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Next in Human Resources: Seeing cognitive diversity as an asset to build on, not a problem to avoid

brains_neurodiversityNeu­ro­di­ver­si­ty: 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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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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