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Diversity has been a buzzword in workplaces for quite some time, as businesses seek to embrace greater inclusion. However, have businesses been including neurodiversity in their mission to champion diversity?

Many business leaders will most likely say no, or possibly question what neurodiversity actually is.

Neurodivergent individuals are those people who have unique cognitive and behavioural patterns, deviating away from the neuromajority. In simpler terms, these are individuals whose brain processes and interprets information differently from other people, for instance those on the autism spectrum, persons with ADHD and persons diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. Neurodiversity refers to these natural variations, acknowledging that there is “no right way” of experiencing or interacting with the world.

Organisations have come under pressure in recent years to integrate a diverse workforce, encourage out-of-the-box thinking to develop a competitive advantage, and to also deal with a tight labour market.

Despite this, international studies have indicated that the unemployment rate for neurodiverse adults goes up as high as 30 to 40 per cent, with many businesses not being adequately prepared to include these individuals into their workforces. Additionally, neurodivergent employees tend to face difficulties in career progression.

Joseph K. Muscat, Owner and Consultant at Joseph K. Muscat Neurodiversity Consulting, is seeking to tackle this issue, making businesses more informed about the vast potential that neurodivergent potentials have, and how workplaces need to be better equipped to make them key members of the workforce.

From 18th to 22nd March, Mr Muscat will be bringing Neurodiversity Week to Malta, hosting a number of insightful online interviews with key international and local human resources (HR) leaders and neurodiversity specialists.

Joseph K Muscat / LinkedIn
Neurodiversity Consultant Joseph K. Muscat / LinkedIn

The week will focus on how businesses can create a more inclusive environment for neurodivergent talent, and how neurodiversity is ultimately “good for business,” Mr Muscat explained.

Neurodiversity at the workplace remains quite an unexplored subject in Malta, with there being a lack of research on the area. A contributor to this could be inadequate testing, as many undiagnosed individuals are not aware of their neurodivergent status.

Topics that will be tackled during the event include how businesses can place employees and candidates based on their thinking styles, obtaining board-level buy-in for neurodivergent inclusion, recruitment practices for neurodivergent talent, and best HR practices for supporting such individuals, among other key topics.

The speakers will include Foundation for Human Resources Development (FHRD) Board Member Noel Debono, Diversita Founder and Director Marc Crawley, neurodiversity educator Simon Preston, Educational Neuroscience Hub Europe Founder Erika Galea, HR Specialist Edana Maria Vella, HR Consultant Natalie Lewis, Bjièn Co-Founders Daphné De Troch and Dietrich Moerman, as well as Carob Consult Founder Dragan Donkov.

To learn more about the event and to sign up for the talks, visit the event’s website by clicking here.

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