Neurodiversity has been gaining attention as a growing movement advocating for the recognition of natural variations in human cognition and behavior. This includes individuals with conditions such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, among others.
Corporate leadership in neurodiversity has become increasingly important in creating inclusive and supportive workplaces for neurodiverse individuals. In the United States, several companies have made significant strides in this area, such as Microsoft's Autism Hiring Program, Walgreens' training program for managers, and Sephora's sensory-friendly shopping experience.
However, Canada has been slower to catch up, with only 38% of Canadian organizations having a formal strategy for accommodating neurodiverse employees, according to a report by the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. But some Canadian leaders are working to change that.
One such leader is EY Canada, which has established a Centre for Neurodiverse Excellence, providing resources and support for neurodiverse employees and educating colleagues and clients on the benefits of neurodiversity. Anthony Rjeily, EY Canada's neurodiversity program national leader, has been instrumental in driving the organization's efforts in this area.
Another Canadian leader in neurodiversity is Summit Montreal, a school for neurodiverse students that recognizes and builds upon their strengths. The school has recently teamed up with Rjeily to help create programming that will provide neurodiverse students with opportunities to gain work experience and build their resumes, highlighting the potential for collaboration between corporate leaders and educators.
As neurodiversity continues to gain recognition as a valuable aspect of diversity and inclusion, it is important for more companies and organizations to follow the lead of EY Canada and Summit Montreal in promoting and accommodating neurodiverse individuals in the workplace and education system.