The Competitive Advantage of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

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Bringing more neurodiverse talent into the workplace can offer Canadian businesses a competitive edge.

Neurodiverse professionals have demonstrated they can excel in the workplace, yet they are still under-represented in the Canadian workforce. To address this wicked problem, The Conference Board of Canada is conducting a mixed-methods research study exploring leading practices that can strengthen workplace engagement for neurodiverse workers to keep them in the labour market and further their careers.

Why is this research important?

We are recruiting working adults between the ages of 18 and 64 for three different research activities.

Employers

who will learn more about the benefits associated with neurodiversity in the workplace and get recommendations for how to retain and support neurodiverse talent, including an evaluation of available tools and resources intended to help neurodiverse employees.

Governments and policy-makers

who will learn more about existing data gaps and best practices to develop employment strategies, policies, resources, and tools that support neurodiverse Canadians.

Neurodiverse Canadians

who will benefit from this study’s stated intent to help combat stigma and bias against neurodiverse workers. Any future tools developed from this research will also have the potential to ensure neurodiverse individuals are better supported in the workplace.

If you identify with any of the following groups, please share your insights on neurodiversity in the workplace by completing this 15–20 minute anonymous survey.

  • self-identified neurodiverse worker
  • non-neurodiverse worker
  • employer with experience hiring or managing neurodiverse employees
  • employer with no experience hiring or managing neurodiverse employees

Deadline: Past 

We are conducting one-on-one virtual interviews (1 hour in duration) with people who have experience with neurodiversity in the workplace. If you are an employer with experience hiring or managing neurodiverse workers, or a self-identified neurodiverse worker, we would love to speak with you.

If you interested in participating in a one-on-one interview, please contact:

Jane Hutchison

Jane Hutchison, PhD

Research Associate, Education & Skills
613-526-3090 ext. 112

Deadline: Past

If one-on-one interviews aren’t your thing, we are also conducting five virtual anonymous focus groups, each consisting of eight to 10 neurodiverse workers. We are looking for workers who identify with any of the following groups to share their insights on being neurodiverse in the workplace:

  • autism spectrum
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • learning-related conditions (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia)
  • mental health-related conditions (e.g., schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder)

If you are interested in participating in a focus group, please contact:

Jane Hutchison

Jane Hutchison, PhD

Research Associate, Education & Skills
hutchison@conferenceboard.ca
613-526-3090 ext. 112

Deadline: Past 

Neurodiversity conveys the idea that there are natural variations in the human genome that lead to differences in how people think and interact. Many conditions fall under the neurodiversity umbrella, including but not limited to autism spectrum, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, Tourette Syndrome, and certain mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Neurodiversity is not something that needs to be fixed, but rather understood and accommodated.

Neurodiverse individuals often perform above average in many areas that are important for workplace success, including creativity, innovation, pattern recognition, memory, and mathematics, to name a few. So it’s not surprising that when companies embrace neurodiversity, they see many benefits in terms of productivity, innovation, and company morale.

Despite the potential for neurodivergent individuals to become highly valuable employees, barriers to their employment persist. For example, following the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, Statistics Canada reported that only 33 per cent of autistic Canadians were employed, compared to 79 per cent of those with no disability.

By participating in this research, you can help The Conference Board of Canada identify strategies and best practices to strengthen workforce engagement among neurodiverse Canadians. The goal is to provide recommendations on how best to serve the employment and long-term career growth of neurodiverse Canadians by developing key resources, tools, and approaches.

About this study

To address this wicked problem, The Conference Board of Canada, on behalf of the Future Skills Centre, is leading a study that will explore leading practices to strengthen workplace engagement for neurodiverse workers in order to keep them in the labour market and further their careers.

FSC partners

Ryerson University
Conference Board of Canada
Blueprint
Funding line en transparent Canada