Neurodiversity in the Workplace
There are 7.6 million people of working age with a disability in the UK. Among these 7.6 million people are neurodiverse individuals who can provide invaluable talent to help you grow your business. The relatively new term of ‘neurodiversity’ can be described as
‘the different ways the brain can work and interpret information.’
It is great to see that many industries are increasingly embracing individuality, with ‘diversity and inclusion’ very much now a corporate buzz phrase. There is an undoubtable necessity to continually improve inclusivity in the workplace and embracing neurodiversity brings a range of benefits, including boosts in productivity, innovation and inclusiveness.
Acas has released new guidance to assist organisations with understanding and better supporting neurodiversity. They estimate that around 1 in 7 people are neurodivergent. Neurodivergence can include, but is not limited to, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. As neurodivergence may include a disability, in certain cases employers may have to consider making reasonable adjustments to remove or minimise any disadvantage which a neurodivergent employee is experiencing. The Disability Confident Scheme is a good resource for more information on how best to recruit, retain, and support disabled people in the workplace.
Shocking figures have recently came to light of only 16 percent of people with autism in full-time employment. One industry which have actively shown an interest in developing a neurodiverse workforce is the tech sector. Many companies within the tech sector have shown an interest in embracing the potential talent pipeline that neurodiversity can offer. Among these companies is DXC Technology, who have developed their Dandelion Program to increase technology employment opportunities for people on the autism spectrum.
Of course, creating a neurodiverse workforce begins with the application and interview process. A process that can seem daunting to a neurodiverse candidate who may find the social interaction stressful or even be put off applying for new roles due to gaps on their CV. This is why it is crucial to not only get on board with embracing a neurodiverse workforce but also proactively attracting the talent. Employers should consider implementing a variety of different recruiting processes that will allow neurodivergent candidates to effectively and confidently partake.
What are your thoughts on neurodiversity in the workplace, is your industry progressive in it's inclusive processes or still got some way to go? Let us know in the comments!