Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace
This inspiring discussion took place on 25th April, kindly hosted by C. Hoare & Co.
The panel included Professor Simon Baron-Cohen alongside Ray Coyle, UK CEO of Auticon and Mona Shah, MD of Harry Specters Chocolates.
Almost nine out of ten autistic people are unemployed. These two companies, Auticon and Harry Specters,though different in their approach and offering, are equally dedicated to making change and fulfilling the employment potential of those on the autistic spectrum.
Auticon is an award-winning IT and compliance consulting business. All Auticon consultants are on the autism spectrum. The company prides itself in creating autism-friendly work environments as well as delivering outstanding quality to clients. The consultants are deployed in client projects that match their skills and expertise, and they work within the client’s project team. Auticon has seen that having both autistic and non-autistic professionals in mixed project teams opens up new perspectives and will often significantly improve work output. All Auticon consultants (and clients) are offered the support of specially trained job coaches.
Harry Specters is about award-winning flavours and positive social change; Mona, Shaz and their son Ash, who has autism, are behind this social enterprise of Harry Specters Chocolates. While visiting a chocolate shop on a holiday in Scotland in 2011, Mona discovered a perfect way of combining her passion for creating positive change for people with autism with her love for chocolate. Ash came up with the name and a year later, Harry Specters was born. The company is dedicated to crafting the most delicious chocolates, while creating employment for young people with autism – who are involved in every aspect of the business, from making and packaging the products to administration, design and photography. Every lovingly handcrafted bar and chocolate helps improve the lives of people with autism.
This event, which drew on a variety of experiences, challenges and stories, highlighted the importance of finding the right work for the individual – whatever their ability or the particular line of work – to the benefit of everyone involved.
Neurodiversity in the workplace is clearly a very relevant issue, made clear by the large audience and the lively interactive Q&A session at the end.
Our thanks goes to C. Hoare & Co, as well as to our wonderful panel members.
Please let ART know if you would like to attend events like these, or indeed if you are in a position to work with us on producing a similar event.
Please email: Elizabeth@autismresearchtrust.org