This year’s Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Conference for Scotland will hear how employers can embrace and benefit from neurodiversity in the workplace.
The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Conference takes place on Wednesday, 24 May and a few tickets still remain available for this annual event that brings together key figures to explore the issues surrounding inclusion in the workplace.
This year the subjects up for discussion will include neurodiversity and the steps that employers can take to make the workplace a welcoming place for people who think differently, as well as finding ways to make the most of their unique talents.
Addressing the conference on this topic will be Alan Thornburrow, CEO of Salvesen Mindroom Centre, a charity that champions all kinds of neurodiversity and undertakes important research into its impact on the lives of those who see the world from a different perspective..
With as much as 15% of the global population believed to be neurodivergent, he says there is clearly a pressing need not to look at it as a disability, but to recognise its positive aspects as well.
“When reviewed in a workplace context there are significant opportunities to enable neurodivergent employees to thrive and for employers to build fully inclusive teams. And in the wider world, we all need to start considering how we change perceptions about neurodivergent individuals and to demystify what neurodiversity feels like and means.”
The goal, he says, is to recognise that all human minds are differently wired and that there is no ‘right’ way to learn, think, communicate or interact.
“ We all process the world differently. Just as there are no two fingerprints the same, there are no two brains the same, but sadly, neurodiversity is often cited as the last frontier in workplace diversity and inclusion with misunderstanding, stigma and stereotypes preventing talented individuals from joining the workforce, utilising their skills, and progressing their careers.”
What is essential, he says, is to champion neuroinclusion in the workplace, supporting the recruitment and retention of a robust workforce and helping to access an untapped pool of talent.
“Employers who recognise, embrace and support all forms of neurodiversity can attract and keep the best employees, but crucially, diversity needs to become much more central to business strategy, much as issues like climate change and mental health have become integrated over the last decade.”
Earlier this year Salvesen Mindroom Centre launched Scotland’s first Neuroinclusion at Work programme, supported by the Scottish Government, to help employers improve the experience of neurodivergent colleagues. The programme supports employers to become more aware, informed and empowered to take action to support neuroinclusivity in their workplaces and the initiative is aiming to reach one million workers by 2026.
Taking part in the conversation around neurodiversity, disability and accessibility during the session will be Briony Williamson of Enable Scotland, Olivia Sklenar of Lothian Buses, and Kirsty Diamond of Network Rail, and it is just one of a range of important issues that will be explored during the Conference, helping to make it once again an unmissable event for employers and HR professionals.
The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Conference will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow and full details, along with ticket information, can be found at https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/the-diversity-conference/