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Disabilities hidden in the workplace

The increase in remote working has made work opportunities accessible to people that are considered neurodivergent (people with brains that operate differently in a variety of ways that are not considered normal or normal) which is why there are 1.5m more disabled individuals working than there was in 2013and earlier. However office workers are more likely to conceal their disability to avoid discrimination, as per Talent Solutions Right Management.

There is a shortage in talent at their highest in 15 years however, many employers still overlook and ignore the neurodivergents, who have a different perspective and contribute a fresh approach to their job.

For instance, the jobs for people who are dyslexic typically are more difficult, such as reading, spelling, and remembering facts are now being performed by machines, however, the soft abilities which are valued the most in the workplace today are the exact skills dyslexics typically possess. Yet:

  • One in five dyslexics believe that their employer is aware of the strengths in dyslexic thought*
  • If asked about the specific skills related to dyslexia and dyslexia-related disorders, 42% employers responded that they didn’t have any idea.*
  • 79% of people who are dyslexic believe that the process does not give them the chance to show their abilities to the fullest extent. *

Ingenuity and creativity, two abilities that are often found in those who are neurodivergent, is precisely what employers require right now. The message for employers is simple – investing in a workforce that is more neurodivergent will help identify the competencies that are essential for sustained success in an organisation in a post-pandemic world.

The ability to empower employees to acknowledge their differences can help those who may have experienced discrimination since childhood create a sense to their company.

Pippa Cronk, a chartered psychologist and Senior Consultant at Right Management said “Years of mistakes can pile up when someone with a concealed impairment enters the world work. They might be scared of revealing their true self and receiving the assistance they need. Managers should demonstrate that they will help their team members in all times, regardless of whether they’ve declared a need for extra assistance or not.

There’s a vast talent pool of skilled workers that organizations aren’t using properly. Employers should reevaluate their perceptions of hidden disabilities and get started to train line managers and upskill them about how to spot and help these people earlier and not later.”

In reality, many employers fail to acknowledge the talents of dyslexics when they are looking for new employees. Three-quarters (75 percent) dyslexics surveyed believe that the hiring process places them in a disadvantage. 79% think the process does not give them the chance to showcase their capabilities to employers.

To ensure that they can unlock the talent required to succeed post-pandemic, organizations must establish a streamlined and well-informed hiring process which eliminates any elements of bias. They also need to ensure that everyone in the organization is educated about the abilities and capabilities of dyslexic individuals.

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