Playback: Neurodivergence at Work - a Panel Discussion

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The realities of neurodivergence at work

Neurodivergence is an umbrella term that includes those on the Autism Spectrum, those with ADHD, and even individuals with learning disabilities, and sensory processing disorders. Neurodivergent individuals are far from a minority population. In fact, they make up 15-20% of the population.

With 1 in 50 people being diagnosed as neurodivergent (ND) and even more going undiagnosed and silently struggling, we need to pay more attention to how companies and cultures make space for neurodivergence. Neurodivergent individuals bring key skills, perspectives, and talents. But, ND individuals are also more likely to experience mental health issues, burnout, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships at work.

It is true that ND individuals process work differently. Some Neurodivergent conditions classify as disabilities. Yet, the strategies that would create safe and supportive workplaces for ND individuals to thrive, can help every employee become happier, healthier, more productive and more engaged at work.

So what holds companies back from creating environments that are safe, supporting, inclusive and engaging? The short answer is fear. Companies want to do right, but they don't know how to approach, address, and support ND issues and individuals. Managers and leaders worry about having to take on more than they can handle. And companies want to know exactly what they are taking on and what it will mean for their workforce as a whole.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has identified 13 factors of Psychologically Safe & Healthy Workplaces. Organizations who put them into effect can empower their workers to develop true work-life balance - leading to increased productivity, motivation, and engagement at work.

  • Culture
  • Psychological & Social Support
  • Civility & Respect
  • Clear Leadership & Expectations
  • Psychological Demands
  • Growth & Development
  • Recognition & Reward
  • Involvement & Influence
  • Workload Management
  • Engagement
  • Balance
  • Psychological Protection
  • Protection of Physical Safety

What We Talked About

Part 1

What it's like to be a Neurodivergent employee including signs and symptoms of unrecognized neurodivergence

Part 2

What struggles and strengths do Neurodivergent people experience and bring to work - from focus and productivity, to relationships and emotional wellbeing

Part 3

How stigmatizing company cultures can lead to “masking”, which is correlated with severe mental health outcomes

Part 4

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has identified 13 factors of a psychologically safe and healthy workplace. How neurodivergence intersects with these 13 core factors that create safe, healthy and engaged workforces

Part 5

Why typical strategies to manage and motivate employees aren’t working, and how to protect yourself, your team, and your employees from neurodivergent burnout and compassion fatigue

Part 6

How managers and leaders can overcome the fear and awkwardness around having these discussions, so they can get to know and learn how best to support their team members

Our Panel

The Expert Talk Co-Founder

Dr. Erin Watson

Conflict Resolution Expert

Charmaine Hammond

Owner, A Brave Space Coaching

Angela Whyte


CEO, The Expert Talk

Jennifer Prendergast

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