Celebrating Different Minds

According to The National Autistic Society, more women and girls than ever before are discovering that they are autistic. Many had been missed or misdiagnosed due to outdated stereotypes about autism. But that is slowly changing. Disclosing your Neurodiversity (Autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dyslexia and dysgraphia) can be challenging but can lead to a better working environment for all. At least 1% of people in the UK are autistic, but the actual figure could be higher as many adults, particularly women, have not been tested.

Although there is still a considerable number of people who don’t want to disclose their Neurodiversity due to the risk of stigmatization, the ongoing rise in diagnoses of Neurodiversity among adult women means many more of us need to be aware of the potential impact of Neurodiversity on our colleagues and also adapt our workplaces and approach to be more inclusive. 

Being neurodiverse is more common than you think and although disclosure is still a sensitive topic many of our members see the benefit of disclosure and feel it outweighs the potential costs.

Here are a few experiences from our members:

“Being neurodiverse comes with a lot of challenges because people judge you differently with the standards of a ‘status quo’.”

Jessica Adaku Okoro, ‘a dyslexic fish,’ struggled through her educational journey without the awareness of being dyslexic and what it meant. Today, she is the Global Program Director for STEM Social, serves as a board member on different boards and is a TEDx speaker.

She shared her story with us at our Leadership Summit & Awards in November last year as part of our conversation on Neurodiversity and how it affects Unstoppable Women. Watch her story here

“I left school with no qualifications because of terrible dyslexia. I was bullied a lot and if there had been a vote for the person most likely not to succeed in life, I think I probably would have won it. When I left school, I had no aspirations and no role models. So to be here today winning Businesswoman of the Year, it’s quite a journey from that start in life.” – Sheridan Ash MBE, ForwardLadies.com Business Woman of the Year 2022.

FL Members can log in to their member’s area and watch the full panel discussion on Neurodiversity and how it is affecting women.

Do you want to know how to create a neuro-affirming, supportive, inclusive environment for neurodivergent people in your teams or organizations?

Understanding ADHD During Neurodiversity Celebration Week. 

As part of Neurodiversity Celebration Week in March, join us to hear from Kate Dean, Director of Enable, as she mentors us through ADHD, how it can affect women and strategies to help us thrive in the workplace. Kate brings her own experience and the strengths of her Neurodiversity to her work and is joining us for this mentoring session.

Thursday | 16th March 2023 | 1 pm