Attention to neurodiversity in the workforce is on the rise. A growing number of prominent companies are making intentional changes to their traditional ways of working to attract, retain and support this demographic, with marked success. The convergence of three key shifts in the business landscape has elevated neurodiversity, a long under-recognized component of human diversity, to a business imperative:
- The need for qualified talent: Growing skills gaps are challenging STEM, manufacturing and a variety of other sectors. Nearly 70% of employers globally report difficulty in filling open positions.1
- Innovation and creativity as the basis for competitive advantage: In a complex, fast-paced world constantly being transformed by new technologies, success will require companies to cultivate diverse, out-of-the-box thinking and new ideas.
- Growing focus on DE&I: Diversity, equity and inclusion has become a primary corporate concern as a growing body of research affirms a link between diversity and performance.
Companies can no longer afford to miss out on new neurodivergent talent — or the neurodivergent talent in their current workforces that could perform even better in a workplace more sensitive to their needs.
Examples of neurodiversity include, but are not limited to:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
To become more neurodiversity-inclusive, companies are thinking beyond immediate adjustments and looking at how the systems, processes, physical environments and cultural fabric of their organizations can better help neurodivergent workers to thrive. Ultimately, these changes are driving a paradigm shift in people management that emphasizes a greater sensitivity to individual needs—seeking to recognize, cultivate and accommodate differences so that all employees reach their full potential.
The question then becomes: How do employers foster workplaces that enable all employees to thrive? This report aims to answer that question by providing an overview of what neurodiversity in the workplace is, why it matters to business leaders and what steps any organization can take to get started.