Global consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY), which had set up its first Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence (NCoE) five years ago in Philadelphia, is geared to launch a similar centre in the UK. The company believes that hiring more neurodiversity hiring would help usher in a new dimension in innovation and creativity within the technology space.
Today, there are six NCoEs in the US alone, while others are located in Canada, India, Poland and Spain. Plans are also underway to open similar centres in several other countries. Thelan is to hire individuals with conditions like autism, ADHD and dyslexia to work in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics, automation, blockchain and cybersecurity.
As a means of furthering the company’s diversity and inclusion agenda, the centre aims to hire 150 individuals over the next three years. Talking about the reason behind this move, head of the upcoming centre Catriona Campbell said, “Harnessing the exponential power of neurodiversity will enhance the service we provide to our clients.”
She also shared the company’s experience with neurodiversity hiring in the US where they were found to score more than neurotypical people in terms of innovation. “The diversity of thought and creativity they brought was a differentiator,” Campbell said.
Neurodiversity hiring is on the rise across the globe. About this, EY’s Managing Partner for Client Service in the UK & Ireland Alison Kay said, “Just 22% of autistic adults are in any kind of employment in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Yet, they are typically highly proficient in some of the ‘in-demand’ skills of right now, and in the future.”
For these hirings, many changes are to be brought into the hiring, training, and onboarding processes, like a performance-based interview instead of based on a personal interview, ensuring all processes are done in smaller groups and necessary orientation training to avoid stressing out the candidates.