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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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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.