Neurodiversity in the workplace

It’s estimated that 1 in 7 people have a neurological difference. Ensuring your workplace
supports neurodiversity is key to a more innovative, productive and valued workforce.

Neurodiversity education image


What is neurodiversity in the workplace?

Neurodiversity is in every workplace – it’s the mixture of those who are neurotypical and neurodivergent. Despite
neurological differences like dyslexia being invisible, how neurodiversity looks in workplaces does vary. When
neurodiversity is embraced, businesses see productivity rise, creativity soar and employees become happier.

Best examples of neurodiversity in professional environments is where a culture of neuro-inclusion comes from management and language
is used respectfully, encouraging employees with neurological differences to openly share their own experiences. This makes employees feel valued
and allows employers to continue their own education on neurodiversity – a positive for businesses and society as a whole.

Read on to find out more about neuro-inclusive workforces and their benefits


How to build a neuro-inclusive workforce

A great example of creating a more inclusive workforce are Ernest Young’s Neurodiversity Centres of Excellence. Creating such a supportive working environment for individuals with cognitive differences helps enormously and so too does inclusive hiring programmes, the willingness to make accommodations, and more in the quest to develop neuro-inclusive workforces.

However, comprehensive support of neurodiversity in work does not happen overnight. Continuous research, flexibility and adaptation is key. Companies which follow these fundamentals will allow neurodivergent staff to bring their whole authentic self, and all of their benefits, to work. Build a better workforce today with our slider of top tips.



Benefits of a neuro-inclusive workforce

A safe work culture which supports variation in thinking makes a firm commitment to diversity and inclusion – a benefit for employees, businesses and people everywhere throughout society.

Within workplaces specifically, fostering neurodiversity provides further positives which are crucial for modern companies. From improving employee morale to boost retention, to stimulating innovation and productivity to keep ahead of competition, proactively supporting neurodiversity in work can be revolutionary for businesses.

Explore these benefits for yourself in our mind map, a format loved by neurodivergent brains.

A mind map with a yellow background illustrating the benefits of a neuro-inclusive workforce.

Gaining balance through spiky profiles

Employing neurodivergent individuals not only brings unique strengths like attention to detail, persistence and pattern detecting into companies, it also contributes to broader team dynamics. As neurodivergent individuals typically present “spiky profiles” when it comes to personal strengths and areas for development, neurodiverse businesses can forge a balanced team, employing people in areas where they excel and complement one another.

A graph demonstrating the spiky profile of a neurodivergent individual's skills in comparison to a neurotypical profile.
A football pitch with a variety of different brain types on it to represent the value of a balanced team.



What does the law say on neurodiversity?

The Equality Act 2010 is the latest UK law to provide protection to employees against discrimination. It ensures that any discrimination based on certain protected characteristics – including both visible and invisible disabilities – is against the law.

Importantly, it requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers aren’t seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs. Nottingham University gives a great insight into different reasonable adjustments that can be made for different individuals, for example with autism. Making these adjustments is extremely important, not least when considering that legal firm Fox & Partners have seen a 40% rise in employment tribunals relating to autism, and 14% increase linked to dyslexia in the last year alone.

An infographic of silhouettes illustrating that only 1 in 5 people with autism are employed.
An infographic illustrating that 50% of UK managers in 2020 wouldn't hire a autistic person.
An infographic illustrating that 52% of neurodivergent individuals have experienced  discrimination during an interview process.
An infographic of silhouettes illustrating that JP Morgan Chase found their neurodivergent team to be 48% more productive.
An infographic illustrating that 73% neurodivergent individuals choose not to disclose their neurological difference to avoid discrimination.
An infographic including office buildings illustrating that the Centre for American Progress estimates that workplace discrimination costs American businesses $64 billion annually.