Neurodiversity: The Benefits of Recruiting Employees with Cognitive Disabilities (Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge):
There’s a new frontier in diversity programs focused not on race or gender but on cognitive ability.
The growing interest in neurodiversity—hiring people with cognitive disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)—is motivated by companies looking to tap into a largely unnoticed labor pool at a time when many bemoan the lack of skilled workers…
Social difficulties are one of the hallmarks of ASD, making it hard for those with ASD to make it through a traditional hiring process. Roughly 60 percent of people with ASD have average or above average intelligence, yet 85 percent are unemployed.
“Their intellectual horsepower is quite high,” Harvard Business School’s Gary P. Pisano says of the ASD population. “They do things differently and they behave differently, but the question is, can you turn that into a virtue? That’s part of the thinking on this idea of neurodiversity; that we do better when we mix people who think differently or are wired a bit differently.”
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