Neurodiversity in Hiring Yields Benefits for Everyone

April 16, 2024 | 3 minute read
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The World Health Organization estimates that 16% of the world’s population—one of every six people—lives with some form of disability. Tapping into that diverse talent pool is not just the right but the bright thing for global companies that sell products and services to millions of people—many of whom may face some form of disability themselves.

Oracle is committed to hiring and nurturing people with different abilities. Oracle Diverse Abilities Network (ODAN), an Employee Resource Group (ERG) with more than 1,500 members, supports employees with disabilities, as well as parents and caregivers.

To support a diverse workforce, you want to ensure the culture fosters open communications between employees and managers, especially when talents, abilities and ways of thinking vary widely. The upside can be tremendous.

Neurodiverse people are valuable team members because they can provide different, creative approaches to problem resolution. Ben Strong, senior director of regulatory compliance based in Oracle’s Canberra, Australia office, enthusiastically supports adding neurodiverse people to his team. “It’s refreshing to hear different perspectives on solving a vast array of business problems,” said Strong.Celebrating Neurodiversity Banner

Tahira Zehra White, a London-based principal regulatory compliance specialist who is neurodivergent, said she has been able to tackle long-standing problems quickly. She credits her ability to suss out those solutions more easily at times due to her “wiring,” which can differ from others.

“Neurodiverse people like me often need workplace adjustments and tolerance to thrive. My manager explained from the outset that these adjustments are manageable, not burdensome,” she said.

Toward that end her manager proactively ensures that her workload is balanced in a way that makes her neurodiversity an advantage.

“I’m given the safety to be hyper-focused and eccentric when we need to utilize neurodiversity’s superhuman bursts,” she said. She is able to take frequent, short breaks as opposed to long blocks of time off so she can recharge and return to work at her peak.

An Oracle employee who is autistic agreed that her differences enhance her team’s work.

“I used to think everyone was as meticulous as me but have realized that is not always the case,” said Madelene Lindgren, an Oracle analyst in Sweden. “I have since learned that autistic people often pay more attention to details than neurotypical people, which makes us a great asset when it comes to proofreading and other such tasks.”

Gabriel Etinzon, a principal advanced services engineer, based in France, said one issue is that neurodiversity and handicaps can be non-apparent. Everyone must be patient with colleagues who may have different physical and mental abilities but may not be comfortable sharing them, he said.

In Strong’s view, management should view people as being a “cultural addition, not just a cultural fit.” Teams that represent diverse backgrounds, cultures, and abilities can bring benefits to every member and the company as a whole.

White said her team has created value together that in turn benefits Oracle “simply by their willingness to value a different way of thinking and approaching business tasks.”

Oracle D&I Editorial Team

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