The Texthelp Team

There's More to Workplace Diversity Than Meets the Eye


Most organizations pride themselves on having a diverse and inclusive workplace when it comes to age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. But the idea of a diversity & inclusion structure that supports employees with hidden disabilities is something that’s still relatively new.


neurodiversity at work banner, click to find out how we can help

That’s why we recently partnered with HR.com to host a live webcast exploring the challenges faced by those with some form of “neurodiversity”, and provided some tangible solutions to ensure that they’re supported in the right way - from interview stage to flourishing in their roles.

It was a wide-ranging discussion, but the three most important questions that arose during the webcast were:

What are the benefits of recognizing this kind of diversity?

Successful organizations are beginning to learn that they need the benefits that neurodiversity can bring. For example, people on the dyslexia spectrum may be a good fit for careers in creative industries due to their unique strengths in interpreting and visualizing designs. Autistic people, too, are usually disproportionately skilled in data analysis and IT-related tasks. 

Talented staff aren’t missed out on, then, when organization’s embrace a holistic approach to diversity & inclusion. Simply put, they attract a diverse base of thoughtful, forward-thinking people to join their ranks. In a 2017 survey by PwC, 54% of women and 45% of men surveyed said they researched if a company had Diversity & Inclusion policies in place when deciding to accept a position with their most recent employer.

What does neurodiversity actually mean?

Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey are well known for their entrepreneurial spirit, but did you know they all rose to the top despite some form of hidden disability? The success they’ve had, of course, has been down to hard work and perseverance, but it’s also largely to do with their neurological wiring. 

Neurodiversity encompasses cognitive differences like Autism, Dyslexia, Aspergers, and ADHD, and though historically these conditions have been viewed as a hindrance, today they’re rightly recognized for the unique abilities and approaches they bring to various workplace situations. 

How are organizations nurturing neurodiversity for success?

As Richard Branson says: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients."

A practical and successful example of how organizations can support and nurture Neurodiverse talent comes in the form of Network Rail, one of the UK’s largest transport providers. Since adjusting their initial recruitment process to be more inclusive of those with neurodiverse traits, they were able to attract a pool of diverse, talented individuals who possess unique problem solving abilities, but perhaps lack more conventional means of communicating or working.

Furthermore, by providing reasonable adjustments and day-to-day support to their neurodiverse staff - as well as by working alongside us and implementing Read&Write -  Network Rail has been able to offer staff the tools to work in a way that suits them best. By making our technology available across their entire 38,000 staff network, the organization not only saved over £200k, they continue to nurture and develop their staff and help them to thrive.

Users reported that Read&Write helps their way of working, that it’s discreet, and flexible enough to use anywhere.

Contact our Diversity experts to find out how our technology can play a vital role in supporting diversity, productivity, and those with hidden disabilities in your workplace.

>>No-obligation Consultation<<

Going to SHRM 2019? Our Texthelpers will be at booth #2166, from June 23 - 26 during expo hours, to give visitors a product demo, advice on how our technology can better support diversity and inclusion at work, or just have a friendly chat. So don’t be shy, stop by and say hello!

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