Our Team

At the heart of EmployAbility is our dedicated and experienced team, who are able to offer expert advice to employers, careers services, students, graduates and employees.

Tab Ahmad

Tab Ahmad

Founder & CEO

My vision is a workplace that is genuinely inclusive at every stage of the career journey. Everyone must be able to realise their career ambition based on merit alone, without neurodiversity or disability hindering that. I remain unapologetic in my determination to fight for radical change – to make inclusivity a reality within a generation. My personal experiences of the challenges surrounding mental health, autism and sensory impairment, both in education and the workplace, are my driving force.

Having spent the last 18 years of her career specialising in disability and employment, Tab is an unapologetic and passionate advocate of disability, equality and inclusion. Tab has been the winner of the prestigious Asian Women of Achievement Award in recognition of her work, and has led EmployAbility to win many other diversity awards. In 2020, she won the Genius of the Year Award for her innovation in supporting neurodiverse students. EmployAbility was the 2019 People’s Choice Disability Smart Award winner. Tab was on the DWP’s sounding board for the government’s Disability Confident campaign, and has also appeared on and been interviewed for BBC2’s Daily Politics, Working Lunch, BBC radio, and on BBC2’s Employable Me Series.

Prior to founding EmployAbility, Tab set up a search firm specialising in financial services and investment banking. She has more than twenty-five years experience in recruitment and selection. She previously trained as a chartered accountant, and has a degree in Economics and Accounting.

Sarah Denness

Sarah Denness

Director of Programmes & Operations

The landscape for disabled and neurodiverse candidates has changed a lot in the fifteen years since I began working in this sector. Disability is talked about so much more, and many firms have separate employee support groups; but there is still a lot of work to do. There is often an assumption that people with the same disability require the same adjustments, candidates are rejected because employers incorrectly assume that a particular condition means they won’t be able to do part of the job, and then there is the stress and uncertainty involved in having to ask a potential employer for adjustments on top of managing tests and interviews. As such, neurodiverse and disabled students and graduates still face more difficulties than their non-disabled peers; we are not yet in a position where they are equally accessing the job market.

It is a privilege to be able to advise and advocate for these young people, and a wonderful feeling each time one of them is offered their dream role in a company they never imagined they could work for.

Sarah has a degree in European Studies and French. Before setting up EmployAbility with Tab in October 2006, she worked in recruitment for the charity sector, specialising in supporting the long-term unemployed and disabled people into work.

Cindy McAlister

Cindy McAlister

Director of Compliance & Communications

As the mother of a neurodiverse child, I know first-hand what it means to face the ignorance and wrong assumptions that disable extraordinary potential. Every day, I strive to enhance the chances of other young people to overcome the same unjustified hurdles.

Having practised law for most of my working life, I have a particular interest in raising awareness of disability rights, ensuring that the legislative protections mirror real-life experiences. There are some amazing, forward-thinking employers out there, blazing a trail for the cause of disability. But many employers have difficulty with the social model of disability, and the role of adjustments in removing barriers. Education in this area must be broadened and deepened on a massive scale. Ultimately, it is a numbers game.

Being part of the EmployAbility team means being part of an organisation which is determined to realise a vision of justice and inclusivity. By helping individuals, whilst also pushing to shift the bigger picture through education and advocacy, we work to address injustices from the top down and bottom up.

Cindy graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, before qualifying as a solicitor with Herbert Smith. She then worked for Interpol, and Baker & McKenzie in Geneva, before founding her own legal practice in Switzerland. She joined EmployAbility in 2019. 

Emma Curtis

Emma Curtis

Senior Manager: Programmes & Student Support

One of the greatest hurdles for disabled and neurodiverse candidates is their anticipation of being rejected when they signal that they have specific needs. They often feel that they are an inconvenience.

Having successfully advocated on behalf of my own children with their unique requirements, I am privileged to be able to continue to do this on behalf of other deserving students. It is about forging a path for every individual, and ensuring that candidates are assessed on their abilities, rather than dismissed for their ‘disabilities’. It is this equality of opportunity that I strive to facilitate. EmployAbility takes over where a parent leaves off – advocating on behalf of the young adult, giving them individual support.

The more disabled people we can assist to access successful careers, the more likely it is that inherent prejudice will disappear to a meaningful extent.

Emma has a degree in mathematics from the University of Manchester, and has worked in equity derivatives, risk management and financial recruitment. In the disability sector, she is an ambassador for Auditory Verbal UK, and established the London Therapy Centre, to broaden outreach to the families of deaf children. She joined EmployAbility in 2019.