Research for the Neurodiversity Index Report found that 41% of employers have adapted recruitment processes to accommodate neurodivergent traits. However, only a third of HR professionals and 29% of senior leaders have had any specific training in relation to neurodiversity.
Of the 972 respondents, including employers and individuals, 80% think it is important to have disability inclusion policies and procedures in the workplace. However, the research findings prove that this is currently lacking, with just 23% of HR respondents having any training relating to neurodiversity in the last 12 months.
Almost a third of respondents (32%) have felt as if they cannot disclose their neurodivergent condition in the workplace, with 10% of respondents having experienced a poor response after revealing their neurodiversity.
Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds, said: “Neurodivergent people are estimated to make up one in seven of the population in the UK, and when given the opportunity can bring fresh thinking to businesses that makes them more resilient and profitable.
“However, many face barriers when it comes to education, and training and getting into (and staying in) work. This is demonstrated in the fact that 30-40% of neurodivergent people are unemployed in the UK today.
“To support more businesses to employ neurodivergent people, we carried out this important piece of research to find a benchmark for organisations to use and to consider what actions they should take to create a more inclusive workplace for all.”
Almost half of organisations included in the research (49%) have neurodiversity champions or mentors, serving as advocates and allies and raising awareness of neurodiversity within the workplace.
Neurodivergent respondents of the survey were also more likely to report having neurodivergent children. Just under half the respondents have family dependents with a neurodivergent condition and 30% of parents of neurodivergent children have said it has had an impact on their work.
Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do-IT Solutions, said: “The challenge remains in society that there is still a low level of appreciation of differences and the talents and skills we can gain if we ensure a more inclusive approach to both education and employment.
“This research is not only about employers, it’s also very important to capture an understanding from employees working in all sizes of organisations and to hear their current lived experiences and enable a means of having their voices heard.”