The organisations embracing neurodiversity in the workplace
How do you make your workplace more welcoming to neurodiverse employees, and ensure their talent is nurtured? This is the question asked by BBC journalist Chi Chi Izundu in her interview with David Joseph, Chief Executive of Universal Music UK as part of her article looking into the organisations who actively recruit neurodivergent individuals.
David is talking about diversity in the workplace and how proud he is of the company’s efforts to recognise neurodivergence. Also known as neurodiversity, this refers to people who have dyslexia, dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (typically known as ADHD), are on the autism spectrum, or have other neurological ‘spectrum’ conditions. It is acknowledged neurodiverse conditions have a very wide range of characteristics, but still share common features, for example how people learn and process information. According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), it is estimated that 1 in 7 people in the UK are neuro-divergent but still not often recognised as a different ability or skill in the workplace.
David states: “I need to reinforce that this is interwoven with all the other issues around diversity. It’s not like we’re picking this one over and above all the others.There is an unconscious bias towards hiring people you think you’ll get on with, share similar views, and dare I say it, might not be rebellious or cause dissent. I am a big fan of respectful outliers.”
So much so that he and his team have produced a handbook on how to embrace neurodiversity in the workplace: Creative Differences – A handbook for embracing neurodiversity in the creative industries.
The BBC article goes on to look at how other organisations also invest time and effort in recruiting neurodivergent individuals (having recognised the benefits), such as insurance company Direct Line, recruitment agency Exceptional Individuals and the intelligence agency GCHQ, which has been actively recruiting neurodivergent people for more than 20 years: “GCHQ is a ‘Disability Confident’ Level 3 employer committed to supporting all our staff with disabilities, including those with neurodiverse conditions. We are actively ensuring our recruitment campaigns are accessible and that there are no barriers to the recruitment and continued professional development of neurodiverse staff.“. GCHQ recognises there is a distinct advantage in being able to focus and spot patterns, links and trends:
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