Neurodiverse people still face employment obstacles despite diversity initiatives 

As companies look to improve their diversity and inclusion protocols, neurodiverse people still have low employment prospects

"Neurodiversity" encompasses those whose thoughts differ from the "typical" and can include those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and Tourette syndrome. Many neurodiverse people face obstacles in employment, with as many as 90 percent of adults with autism spectrum disorder being unemployed or underemployed. 

Charlotte Valeur, former chair of the U.K.'s Institute of Directors, told the Financial Times that she was 51 when she was tested for autism and discovered she placed high on the disorder's spectrum. She spoke out about her autism and was surprised to have hundreds of people reach out, including senior directors. She was worried about "coming out" as neurodiverse, though, so suggests that it is difficult to get those without visible signs to open up publicly about it.

On Nov. 15, she founded the Institute of Neurodiversity in the U.K., Australia and Europe with the goal to unite neurodiverse people across the world and amplify their voices. In the U.S, there are a few sub-projects that aim to increase awareness of neurodiverse people in the workplace and their unique strengths and struggles, including the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion and the Diversity Project

Many companies, including EY, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, are now starting neurodiversity hiring initiatives. While this is a good start, more can be done to include neurodiverse perspectives and voices in the workplace. 

"We have a lot of potential to bring to the table. We need [society] to accept that there are different ways," Ms. Valeur told the Financial Times

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