Only 29% of leaders have had neurodiversity training

Just a third of HR professionals and 29% of senior leaders have had specific training in relation to neurodiversity, according to research by City and Guilds and neurodiversity specialists Do-IT Solutions. 

The study was released to coincide with Neurodiversity Week (13 to 19 March), and consisted of answers from 972 respondents.

It found that 41% of employers had adapted their recruitment processes to accommodate neurodivergent traits, and 49% had put champions or mentors in place, to serve as advocates and allies and raise awareness of neurodiversity within the workplace.

Eight in 10 (80%) said having disability inclusion policies and procedures in the workplace was important, but despite this, just 23% had been through training around neurodiversity in the past 12 months.

A third (32%) of neurodivergent respondents felt that they could not disclose this in the workplace, while 10% met with a poor response once they did so. Just under half had family dependants with a neurodivergent condition, and 30% of parents of neurodivergent children said it had an impact on their work.

Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City and 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, training, getting into and staying in work.

“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.”

Professor Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do-IT Solutions, added: “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.”