Improving levels of neurodiversity in a workplace can feel like a mountain to climb. Yet, some of the world’s leading companies make significant progress. From Microsoft’s ‘Neurodiversity Career Connector’ to EY’s Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence (NCoE), global firms are targeting neurodiverse staff to improve their competitiveness.
To inspire you to think about how you can improve neurodiversity in a workplace, we’ve compiled some examples. Neurodivergent staff offer many core talents, from creativity to problem solving. But companies are missing out on the impact they could have when current research suggests up to 80% of autistic people aren’t in employment.
So what can you do to change this? Read on for some inspiration.
How Leading Companies Support Neurodiversity in a Workplace
FTSE 100 companies and others are fuelling their pipeline of neurodivergent talent in interesting ways. We’ve previously shared specific ways you can improve neurodiversity in the workplace. But we also want to show you specific examples of the difference others are making.
Microsoft recognises that neurodivergent individuals can strengthen a workforce. Seeking to maximise the potential of their skills in innovation and creative problem-solving, they have a significant focus on recruiting neurodivergent staff.
Microsoft Neurodiversity Hiring Program
Previously known as Inclusive Hiring and Autism Hiring, Microsoft has an internal hiring scheme to attract neurodivergent talent and train them for success at Microsoft.
Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable
In 2017, Microsoft co-founded the Neurodiversity@Work Employer Roundtable. It’s a collection of global firms making efforts to increase levels of neurodiversity in their workforces.
The roundtable runs regular meetings and workshops while acting as a central point for both employers and employees. Employers learn from others about starting their own neurodiversity hiring programme. And neurodivergent employees can access Microsoft’s Neurodiversity Career Connector to help them find work.
As one of the big four accounting firms, EY has shown its dedication to promoting better neurodiversity in a workplace with the first Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence. With plans to hire up to 100 neurodivergent staff to their Manchester base, the Centre will give individuals with autism, dyslexia, and ADHD the opportunity to apply their strengths in AI, automation, blockchain, and data analytics.
Google predicts that by 2050, neuro-inclusive design will increase user adoption by 5 times. And with such strong business benefits from neurodivergent design, Google is encouraging more neurodivergent software engineers and designers to join them.
A specific way it does this is through a bespoke ‘Google Cloud Autism Career Program’. Through this initiative, they aim to train 500 Google Cloud managers in hiring new staff. By equipping these particular Googlers with the training and knowledge they need to support autistic candidates, they aim to make onboarding processes accessible and fair.
With a strong focus on improving Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, Deloitte supports better neurodiversity in a workplace through its recruitment processes and data reporting.
One initiative is their Assessment Centre of Excellence which has helped to create a specific set of neurodiversity learning guides. These guides are helping managers increase their knowledge, confidence, and understanding of hiring neurodivergent staff.
Deloitte is also committed to raising awareness of the power of neurodiversity. And, on a previous podcast, they revealed how over 80% of people with ASD experience higher rates of unemployment compared to 4% of the general population.
Willis Towers Watson
Multinational firm Willis Towers Watson has run an ASD programme since 2016. But they’ve also designed a series of bespoke activities such as their Neurodiversity Council involving colleagues from across the globe. WTW’s CEO is a sponsor and reviews their ongoing impact in increasing neurodiversity in a workplace.
WTW also provides dedicated support for neurodivergent staff with quiet spaces and mentors, ensuring they cover all aspects of better neurodiversity in a workplace.
GCHQ recognises the value of divergent thinking and experiences when it comes to minimising potential security threats. And they prize skills such as creative problem-solving, concentration, and data analysis since they’re effective for cracking codes, reducing predictability, and responding to security threats.
Knowing that neurodivergent staff offers advantages in preventing and solving security threats, GCHQ is active in advertising roles for neurodivergent staff.
GCHQ also runs staff-led groups such as their Disabled Employee Network and GCHQ Women’s Network to help shape their policies, promote equality, and ensure systems are accessible for all.
Assistive Technology Can Bridge Gaps to Support Better Neurodiversity in the Workplace
Creating neurodiversity initiatives is not only important for neurodivergent individuals. It’s also beneficial to employer branding, candidate retention, and revenue generation. Of course, not every company can create a specific niche for neurodivergent staff. But they can make an impact with the right approach.
One way to make an immediate impact is by deploying Assistive Technology like Caption.Ed and TalkType throughout your company. By enabling live captioning on all in-person and virtual meetings, Caption.Ed bridges communication gaps using accurate transcription and note-taking functions. Plus, taking out a subscription for Caption.Ed enables all members of staff to add live captioning to their meetings straight away. To find out more, talk to our team.