The role of neurodiversity in the workplace

06.15.2020

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At the start of June Micro Focus launched its INSPIRE 20 Podcast series with an interview from Adriana Gascoigne, founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a not for profit, talking about how she’s helping women acquire the skills and learn about careers in tech so that we can help bring more balance to the workplace.

Now, we follow up by talking about a different type of diversity, one which is less recognized but nonetheless critical to address, neurodiversity. According to Psychology Today, neurodiversity is the “the idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome”. These variations and differences in many cases result in neurodiverse individuals struggling with what others may see as “everyday” activities. However, these differences also mean that neurodiverse individuals can bring a unique set of skills and thinking to many aspects of the workplace (you can read more studies on this via this Harvard Business Review article). In this second podcast in our series, Michael Fieldhouse, Social Impact Practice Leader for DXC technology talks about how he helped establish (together with the Australian Federal Government) the Dandelion Program to help build IT careers for people on the autism spectrum.
Hear from Michael how everything began for him with the story of what I refer to as “Andrew and the urn” and progressed into a program which has helped countless individuals in many cases get their lives back and helped them enter the workplace and use their diversity to contribute to all aspects of IT from complex program management to tackling cyber threats.

The DXC Dandelion Program is not only designed to provide high levels of support to people with autism, and ensure that they’re able to learn and grow as employees and as individuals. It is also about changing the workplace culture to create an environment where people feel included and safe. Take a listen to hear Michael explain more.

INSPIRE 20 is a podcast series featuring conversations with 20 industry executives from across the globe who are creating lasting change, accelerating initiatives or have a unique point of view around inclusion and diversity (I&D) in their own industries, organizations or communities. The podcast series is part of Micro Focus’s corporate social responsibility program, Micro Focus INSPIRE, and demonstrates our commitment to helping address the lack of diversity in the technology industry, from the classroom to the boardroom. INSPIRE 20 shines a light on the principles and values industry executives are implementing to inspire change at all levels of the enterprise and beyond.

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The podcast interviews are featured on TechBeacon.com, our digital hub by and for software engineering, IT and security professionals, sharing practical and passionate guidance to real-world challenges and hosted on Apple, Spotify and Sound Cloud.

For more information about Micro Focus INSPIRE please visit here

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