I recently started a new position as a Program Manager with Prudential Pathways Prudential Advisors Onsite Program (PAO) – a series of financial wellness education on-site seminars — and it’s been incredibly rewarding. My primary role is to aid the PAO program in different locations. I assist with scheduling, as well as marketing and managing the Prudential Pathway series and seminars offered to Prudential employees.
With my disability, sometimes, I feel like a rock star, confident and well spoken. Other times, I am riddled by self-doubt and anxiety. At my worst, depression can set in and I disconnect. My PTSD was diagnosed late in life. I joined the US Army after my father passed away. My plan was to make the military a career, but after experiencing military sexual trauma, I made the decision to end my Active status after four years and become an Army reservist. While I sought assistance from the VA, I didn’t feel that they had the proper tools to help me. I eventually received help in other avenues and controlled my anxiety and depression with several medications. Then, while in a previous role here at Prudential, I my trauma was triggered at work. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with PTSD. Afterwards, I totally felt like I had a “black cloud” over me. Without feeling I had the opportunity to explain my diagnosis, and how sometimes my interactions might seem off, work relationships became difficult.
It’s difficult to hide your feelings at times but knowing that I’m entering a positive work environment is a breath of fresh air. Lucy Del Gaudio Program Manager, PAO Prudential Pathways, Prudential Financial
I sought the assistance of Prudential Health and Wellness, and I was able to overcome and make my work life much better. I know that they are available for me. I meet with my therapist on-site when she’s available and when something is triggered. The mediation hotline is a blessing and the serenity rooms – which provide a place to rest, recoup or meditate in quiet — are wonderful. Since April 2017, I have found a holistic, prescription free approach to manage my condition and I feel 100% supported by Prudential. I know firsthand that the right type and level of support, gives employees like me what we need to be more engaged and productive – both in and outside of the office.
Around the time I sought help from Health and Wellness, I began volunteering with the Women Veteran Subcommittee of the New Jersey SOSVETS Stakeholder Group. Over last 18 months, we’ve worked to create a day of recognition for Women Veterans in New Jersey. On June 12, 2019, New Jersey state officials, military service members, veterans, Prudential employees and the press gathered at our Prudential office to watch Acting Governor Sheila Oliver sign New Jersey Joint Resolution No. 114 into law, establishing the day as Women Veterans Appreciation Day. Just one week later, a bipartisan resolution was passed in Washington, DC designating the date as a National Day of Recognition.
Since changing roles, my coworkers have fostered a truly wonderful work environment that is kind and compassionate. Coming out of my last experience, I have been very open with the Prudential Pathways team about my disability. I feel welcomed and empowered. I am able come to work at Prudential as my full, authentic self, which is so important for me. It’s difficult to hide your feelings at times but knowing that I’m entering a positive work environment is a breath of fresh air.