A new industry forum has launched to support neurodiverse employees in the workplace.
Neurodiversity in Business (NiB) launched yesterday (21 March) at the Houses of Parliament.
Chief executive Dan Harris said the businesses in the UK are “waking up to the enormous benefits that having a neurodiverse workforce can bring to the table”.
It’s estimated that between 15% and 20% of the population is neurodivergent, meaning they may have conditions such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD or dyspraxia.
These conditions tend to mean their brains are “wired” differently, so they can offer unique skills to organisations, with the right support.
The forum’s founder members include employers such as Accenture, AstraZeneca, Bank of England, Capita, Network Rail, Sky and Unilever.
Harris said: “Neurodivergent individuals can bring single-mindedness, attention to detail, innovative thinking patterns, diligence and creativity to bear on any number of practical business matters. But they need better support than is currently available.
“NiB and its members know that by making reasonable (and often easy) modifications to the workplace it is possible to improve neurodiversity in the workplace and be more sustainable too.”
As well as partnering with employers, NiB will work closely with a range of neurodiversity support organisations including Auticon, Ambitious about Autism, the ADHD Foundation, the British Dyslexia Association, Diversity and Ability and the National Autistic Society.
During the pandemic, there were concerns that isolation and disruption to usual routines hit employees with neurodiverse conditions hard, according to consultants Matthew Trerise and Dr Angela Armstrong.