‘Equity Now’ Speaker to Address Prevalent Employee Secret: The Invisible Disability

“Every person should have the opportunity to thrive without masking any part of their identity.’’

Masked young woman expressing different emotions


More than one billion people worldwide live with a disability, and yet a vast majority of those with ‘invisible’ disabilities try not to disclose them at work for fear of stigma and discrimination.

Lawrence Deju-Wiseman, Executive Director & Global Head of Strategic Initiatives at Morgan Stanley in London and an employee with an ‘invisible disability,’ will be the guest speaker at the final Equity Now Speaker Series event at 5 p.m. April 15.

The program will be live-streamed and registration is now available. The event is open to students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as anyone interested in the topic.

In his talk “Thriving with an Invisible Disability in Finance and Business,’’ Deju-Wiseman will discuss his personal story about living with an invisible disability and explain how people with disabilities can thrive in their job search, career progression, and leadership.

He will also examine the legal and ethical imperatives for organizations to support their employees with disabilities and demonstrate how new technologies and practices are transforming how companies think about people with disabilities in the workforce. Deju-Wiseman will also address how law and corporate policy can promote diversity, equity, and fairness not only in business, but in society as a whole.

Some 88 percent of people with invisible disabilities choose not to disclose them at work.

“It comes as no surprise that those who are already vulnerable may feel uncertainty about speaking openly in their workplace,’’ he said. “Every person should have the opportunity to thrive without masking any part of their identity.’’

“There are many organizations with cultures that welcome and support every member of their professional community and there is an unrelenting global momentum driving more firms this way,’’ Deju-Wiseman said. “Many firms now realize in the global search for talent they cannot afford to ignore or disadvantage the enormous pools of talent.’’

Student Anna Conroy, a UConn senior majoring in analytics and information management and a person with an invisible disability, will interview Deju-Wiseman during the presentation. Conroy is passionate about workplace equity and the transformative power of embracing difference voices and perspectives.

“The most important thing for people to take away from this talk is to understand the importance of being a ‘safe space’ for people to talk about their experience,’’ Conroy said. “Discussing and confiding in those close to you when you are struggling with a disability is medicine in itself.’’

This is the final presentation of the Equity Now Speaker Series for this academic year. The series is produced by the School of Business in coordination with the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, Virginia Tech, Indiana University, Boston University and Temple University. For additional information, please contact business law professor Robert Bird, the Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics, at Robert.Bird@UConn.edu.