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| 2 minutes read

Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Learnings from the Tech Talent Charter Signatory forum

I had the pleasure of joining the Tech Talent Charter signatory forum discussion about Neurodiversity in the Workplace in February which was thought-provoking and insightful. What made this session special for me is that Karen Blake, CEO of TTC, shared practical tips about how to foster an inclusive environment for people with Neurodivergence and shared real examples of Neurodivergence outside of those that are typically referenced. 

Here are the key learnings I took from the webinar:

  1. Knowledge is the first step to breaking down stigma and learning is constant. Many people without neurodivergence would group Neurodiversity under the Disability umbrella but many Neurodivergent people don’t consider themselves to have a Disability and therefore face barriers getting the support they need. It’s important to always be learning and thinking about, and asking, how we can better support individuals to thrive in the workplace rather than relying on explicit exposure
  2. ADHD and Autism are typically referenced when talking about Neurodivergence, but they aren’t the only conditions. Karen referenced the barriers faced by individuals with conditions such as Dyspraxia and Pathological Demand Avoidance and shared practical tips on how these conditions might be supported and the benefits of hiring these individuals to the business. 
  3. Needing a formal diagnosis is a barrier. Obtaining a formal diagnosis can be challenging through public health services and incredibly costly if explored privately (in the thousands…). Many individuals might not want or be able to seek a formal diagnosis for family or cultural reasons. Making formal diagnosis the basis for accessing support within a recruitment process or workplace means many individuals will continue to face barriers and can affect retention and progression opportunities. Organisations don’t need to know what a person’s condition is to be able to provide the support needed for neurodivergent individuals to thrive.
  4. Use accessible language in the recruitment process. Think of the typical example ‘good communicator’ – do you need a person that can communicate with lots of different people or do you need someone with the skills to provide regular project updates and keep stakeholders informed of progress.
  5. Provide interview questions up front. Does the role you’re interviewing for require you to test a person’s memory or would you prefer to have individuals that are fully prepared for interview?
  6. You already have Neurodivergent people in your team and your organisation, you just don’t know it yet. Building respectful workplaces where mistakes can be forgiven, and individuals can access the support they need to thrive is key to enabling an inclusive organisational culture. Consider approaches such as a ‘Manual of Me’ for all employees which provides a few sentences on how each individual works best and can thrive.

Many organisations believe that they are providing inclusive workplaces but the learnings from this session remind me that there is a constant need to learn and evolve processes to ensure an equitable experience for all individuals within an organisation throughout the recruitment process and employee lifecycle.

You already have Neurodivergent people in your team and your organisation, you just don’t know it yet. Knowledge is the first step to breaking down stigma and learning is constant.


ams, diversity equity inclusion, future of work, leadership, technology, talent acquisition