It should be no shock to anyone at this stage that the topic of neurodiversity in the workplace has seen a huge amount of interest in 2022. Searches for the term “Neurodiversity” have increased 270%, with questions such as “how do I support neurodiverse staff?” and “what companies hire individuals who are neurodiverse?” being amongst the most common.
With awareness and advocacy showing no signs of slowing in 2023, here are 5 neurodiversity changes we expect to see over the next 12 months as we continue to push for a completely neuroinclusive workforce.
1. Neuroinclusion initiatives sitting at senior level priority.
The disability hiring paradigm was followed by the first neurodiversity programmes, which were focused, targeted hiring initiatives designed to hire and retain ‘new’ sources of talent. Three factors have resulted in a much broader scope for neuroinclusion initiatives:
- The rise of empowered neurodiverse self-advocacy (see below), with increasing recognition of the neurodiversity already present in the organisation;
- The successes of these early programmes and recognition that neuroinclusion benefits everyone;
- The extent and scale of talent challenges confronting organisations today, such as the “War for talent” and “the Great Resignation,” which necessitate talent solutions at scale.
2. The rise of the ‘Head of Neurodiversity’ position.
Initially, executives with demanding “day jobs” were frequently assigned to lead initiatives. As the scope and reach of neurodiversity initiatives expand, we are seeing senior executives take on full-time roles as neurodiversity “Czars” in their organisations, with unprecedented resources and mandates to drive neuroinclusion.
We are already seeing examples of this, with JP Morgan appointing Bryan Gill in exactly such a position. To have such a titan of their industry set such a clear example of best practices, it is only a matter of time before other companies follow suit.
3. “Nothing about us without us”; neurodiverse employees play an important role in their own organization’s initiative.
Effective neurodiversity initiatives necessitate active participation and/or leadership from the firm’s neurodiverse community. Neurodiverse professionals such as Nat Lyckowski (IBM), Austin Aja (Salesforce), and Rachel Craddock (Thales) are examples of individuals who have taken key roles in their group’s neurodiversity initiative. All of them have become influential leaders in their fields, both internally and externally to their employers.
4. More upstream support for neurodiverse students.
Undergraduates who identify as having a disability or different thinking styles account for a sizable portion of the upcoming graduating class (nearly 20%), and campus recruiters cannot afford to overlook this untapped workforce. Landmark College and Stanford have programmes that train and match students with jobs, and we expect to see an increase in 2023.
Rolls Royce is blazing the trail in this regard, becoming the first organisation in the UK to introduce a programme specifically designed to bring neurodiverse graduates into the workforce, offering a 10-week paid internship to neurodiverse individuals.
5. The rise of self-advocacy continues.
As previously stated, the rise of the neurodiversity ERG has been one of the most significant and noticeable trends in the last 24 months, and this is likely to continue as organisations address this gap and existing ERG members move firms and look to build new groups at a new employer. Such self-advocacy remains critical in both advocating for bottom-up change and shaping and guiding that change. This notion is something ToHealth believes in 100% and will continue to support every single day.
How can ToHealth help with these neurodiversity changes?
At ToHealth, we pride ourselves in being leaders in providing end-to-end neurodiversity support solutions. This ranges from awareness and training sessions, to diagnostics and assistive technology and so much more. With a range of flexible and scalable options, we can bespoke a solution to fit your workforces needs. Get in touch and begin your neuroinclusive journey today.
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