CIPD Festival of Work: Embracing Neuroinclusion in the Workplace

Texthelp recently attended the CIPD Festival of Work which brought together industry leaders, HR, and DE&I professionals to share ideas and resources on how we can champion better workplaces for all.

Texthelp hosted an engaging session with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, focusing on driving neuroinclusion in the workplace. Additionally, we had the opportunity to catch up with some of the event's most prestigious speakers and leaders to discuss the importance of neuroinclusion and building the business case for neurodiversity inclusion for organizational success.

We’ve gathered diverse perspectives from leading brands on how they are integrating neurodiversity into their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategies to how impactful tools like Texthelp’s Read&Write are empowering neurodivergent employees to work to their strengths. Keep reading for the key takeaways and insights.

The importance of neuroinclusion at work

Cathy Donnelly, Chief People Officer at Texthelp, emphasized that neurodiversity is becoming increasingly prevalent in the workforce. Today, around 20% of people are neurodivergent with research suggesting that by 2050, up to 50% of people could be neurodivergent. She highlighted the need for workplaces to proactively foster inclusivity from the outset to support all employees in reaching their full potential. Cathy also pointed out that companies championing disability inclusion tend to produce 30% better profits and make better decisions 87% of the time. Authentic leadership and creating an environment where employees can be their true selves are crucial for achieving these benefits.

Mo Koheeallee, QESH Coordinator Projects & Accessibility Ambassador at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, discussed the value of accepting differences and creating an environment where neurodivergent individuals feel confident to share their perspectives. He also shares how different perspectives can lead to increased innovation and sought after skills such as creative problem-solving that many neurodivergent individuals can bring. Mo emphasized how small changes can often make a big difference with simple adjustments, such as using sensory toys during meetings or making slides more inclusive, can significantly impact inclusivity and innovation. This, alongside innovative tools like Texthelp’s Read&Write, can make a significant difference in productivity and inclusion. 

Discover more on how Rolls-Royce and Coca-Coca Europacific Partners are advancing neuroinclusion in the workplace through our latest on-demand webinar!

Neurodiversity support in the workplace 

Bola Adesina, DEI Advisor at Legal & General, stressed the importance of designing workplaces and policies that support neurodivergent individuals. She noted that targeted interventions, such as offering quiet spaces and flexible lighting options, can significantly enhance comfort and productivity. She also advocated for better data collection and the need for senior leaders to prepare their workforce for increasing neurodiversity.

Prudence Pitter, Global Head of HR at Amazon, highlighted the value of storytelling in promoting neuroinclusion. By sharing success stories and creating employee resource groups, organizations can foster a supportive community where neurodivergent individuals feel safe to disclose their conditions and receive the support they need.

Attendees at speakers at Texthelp's at the CIPD Festival of Work

Inclusive technology in unlocking neurodiverse talent

At Texthelp, we believe in the power of inclusive technology to empower neurodivergent individuals to learn, work and communicate in their own unique style. With a diverse range of features such as Text-to-Speech, Screen Masking, Dictation and more, each user can work to their strengths and unlock their full potential with the help of our Read&Write tool.

We caught up with some of our customers who are utilizing inclusive technology as part of their inclusive workplace strategies as well as our users who are seeing significant benefits:

Mohammad Koheeallee, QESH Coordinator Projects & Accessibility Ambassador at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, emphasized how Texthelp’s Read&Write tool is making a significant impact on creating an inclusive workplace for employees. He noted that inclusive technology not only improves productivity but also fosters a more inclusive work environment. Employees with neurodivergent conditions, find the tool invaluable for managing their daily tasks more efficiently. Mo highlighted how features like Dictation and Text-to-Speech help bridge communication gaps and ensure everyone can contribute their best work. He also mentioned the importance of leading by example and making small adjustments, like using sensory toys or inclusive presentations, to support neuroinclusion.

Mary Copsey, HR Advisor at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, shared her perspective as a user with dyslexia, OCD, and Irlen Syndrome. She described her neurodiverse conditions as superpowers, allowing her to be detail-oriented and hyper-focused. Mary emphasized the importance of inclusive software like Texthelp’s tools in managing fatigue and maintaining focus. She highlighted the screen masking feature, which allows her to change the color of her screen to manage visual fatigue, and the snippet screenshot tool, which helps her organize information. Dictation is also beneficial for her. Mary believes that these tools should be rolled out to everyone, as they can help uncover hidden neurodiverse conditions and improve overall productivity. She also stressed the importance of open conversations with managers to tailor support to individual needs.

Samantha Lubanzu, CIPD Chair of Manchester, spoke about her experience as a dyslexic Read&Write user. She emphasized the importance of neuroinclusion and the benefits neuroinclusion in the workplace, such as increased innovation and profitability. Samantha believes that inclusive technology like Read&Write helps her work more efficiently by speeding up tasks and reducing mistakes. Samantha loves how Read&Write saves her time and helps her perform tasks more effectively, making her workday smoother and more productive. She highlighted how embracing support and tools for neurodivergent individuals has benefits for everyone and how it can support the organization in making a wider social impact both internally and externally. This alongside training and self-awareness can help reduce unconscious bias.

The CIPD Festival of Work underscored the urgent need for organizations to embrace neurodiversity and adopt inclusive practices. As the workforce evolves, so too must our approaches to inclusion. By leveraging inclusive technology, creating supportive environments, and listening to the needs of neurodivergent employees, businesses can unlock the full potential of their diverse workforce.

At Texthelp, we are committed to promoting neuroinclusion through our innovative tools and ongoing advocacy. We encourage all organizations to join us in this mission to create more inclusive workplaces where everyone can thrive. Join us in embracing neurodiversity and transforming the future of work!

Statistics shared at the event: 

  • 15-20% of the population is neurodivergent (1 in 5)
  • By 2050, 50% of people could be considered neurodiverse
  • 53% of Gen Z identify as neurodivergent
  • 80% of people acquire a disability during their working age
  • 16 million people have a disability in the UK
  • People with a disability are x2 more likely to be unemployed
  • Companies who champion inclusion can benefit from 28% higher revenues, double their net income and around 30% higher profit margins
  • 76% of people with a disability or neurodiverse condition do not fully disclose this at work

Didn’t get the chance to meet us at the CIPD Festival of Work?

Book a chat with our inclusion specialists to discover how we can can empower your workforce with simple solutions that make a big difference!