As part of our Future Proofing Talent through Diversity programme, we held our second Neurodiveristy event with Rox Hobbs of The Hobbs Consultancy at our client AKQA’s offices.
HR and Talent Acquisition professionals came together to learn, share ideas and discuss this important topic. Rox Hobbs, author of inspirational book ‘Diverted’ was our guest speaker, and she shared her personal family story and how this led her to finding a new strength that now sees her working with businesses to implement positive change into the workplace.
We learnt how Judy Singer coined the term ‘Neurodiversity’ which gave birth to the great social movement and we discussed what Neurodiversity means to us and the power of language.
Autistic Spectrum Dis
order is now known as Autistic Spectrum Condition demonstrating the importance in viewing brain variations as an enhancement to the human brain. We know of many high profile individuals with ASC including Richard Branson, who has dyslexia and Andy Warhol who had autism.
How the terminology being used is evolving, autistic people no longer like to be labelled someone with autism and prefer “autistic individual” and changing our language from ‘making adjustments’ negative words such as adjustment to enhancement
So how can Neurodiverse people enhance our workplace?
Individuals who are neurodiverse will have what is referred to as a “spikey” profile. They may score higher in understanding technology and creative thinking than someone who is not neurodiverse, but perhaps score lower in managing feelings & relationships or dealing with numbers. This is why you’ll find a high percentage of employees thrive working in advertising or tech businesses.
We recognise that Managers need support to help team members with neurodiverse profiles and to understand that an individualised approach is essential.
As recruitment partners, we will continue to work alongside our clients to improve the candidate experience for neurodiverse professionals. Keeping unconscious bias a topical discussion as well as exploring how companies are evolving their recruitment process to incorporate neuro diverse candidates, adapting a strength based approach (i.e. data candidates having less formal interview processes and making it more tangible to their particular strengths).
It’s our mission to keep the industry talking about D&I and creating more open communication that helps to shift unconscious bias. The more conversations we can have, the more powerful change is possible!
A big thank you to Rox, Amy and the team at AKQA and to all our clients who joined the discussion. We look forward to following up later in the year to revisit the impact our step changes are making!