This week (Monday 21-Friday 25 March) is Neurodiversity Week in the UK. As an employer working with and employing individuals from many different communities, situations and backgrounds we are raising awareness of neurodiversity amongst our team and clients.
Around 15% of the population are thought to be neurodivergent, meaning that their brains function, learn and process information differently from the way society expects. Specific types of neurodivergent traits include autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Practically, this can lead to a range of added challenges for individuals through their working and non-working life. For example, these common features of a working day might be an added barrier to people who are neurodivergent:
- Open plan offices with noise and bright lights
- Lengthy emails and meetings
- Tight deadlines for written projects
Conversely, people with neurodivergent traits have added strengths which can be harnessed to bring value and expertise:
- Problem solving and seeing the bigger picture
- Meeting tight deadlines for projects requiring a lot of energy
- Tackling complex projects requiring a lot of attention to detail and focus
At St Giles, we are committed towards equality, diversity and inclusion. We recognise we have more to do in making our workplace inclusive towards people with neurodivergent traits and have established a Neurodiversity Forum, led by a staff member with direct experience of the issue, to provide training, raise awareness and offer support to team managers.
Lisa is a Co-ordinator and Trainer/Assessor on our North Wales Peer Hub based in Wrexham. She is leading our Neurodiversity Forum. She explains her experiences of getting diagnosed and overcoming barriers in this podcast here.
Links to further useful information are here: