Jill's Story

Jill Clark has lived on Guernsey for 18 years and currently works for Specsavers Optical Group, as Director of Retail Communications & Customer Service, managing a team of 15 people.jill

In 1997, when she has been with Specsavers for less than a year, Jill was involved in a motorboat accident just off Guernsey and suffered severe facial trauma. Over a period of 15 years Jill underwent 12 operations to repair the damage to her skull and eyes.

Jill said: “When I first had the accident my appearance was significantly altered for at least five years but Specsavers were fantastic and very supportive, they are a great company to work for.”

And whilst Jill has been through a difficult journey following her accident she does not feel her visible difference has ever caused her problems in the workplace, although she found at times that when visiting stories, members of the public did sometimes stare out of curiosity.

She said: “In many respects it has made me much more driven and determined and I was not going to let anything stop me. I think before the accident I was plodding along but this helped me to focus.”

At 42, Jill has already met a key career ambition, sitting on the UK operational board of Specsavers and she has plenty to keep her busy, juggling work and family life with her husband and three children.

She said: “Specsavers is a great company and as an employee I could not have asked for anything more from them.”

Jill’s advice for people with a facial disfigurement, who are struggling to get on the career ladder or to advance as quickly as they like, is to be determined.

Her advice: “I would say that people need to persevere and that if you have the confidence that you can do the job it rubs off and what you look like will stop being relevant.”