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Trend: Celebrating neurodiversity in the workforce to harness all brains for good

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Fight­ing Cyber­crime with Neu­ro-Diver­si­ty (Project Syn­di­cate):

Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty is one of the defin­ing chal­lenges of the dig­i­tal age. Every­one, from house­holds to busi­ness­es to gov­ern­ments, has a stake in pro­tect­ing our era’s most valu­able com­mod­i­ty: data. The ques­tion is how that can be achieved…

The key to suc­cess is diver­si­ty of tal­ents and per­spec­tives. This includes neu­ro­log­i­cal diver­si­ty, such as that rep­re­sent­ed by those with autism, Asperg­er syn­drome, and atten­tion-deficit dis­or­der. Peo­ple with Asperg­er syn­drome or autism, for exam­ple, tend to think more lit­er­al­ly and sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly, mak­ing them par­tic­u­lar­ly adept at math­e­mat­ics and pat­tern recog­ni­tion – crit­i­cal skills for cyber­se­cu­ri­ty…

Rec­og­niz­ing the poten­tial of neu­ro­log­i­cal diver­si­ty to con­tribute to strength­en­ing cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, we at BT have reframed how we inter­act with can­di­dates dur­ing inter­views. We encour­age them to talk about their inter­ests, rather than expect­ing them sim­ply to answer typ­i­cal ques­tions about their employ­ment goals or to list their strengths and weak­ness­es. This approach has already been applied with great suc­cess by the likes of Microsoft, Ama­zon, and SAP in the areas of cod­ing and soft­ware devel­op­ment, and by the UK’s GCHQ intel­li­gence and secu­ri­ty orga­ni­za­tion, one of the country’s biggest employ­ers of autis­tic peo­ple…

In the dig­i­tal age, neu­ro-diver­si­ty should be viewed as a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage, not a hindrance…By rec­og­niz­ing and devel­op­ing the skills of this wide­ly over­looked tal­ent pool, we can address a crit­i­cal skills short­age in our economies and enhance our abil­i­ty to fight cyber­crime. Such oppor­tu­ni­ties are not to be missed.”

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Peak Performance, Professional Development

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