Transcripts of ChrisWhyteFinalLowRes

(music) (music) Chris Whyte: I was in a major accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury and a life long disability. One day I was a hundred percent healthy and I had no challenges and the next day I was in a hospital and I couldn't move below my waist. You know when you're dealing with that challenge your thinking about life and are you going to return to your job, are you going to be capable of performing your job, and the Goddard community was tremendously supportive, not only just the standard programs that we have but just the people that we have are really incredible. My name is Chris Whyte; I'm a Source Evaluation Board Manager and Procurement at Goddard. (music) I actively participate in D&I and EEO because I think it gives me the best opportunity to work with others here at Goddard. Almost everything I do is in a team environment and I just don't think we can be as effective as a team if we don't appreciate our difference, if we don't try to continually educate our self on those issues and ultimately if we do I think it yields the best product. (music) (music) None of us work to my knowledge as individuals doing our job without working with each other, so I think the better we appreciate each other, we understand our differences we maximize our ability to work together you know the better we can accomplish these tough challenges we have. (music) We have quarterly meetings where we actually discuss D&I related topics with each other and educate ourselves on different topics. In addition to that we contribute as individuals; topics throughout the year that you know we think would be helpful to discuss. So I've been both participate, listening to those discussions as well as a person that contributes to them when I see something. On the EEO side recently a coworker encouraged me to start participating in the Equal Accessibility Advisory Committee and I've been participating in those meetings and learning a lot from different people with different disabilities and I've also been fortunate enough to been asked to speak at our October meeting for the, I believe it's National Disability Employee Awareness month, and I'm going to tell my story about my recovery from spinal cord injury and my challenges that I've experienced from that. (music) (music) So I'm always educating myself and trying to learn more about others. And then on the contribution side I've gotten far enough in the organization that sometimes I can see that others may need some support and help in their efforts to work more effectively. So I try to informally provide some mentoring tips when I see that opportunity and more recently tried to participate in committees related to these topics. (music) I was in the hospital for months and eventually took advantage of telework. I have a business job so fortunately my physical limitations didn't effect my ability to, to contribute so I had telework, flexible work programs, as I kind of continued to recover and started to come back to work more full time. (music) (music) The one message I'd want to share about D&I and EEO is that it's important; it's a big deal. We will not work together effectively, maximize our relationships with each other or accomplish our jobs and our mission as effectively as we can if we don't value our differences and continuously try to appreciate each other. (music) (music) (music) (music)