Increasing neurodiversity in organizations can increase the skills base

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At the start of Neurodiversity Celebration Week, new research from Cranfield University shows the importance of organizations becoming more inclusive employers when it comes to neurodiversity.

It is estimated that every seventh population in the UK is neurodiversity. However, according to research by the Institute for Leadership and Management, only half of managers would employ a neurodiverse person.

Last week, in an interview with The Times, Vice Admiral Lord of the Second Sea Nick Hine, revealed that he was diagnosed with autism ten years ago.

I’m talking to The Times, the vice admiral said: “” The world for neurotypical people was created by neurotypical people, so it is not surprising that people who are not neurotypical have a number of challenges or difficulties in interacting with that world, but also in the world that communicates with them.

“If you want to transform, if you want a different way of doing business, you can’t constantly ask the same question to the same people and expect a different answer.”

Although the original use of the term neurodiversity was rooted in research related to Asperger’s syndrome, it has since been expanded to include dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Tourette’s syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Research published in the journal, Employee relations Cranfield University reveals that:

  • The stereotypical threat comes before the actual emergence of stereotypes and that the discovery process begins before individuals join an organization – those who are neurodiversity fear entering the organization based on the assumption of what the organization will be like.
  • Neurodiversity responds to discrimination in a similar way to that with a visible difference – neurodiversity can be refused from applying for a job or discovering their difference when employed because of the potential threat of stereotyping.

Dr. Robby Allen of Cranfield University said: “Enlightened companies, including NASA, Willis Towers Watson, Microsoft and Ford, have reviewed their recruitment procedures to take on more neurodiverse populations.

“In such a competitive global economy, it is surprising that more and more companies are not embracing the unique specialist skills that those who deviate from the‘ norm ’can bring to the organization.

“Neurodiversity at the international level is an untapped source of unique skills that can be of great benefit to organizations. However, this research reveals a potential paradox in which an organization cannot identify those that would bring greater benefits to the workforce if neurodiversity within that workforce is reluctant. they discover because of the stigma of stereotyping. “

As part of the research, two studies were performed. One study used three exercises that consisted of brochures, learning kits, and posters to test organizational signs, intelligence concepts, and situational signs. It collected data from 53 participants to determine whether the stereotypical threat perceived in visible differences such as race, gender, and intelligence was equally important for neurodiversity. The second study consisted of interviews with 44 participants to establish stereotypes about the source of the threat, the reaction, and the effect on declaring the invisible difference.

The study explores the benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace

More information:
Tamsin Priscott et al., Neurodiversity of Human Capital: Examining Stereotype Predictions, Employee Relations: An International Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1108 / ER-06-2020-0304

Provided by Cranfield University

Citation: Increasing neurodiversity within organizations can increase skills base (2021, March 19) retrieved March 19, 2021 from

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