Neurodiversity Contributes to Success in the Workplace
By SN Inclusion Blog Writer Aiswarya Aluru

There are millions of people around the world who all fall someplace on the spectrum. About 1 in 7 people are part of the neurodiverse community-- and that is only the data from the United States (Brett Farmiloe, Markitors). Recently, more and more companies have come to increase job availability for these people, which has provided ample opportunity for many. 

It is evident that people who are neurodivergent have unique experiences and ideas that can improve different aspects of the workplace. Inclusivity of these people not only provides greater representation, but also expands on what it really means to be successful in a workplace setting. According to the Harvard Business Review, people on the spectrum often have greater cognitive abilities and special skills which contribute to the success of many companies (Austin & Pisano, 2017). Hiring more and more people who can offer new perspectives to approach difficult problems enables groups to engage in meaningful conversations about how to go about challenges. 

Many recruiters look at competition of employees while hiring individuals for their corporations. Austin and Pisano (2017) indicate that neurodiversity provides a competitive edge compared to other employees because of their unique skills that give them an advantage to see challenges in a different light. This new point of view has proved to be, “30% more productive,” for companies (Austin and Pisano, 2017). Although these innovative ideas have proved to be prosperous, it doesn’t take away from the fact that most other companies don’t realize the full potential of neurodiverse workers. Brent Orrell of AEI claims that about 80% of people on the spectrum are unemployed (2021), and the number won’t decrease until more businesses actively reform their HR and implement programs to help these people become employed.

Despite the issue that unemployment plagues neurodiverse people everywhere, it is becoming increasingly common to see companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft take initiative to hire people for the roles that all other neurotypicals also do. In order to accommodate neurodiverse workers, companies have taken a step to implement initiatives which offer aid, comfortable working conditions, and to essentially optimize productivity. This is a step towards job equity by offering a new and possibly stronger skill set for a job position. It brings about a newfound productivity of team members and creates incredible, new and improved products as well.

It also gives people on the spectrum a chance to explore their opportunities and find their passion in various different fields. Companies like SAP, JP Morgan, and Dell have done a good job to enable neurodiverse people to work in their companies, according to Kate Birch from The Business Chief (2021). SAP has been noted to have one of the longest-running spectrum-friendly programs which accommodates workers. Besides STEM-based companies, there are many other arts, humanities, and entertainment ones that encourage neurodiverse people to join their teams. Art Institutions and Entertainment companies have a lot of people who are on the spectrum that work for them. This representation provides equality and the chance to prosper given the ability to do so. More and more fields designate a lot of jobs just to increase the amount of diversity in the workforce, which has in-turn produced a significant amount of successful projects already. This continues to pave the way for future generations to also follow in the footsteps of neurodiverse workers who pursue their passions.

Neurodiversity Contributes to Success in the Workplace
SN Inclusion
12 September, 2022
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