Did you know that over 1 in 3 people show unconscious bias against people with disabilities including neurodivergences? This is higher than the levels of bias on the basis of gender or race, and can affect the productivity, engagement and wellbeing of your staff.
Unconscious bias. A process that occurs outside of our conscious awareness. It’s rooted in our brain’s automatic processing system. A gut instinct that allows us to make quick decisions. But are we really making informed choices?
When you read the next paragraph, what do you see?
Hello, my name is Alex. I’m a Chief Executive. I’m married. Have two beautiful children. A dog. And a big house in the country.
If we’re honest, many of us visualised a middle-aged, able-bodied, neurotypical, heterosexual white man. But today, we have hundreds of CEOs who don’t fit that mold. Caroline Casey, Valuable 500 (registered blind, female). Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group (dyslexic). Tim Cook, Apple (LGBTQ+). Rosalind Brewer, Walgreens Boots Alliance (black female). And Nick Vujicic, Life Without Limbs (tetra-amelia syndrome), to name a few.
Our world is rapidly changing. In our modern world, not all biases serve to benefit us and those around us. In the workplace, biases can negatively affect recruitment, retention and promotion of staff. It can lead to poor decision-making and sub-optimal working environments.
Disabled and neurodivergent people, for example, are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled or neurotypical people.
Over a third of people tend to think of disabled people as not as productive as everyone else.
A recent report from Deloitte outlined that inclusive cultures are:
An inclusive culture is where employees feel included. Where they are treated equitably and with respect. Where their unique and authentic self is valued by others. And, they have a sense of connectedness or belonging to a group. It’s where staff feel safe to speak up and are empowered to do their best work.
Since the pandemic, organisations are re-examining the way they do things. They’re more eager than ever to create inclusive work environments where all employees are valued and can achieve their full potential. But, this cultural shift won’t happen overnight. It requires commitment and dedication from everyone in the organisation - from the top down.
Here we have identified 5 ways you can become more consciously inclusive of your neurodivergent colleagues.
When you build these conscious choices into your daily routine, you will become more present in the moment. Giving you more clarity on your attention (your focused awareness) and your intention (your purpose behind what you want). The space, to check for bias and make a different choice. With practice, you will have greater concentration and focus. Improved listening and memory skills. Better conflict resolution. Overall, you will make better decisions.