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Neurodiversity at Work

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Neurodiversity at Work

Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity with a Neurodiverse Workforce

Kogan Page,

15 min read
6 hours saved
7 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Build a neurodiverse workforce to benefit your firm’s performance – and society.


Editorial Rating

8

Qualities

  • Comprehensive
  • Eye Opening
  • Inspiring

Recommendation

Firms that recruit, accommodate and include neurodiverse workers reap the advantages of divergent thinking, often experiencing boosts in creativity and innovation. Here, neurodiversity advocate Theo Smith and entrepreneur Amanda Kirby describe this less understood aspect of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), one that affects people who think and work differently from mainstream employees. Individuals with ADHD, autism, dyslexia and other conditions face tremendous barriers to employment and success at work. The authors’ astute recommendations and compassionate understanding will enhance any discussion of workplace DEI.

Summary

Neurodiversity acknowledges the uniqueness of every human being and the special needs of some.

The human brain consists of about 100 billion brain cells and myriad connections among them. No two people share identical wiring, so in a way, we are all “neurodiverse.” But in the context of organizational diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), neurodiverse workers include all those whose ways of thinking and performing tasks differ significantly from the mainstream, including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, Asperger’s syndrome and autism. An estimated 20–30% of people are neurodiverse, yet many barriers exist to measuring the exact numbers.

Diverse perspectives provide value across culture and society, such as in music, art and science. This diversity matters as much to the success of the human race as biodiversity does to an ecosystem. What applies to society at a macro level applies to organizations at a micro level. Firms and leaders should explore and appreciate the value that people of varying cognitive abilities can bring.

Beyond complying with equity and equality laws, when ...

About the Authors

Theo Smith is a leading advocate for neurodiversity and vice president of customer acquisition for Zinc Work. Amanda Kirby is the founder and CEO of Do-IT Solutions, specializing in neurodiversity screening tools.


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    J. P. 1 month ago
    It says in the Take-aways to "Beware labeling people or classifying them into categories, including during hiring." But then creating a category called nerodiverse is doing exactly what it says not to do. Am I missing something here?