Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Back in 2017, Robert D. Austin and Gary P. Pisano wrote an excellent piece in the Harvard Business Review on Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage, addressing why companies should embrace it in their workforces. In it, they discussed how neurodiverse people provide different perspectives on the world and can therefore bring new value to businesses.


Reflections on the strengths of neurodiverse people in the workplace

Jump forward five years to 2022, and Ranga Jayaraman (director of Neurodiversity Pathways, a social impact program of Goodwill of Silicon Valley) posted Reflections on neurodiversity in the workplace on LinkedIn recently. In it, Javaraman discusses how his mission to improve inclusion for neurodiverse people in the workplace was driven by his son, who is on the Autism specrtrum.

How can we promote intentional inclusion of neurodiversity in the workplace?

In his LinkedIn piece, Javaraman outlines the objectives of his article for the readers:

  • To normalise neurodiversity.
  • To promote a mindset of compassionate curiosity with neurodiverse individuals.
  • To play a definitive role in helping to foster psychology safety for neurodivergent people in social, education, and workplace settings.

The neurodiversity movement asks society to view others in a different way – through the lens of inclusion and acceptance for differences and abilities. But more specifically, Javaraman calls for intentional inclusion of neurodiversity – an inclusion that accommodates neurological differences in the workplace, and seeks to cement its normalcy.

“In some way, you will be left with a sense that neurodiversity is normal in human beings,” says Javaraman. “As normal as different heights, weights, skin color, eye color, hair color.”

Both are well written articles and I encourage you to read both – it is heartening to see the shift in society over the past five years, but there is still very significant work to do.

An archival PDF of the article “Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage” can also be found here, and the archival PDF of the article “Reflections on Neurodiversity in the Workplace” here.