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Event Report authored by Dan Harris, CEO, Neurodiversity in Business

What is Neurodiversity?

This question is packed with points to be discussed but the simple answer is that Neurodiversity composes of a spectrum of types of people who express themselves in different ways which include (but are not limited to):

  • Autism
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

Neurodiverity in Business (NiB):

“Nib’s goal is to improve the working lives of neurodivergent individuals, by helping to unlock the unique and innovative contribution they can bring to the business world and society”.​​

We focus on the following objectives:

  • Educate
  • Demonstrate
  • Celebrate
  • Empower

Launched in 2022 by the founder and CEO Dan Harris, NiB has supported over supported over 600 of the world’s leading organisations to develop, improve and share practices and initiatives to support neuroinclusion in the workplace. The charity was set up by our founder and a small group of volunteers, who were passionate about changing their own businesses to become more neuroinclusive. This rapidly grew into a significant uptake across the corporate world, given there was such high demand to share best practice and support society generally move forward.

Some notable corporate partnerships with NiB include companies such as Google, Amazon, Disney, Sky, KPMG, Amazon, Unilever, Open University, IBM, AstraZeneca, Rolls Royce and many more.

Why do we advocate for Neurodiversity in Business?

It’s simple really, all humans have strengths and they all deserve a chance to prove themselves in the world, so why not start in the workplace?

Some strengths in those who are neurodivergent are that they are detail-oriented and work well when in a routine. They solve problems in innovative and creative ways and can concentrate on a particular task that may be technical or design-oriented for a long period of time. All these skills and more, make those who are neurodivergent ideal for working in business.

This is why we have the following objectives:

Create a best-practice business community to share indiscernible insight for:

  • Neurodivergents – Empowerment, recognition, help and guidance to navigate a successful, happy and independent career path
  • Employers – Create awareness as to the benefits and strengths of neurodiversity in the workplace
  • Neurotypicals – To have a better understanding and awareness of their neurodivergent colleagues.

The Neurodiversity in Business Study:

First global, quantitative study of neurodiversity in the workplace.

We partnered with the Centre for Neurodiversity at Work at Birkbeck University of London to conduct research providing the first global, qualitative study of neurodiversity in the workplace.

This research provides meaningful insights into:​

  • The Challenges corporations and businesses face when considering neurodiversity as part of their DE&I strategy
  • The challenges neurodivergent people face in accessing employment and/or navigating their careers

The results will help inform and strengthen: ​

  • Neuroincluisve recruitment, support, and retention strategies
  • The development of resources and guidance on neuroinclusion best practices
  • Future research priorities

Strategic partnerships to support study dissemination and engagement:​

  • British Chambers of Commerce​
  • Institute of Directors ​
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel Development ​
  • Confederation of Business Industry

Key Findings:

  • There’s an untapped need and opportunity to embed neurodiversity into DEI policies.
    • 92% of employers surveyed have a DEI policy, only 22% said it includes a focus on neurodiversity. ​
  • Neurodiversity-friendly career pathways are critical for retaining talent. 
    • Career progression is critical for retaining neurodivergent staff, but typical corporate career paths may impose a ‘neurodivergent glass ceiling’ because they are designed for generalists rather than specialists.​
  • Fear of stigma and discrimination is still widespread. 
    • 65% of neurodivergent employees are concerned about disclosing due to fear of discrimination from their manager.​
  • Self-disclosure drives access to adjustments.
    • The main data collection method by employers was self-disclosure (78.7%) and by disclosing employees gained access to reasonable adjustments. Largest barrier to accessing adjustments was a lack of disclosure (69.3%).​
  • Intention to leave is high for neurodivergent individuals. 
    • 42% of neurodivergent employees are likely, or very likely, to leave your organisation.​
  • Your neurodivergent employees have strengths that are key to innovation. 
    • More than 70% of them surveyed in this study consider hyperfocus, creativity, innovative thinking, and detail processing to be among their strengths

 

Portions of the material in this article were prepared by Tristan Lavender. 

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