns she had prior to her involvement, and why it's important to serve as advocates and allies for disability and neurodiversity inclusion.

Disability can sometime be invisible to some

"The reverse mentoring for me was an experience to actually understand what is it that people need to learn and what is it that can be useful to transform and to ensure that there is change management at the bank," explains Isabelle. 

Looking at why she decided to join the reverse mentoring program, Isabelle who has a disability, shares: "I was trying to apply an awful lot of personal solutions, and to act as if everything was normal - which I was pretty good at. It worked well for a certain time, until I hit a wall. I've understood that it actually didn't help me, and I wanted to make sure that others were not hitting that situation, and so I wanted to create a change. A disability, because it's invisible, won't mean it doesn't exist."

Tiny changes can make a huge difference 

Discussing what she learned from the program, Isabelle highlights that small changes can make a big impact. "I understood how easy it can be to share, and how much of a difference it can make to actually demonstrate adaptations at the Bank are not always something big. They can be very tiny little changes that can make a huge difference, but if changes don't exist then this can make us inefficient."

Providing her recommendations to others, Isabelle says: "Often there is a form of stigma and I could hear that colleagues were a bit afraid to share their feelings. So I think it's important to start to have honest conversations about all traits of disabilities coming with compensations."

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