While talking about diversity and inclusion, most organisations talk about their gender ratio and LGBT friendly policies. Increasingly, neurodiversity hiring is gaining ground within the corporate world. And, now a New Zealand based company has come forward to train companies to become neurodiversity hiring-friendly.
The Brain Badge, run by The Observatory Charitable Trust, is a part of the mission undertaken by its founder Richard Rowley. Throughout his childhood, he had various adjectives attached to himself – naughty, disobedient, weird for instance. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a much older adult that his behaviour made sense to him.
During his 20’s and 30’s, he never felt like he belonged in any of his workplaces. This led to frequent job and career changes, until the advent of computers in his life. He then joined The Mind Lab four years ago which was the first workplace he felt comfortable in. Rowley realised this was because of the inclusive nature of his previous employer.
As a father of three neurodiverse kids, he wished to do something so that when his children started working, they wouldn’t feel alienated in whichever profession or organisation they decided to join.
That’s where Brain Badge comes into the picture. It offers a neurodiversity awareness and education programme and certifies organisations that have gone through the necessary training. During the training, the team also speaks about the research and experiments that have proven how beneficial a neurodiverse workforce can be to an organisation.
Two NZ based organisations, The Warehouse and The Auckland Transport have signed up for this certificate and many others are considering it.