Why should you embrace Neurodiversity… (Part one)
Author Image
Gabriella Steed

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) – frequently used ‘buzzwords’ that you’ll have undoubtedly heard within today’s world of work. Three different, but related concepts, highlighting the importance of creating a fair and respectful culture for employees from various backgrounds – essentially encouraging a safe space for a true sense of belonging within the workforce. Is it important? Extremely! And is DE&I more than a buzzword? Hell yeah! Embracing DE&I no longer falls into the category of ‘nice to have’s’. Cultivating a diverse, equal and inclusive workforce is both a priority as well as a catalyst for overall business success. 

You think you’ve nailed DE&I standards within your workforce? Perhaps! But only if you have broadened your lens on DE&I and introduced conversations surrounding a strategic effort to engage and attract a massively untapped talent pool – neurodivergent groups. Unfortunately and questionably, neurodivergent groups are often overlooked amongst conversations towards DE&I efforts as far as the hiring process goes. It is estimated that a staggering 60% of autistic adults in the UK are unemployed. That’s 500,000 people. 500,000 people who may very likely have the skills and the talent to add serious value to an organisation. Neurodiversity is not limited to Autism, mind you. Neurodivergent groups represent a full spectrum of diagnosis including ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia and Tourette’s Syndrome. Let’s delve deeper into why engaging and attracting neurodivergent groups could be good for business, let alone your DE&I strategies:

Creativity, Innovation and skills | Cognitive diversity opens the doors for individuals to work together and stimulate different thought processes. This offers a more fruitful collaboration, something that groups of like-minded individuals can’t always achieve. The emphasis here is on unique perspectives. Each neurodiverse employee is unique and encompasses a host of individual talents which can contribute massively to innovation and process development. For example, problem solving. Statistics show that Autistic people are up to 40% faster at problem-solving vs their neurotypical peers and utilise perceptual regions of their brain to accelerate problem-solving strategies. Further, Autistic individuals have shown a strong ability to think outside the box, a common ‘ideal trait’ found amongst various job descriptions. Those with Dyslexia have been found to excel at pattern-spotting, vital for roles that involve the analysis of complex data sets or within fast moving markets. Without getting into the nitty gritty of the strengths associated with neurodiverse individuals as well as avoiding stereotypes, it’s clear here that this groups fosters a great range of skills which could prove extremely useful for businesses looking to succeed (all businesses’!). These groups should no longer fall under the category of an untapped talent pool – recognise the benefits these minds could add to your business! 

Boosts morale | According to a Harvard Business review, neurotypical employees have reported more meaning towards their work and a boost in morale when collaborating with their neurodiverse peers. In fact, according to a Deloitte Insight surrounding Neurodiversity in the workplace, teams with neurodivergent professionals in some roles, can be 30% more productive than those without them. The topic of morale also feeds into the feelings of ‘being given a chance’. Often, neurodiverse individuals are extremely loyal and are reported to demonstrate lower rates of turnover due to the ability to freely utilise their skills within a safe environment which encourages such differences. An extremely inspiring environment for an individual whether they identify as neurodiverse or neurotypical, contributing to overall morale. 

Living your values | The values a business holds often underlines the beliefs and principals that drives a business. They help teams to collaborate better and allow for brands to distinguish themselves from competitors. Common company values we often see include, ‘fairness and equity’, ‘generosity’, ‘leading with innovation’ and ‘excellence’, to name a few. Now think of it like this. When companies decide to overlook neurodiverse talent within their workforce, they are essentially signalling that they do not value individual differences and that the business growth would in some way be hindered by employing such groups. That is the harsh reality of taking this approach. In the same way as if a business decides to hire only male or female employees. If you are deciding to state ‘fairness and equity’ as one of your core values, then unless you start working towards this, the value is redundant. Companies that decide to go the extra mile and accommodate neurodivergent workers will not only live and breathe their values but will gain a competitive edge in their process initiatives and skills profiles. Always look at the bigger picture, perspective is everything. 

Food for thought…

Did you know that some of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs have been people from neurodiverse groups? Many of these individuals actually credit their neurodiversity as necessary to their success! Here are some examples:

Richard Branson: The British billionaire, entrepreneur and founder of the virgin group. 

ADHD & Dyslexic.

Ingvar Kamprad: Founder of IKEA. 

ADHD & Dyslexic.

Elon Musk: CEO of SpaceX.


Charles Schwab: Founder of the eponymous investment service provider.


Barbara Corcoran: Founder of the Corcoran Group and Shark Tank Investor.


It is also highly likely that you work amongst neurodiverse colleagues in your workplace. According to insights from Fresh Seed, 1 in 7 people are neurodiverse. Due to increased stigma and a lack of conversation surrounding neurodiversity in the workforce, these groups may not feel comfortable bringing their full selves to work each day. This stands as yet another reason to take action and broaden that lens on your DE&I efforts. 

Stay tuned for Part 2: How to embrace Neurodiversity within your workforce?

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, contact me on [email protected]

This website uses cookies to offer you a better experience and analyse site traffic. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.