Think Different: New Industry Inclusion Push Makes Case For Neurodiversity

EASTON, CT -- Even as the advertising and media worlds grapple with diversity and inclusion surrounding race, gender and ethnicity, a new push is being made for making organizations and society more inclusive of the different ways people’s brains are wired.

The push, which was unveiled this morning during i-com’s digital global data summit, grew out of a working group around so-called “neurodiversity” -- or making cultures representative of people with “non-normal” brain wiring, including such diagnoses as autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, etc. -- for two main reasons:

  1. Because it is more fair from a social injustice point-of-view.

  2. Because people who have brains wired differently often are better at thinking differently to create new or better solutions for organizations.



“There’s a strong social justice aspect to this,” Mark Evans, managing director-marketing and digital at Direct Line Group and a member of the i-com neurodiversity working group, said during a presentation on the subject Monday morning.

But the second, perhaps more bottom-line consideration for many marketing and media organizations, he said, is that “diversity drives performance -- almost any kind of diversity.”

But for “data literate” organizations, he said, neurodiversity is even more important, because people who are wired differently often make the best data scientists.

People with other brain differences are known to have more empathy, or simply look at the world from a different perspective that provides organizations with more competitive advantages.

Evans also offered three steps for transforming organizations to become more neurologically diverse, including:

  1. Starting the conversation inside your organization.

  2. Nurturing the existing members of your organization who fall into neurodiversity buckets.

  3. Recruiting new members to round out the neurodiversity of your team.

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