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Recognising Neurodiversity Celebration Week in the workplace

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With Neurodiversity Celebration Week approaching (13-19th March), Bhanu Dhir, Chief Executive Officer at Steps To Work, an employment support specialist charity, sheds light on the importance of this week for employers and recruiters. 

Many workplaces have stated that over the past 12 months retaining talent has been a huge issue, and with diversity being high on employee’s agenda, businesses need to show they are a diverse and inclusive. 

Supporting employers to harness the talent and potential of neurodiverse individuals is essential for a truly diverse work culture and for business success. Being diverse is a key element that employers need to uphold to not only look attractive to potential candidates but to retain talent.  

‘’Neurodiversity Celebration Week is an important campaign that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It also celebrates the talents of neurodiverse people. 

‘’Here at Steps To Work, we believe that companies should be expanding their talent pool through hiring neurodivergent workers, which is essential in today’s market. 

“While many companies are more conscious of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace, we find that the neurodivergent group of professionals can be wrongly overlooked when it comes to the hiring process.  

“Neurodivergence includes a range of conditions including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Disorders and Autism. The National Autistic Society reports at least 700,000 autistic adults in the UK and more than one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum.

“In the UK, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also published data to show that just 22% of autistic adults are in any kind of employment and the 84% of employers still admit to having ‘little’ or ‘no’ understanding of neurodiverse conditions.

“This shocking figure shows that many workplaces are ignoring neurodiversity within their ‘diversity’ remit and not making the most out of their unrecognised and underappreciated talents. 

“The neurodivergent talent pool is one of the groups that is wrongly overlooked when businesses are considering potential candidates and this needs to change. Embracing neurodivergent professionals not only achieves an inclusive culture but it diversifies organisations strengths and offerings. It also encourages different approaches to creativity, innovation, and ways of working which is essential to business success.  

“Neurodiverse people bring a lot of qualities to the workplace, including attention to detail, strategic thinking and reliability. Research suggests that teams with neurodivergent professionals in some roles can be 30% more productive than those without.[3] Here at Steps To Work, our free services are available to help everyone get back into employment or make their first step on their career ladder. 

“Steps To Work is incredibly passionate about giving everyone the opportunity to reach their career goals. We want employers to know there are many great benefits to making space for neurodiversity in the workplace and embracing a fully diverse working culture to help empower businesses.”   

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