Business Schools Breaking the Stigma Around Neurodiversity


Neurodiversity, (referring to a variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention and other mental functions) is now getting the attention it deserves from society. It is basically a state of mind in which people have neurological differences like dyslexia, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum and others. The society is finally starting to accept it as a neurological difference rather than a disability.

Various business schools across the globe are taking initiatives in order to enrol people who think differently.  Stephanie Webster, an entrepreneur dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder quit her job because of stigma around ADHD. She used to feel insecure around her colleagues just because she used to think differently.

Neurodiverse people usually want to work in their own way and don’t want to get chained to anything and that’s how Stephanie Webster’s entrepreneurial journey began. In order to expand her business, she applied to London Business School. At the London Business School, contrary to Webster’s expectations, she actually felt comfortable disclosing her ADHD after a talk with an alumnus of the school.

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How Business Schools are Handling Neurodiversity?

Different business schools have started identifying neurodiverse students as an asset to the society as they may have a weakness but everyone has some strengths of their own as well and their thought process is their strength. Schools have started adapting the learning process for the students with the help of professionals. They have also started giving an extra time of 25 minutes to the students for their exams and there is also a grade revision method which can help them in upgrading their grade through sympathetic marking. Many universities have started accepting neurodiversity as new frontiers of inclusion believes Sionade Robinson.

There is still a stigma around neurodiversity in many schools but as more people start disclosing their situation, it is getting a lot more normal than before. Almost 15% of the UK population is estimated to be neurodivergent but because of the stigma, there are lower rates of disclosure. In history, neurodiversity has always been considered as negative and this is the reason for the stigma around it in many developed countries even today. Studies show that only 16% of autistic adults are employed in the UK. This shows that no matter how far we’ve come, there’s still a long way to go. EY, an accounting consultancy firm states that they find neurodiverse people excel in creativity, problem-solving and the company likes to recruit the untapped population as they believe their creativity can help to a great extent in solving customer problems. HEC Paris is also trying their best to make things as comfortable for all the students and as per now 1.7% of the students have disclosed a disability. They are making accommodations in their system to make things easy for neurodiverse students.

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Many officials state that the best solution for normalising neurodiversity is to actually talk to them and understand what they feel and why they feel that. They only can give us the answers we seek by telling us how we can improve our system. Though big organizations and many business schools have started giving attention to this matter, there’s still a great deal to be done.

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