This week (March 18th-24th) is Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Every year, Neurodiversity Celebration Week organises a range of events intended to encourage conversations around neurodiversity and highlight the contributions of people from neurodivergent backgrounds.

Neurodiversity refers to the natural diversity of human minds, and acknowledges the whole spectrum of neurodiversity – from neurodivergent individuals, to neurotypical individuals. Whereas, the term neurodivergent is an umbrella term used to describe individuals who have a mind or brain that diverges from what is typical, including autistic individuals or ADHDers. Increasingly, in recent years, employers have come to realise that being neurodivergent-inclusive isn’t just the right thing to do morally, but that it can also bring real business benefits, harnessing alternative ways of thinking and generating genuinely fresh ideas.

This applies to the public transport sector – bus, coach and rail – as well; the rail sector in particular is facing a burgeoning skills crisis and its existing workforce is ageing, so it needs to tap into new pools of talent. But what does it mean to make UK transport a neurodivergent-friendly place to work?

Deepening awareness, promoting respect

The first step towards creating a workplace culture that’s truly inclusive for people from neurodivergent backgrounds is training. Employers in the transport sector, and more broadly, should seek to raise awareness about neurodiversity through training and awareness programmes.

These might include, for example, information about various neurodevelopmental conditions and what these mean for people living with them. In addition, these programmes should discuss the challenges commonly faced by people from neurodivergent backgrounds, including in the workplace, and what measures others should take to support them effectively.

 

Be flexible

Creating a -friendly workplace for neurodivergent people requires a degree of flexibility, and a willingness to accommodate people from those backgrounds. It is essential to remember that these colleagues have specific needs, and that unless these are accommodated effectively, they will most likely be unable to perform to their full potential.

Employers should therefore create space for neurodivergent individuals.

 

Create a sensory-friendly workplace

One accommodation employers can make to create a neurodivergent-friendly workplace is to provide measures such as quiet areas and using calming colours, where practicable. These spaces can give neurodivergent individuals a calmer space to go to when they feel the need, which is another important way of accommodating them and supporting them in the workplace.

 

Supportive management matters

In any line of work, and whatever your background, having the support of management always makes a huge difference. From a neurodivergence standpoint, it’s crucial that managers genuinely appreciate the importance of being accommodating to neurodivergent individuals and are prepared to back that up with action.

Managers should also be trained in supportive management practices, with that training being specifically tailored around neurodivergence. For example, it should cover areas such as communication and providing constructive feedback, as well as adapting other management practices to the specific needs of neurodivergent individuals.

 

Rethink your recruitment process

Recruitment processes should also be revised to take account of neurodivergence. It is important to ensure that you’re being inclusive from the very outset, so make sure your job advertisements are written clearly and concisely, listing key details such as the salary and the necessary skills and experience for the role.

Employers should also think about their assessment methods and how these might be adjusted so that neurodivergent candidates are given a genuinely fair chance; some such candidates may perform better in practical scenarios than theoretical ones, or vice versa. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this.

 

Establish peer support networks

As people who are neurodivergent face specific challenges in the workplace, it’s important to have support networks consisting of other people who’ve been through similar experience. Peer support networks can therefore play a crucial role in making the transport industry more friendly towards the neurodivergent community.

Peer support networks can provide employees from such backgrounds with a space to link up with others who have found themselves in similar situations, discussing how they’ve addressed the challenges they’ve encountered and offer mutual support, as well as empowering them to continue to change the industry’s workplace culture to make it more inclusive.

 

Feedback and regular review

Where practices and processes are changed to make the workplace more welcoming and supportive, these should be reviewed regularly to see whether they’re providing neurodivergent employees with the support they need to flourish and succeed.

This is why employees should be encouraged to provide feedback (anonymously, if that’s easier) about their experiences, and to suggest changes where needed. This can produce highly useful insights for managers about what they’re doing right and where, if anywhere, they’re going wrong – enabling them to make the necessary adjustments and introduce new initiatives.

Intuitive recently held an online webinar on neurodiversity in transport, featuring expert speakers Ian Chapman, Practice Director at AtkinsRéalis, and Harry Saville, Consulting Business Psychologist at Lexxic. You can watch the full webinar here.

Whether you’re a candidate looking for the perfect leadership-level role in UK transport or an employer in the industry searching for dynamic, talented leaders, Intuitive can help. Get in touch with us today and find out more about what our team of expert recruiters can do for you.

WE would love to get to know you!

Please do give us a call, drop us a message or follow us on Twitter & Linkedin!

Related blogs

Read more Read more
Seven Ways Interim Managers Could Boost Your Business

Recruiting interim candidates is a good way of bringing in specialist expertise, offering flexibility and a diverse breadth of experience as well as cost-effectiveness.

Unconscious bias against neurodiversity in recruitment
Read more Read more
Assessing Your Recruitment Process for Neurodiversity Bias

As with any other employee, new executives need support as they adjust to their new role so that they can perform to their full potential. But how long is long enough?

How long should executive onboarding last
Read more Read more
How Long Should Executive Onboarding Last?

As with any other employee, new executives need support as they adjust to their new role so that they can perform to their full potential. But how long is long enough?

Read more Read more
Key Challenges for the UK Bus and Coach Industry – and the Leadership it Needs

We take a close look at the biggest challenges facing the bus sector and how they might be addressed moving forward.

promoting yourself as an interim executive
Read more Read more
Promoting Yourself as an Interim

To be an effective interim executive, you need a particular skill set that equips you for the challenges you’re likely to encounter. Here’s what to develop – and to promote.

Considerations to make before committing to your next career move
Read more Read more
What You Need to Consider Before Making Your Next Career Move

Before committing a big career move, there’s a lot you need to think about. Here’s what you should consider before taking on a new role.

Read more Read more
Infographic: How Intuitive Made a Difference in 2023

We did so much in 2023, so we’ve created an infographic of some of our biggest achievements this year!

Executive job interview tips
Read more Read more
Tips for Acing Your Next Executive Job Interview

if you’re on the lookout for a new executive role – whether it’s your first job at this level or you already have some senior-level experience – hare some top tips to bear in mind.

bus industry diversity
Read more Read more
Driving Change in the UK Bus Industry: Why Diversity Matters

Taking a closer look at why it’s so vital that organisations in the bus and coach sector take diversity seriously and act accordingly.

Read more Read more
Neurodiversity in Transport Resources

Missed our Neurodiversity in Transport Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Bus Sector
Read more Read more
Video: A Force for Change in the Bus Sector

Our team works with a host of leading employers in the bus industry, placing dynamic leadership talent into executive level roles.

ed&i in the UK bus sector
Read more Read more
ED&I In The UK Bus Industry: The Scale Of The Challenge

Buses have long been the site of struggles for civil rights and equality, and, for all its progress, the UK bus industry has a way to go.

executive onboarding blog
Read more Read more
How To Keep Executive Onboarding On Track

Between 50% and 70% of executives fail within 18 months of starting a new role. So what can be done to ensure executives thrive and prosper?

interview style pros and cons
Read more Read more
Conducting a Successful Interview: Pros and Cons of Different Interview Styles 

Recruiting for executive roles is never an easy business, but choosing the right interview format for the position and your organisation can make it easier.

executive onboarding
Read more Read more
New Candidate Expectations for Executive Onboarding

New senior-level recruits have very different needs from their colleagues. Here’s how to ensure your executive onboarding process works.

The UK rail skills shortage 2023
Read more Read more
Infographic: The UK Rail Skills Shortage

Our infographic lays bare the scale of the skills shortage in UK rail, its effects on the industry, and how recruiters can help to address the skills gap.

impact statement
Read more Read more
Our Impact Statement

Through our commitment to ED&I, we’ve spent the last decade working to make transport more diverse – and more reflective of the public it serves.

Read more Read more
Inclusive Leadership Resources

Missed our Inclusive Leadership Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Growing Senior Transport Roles to Consider in Recruitment Plans

We detail the growing c-suite positions you should account for in your recruitment strategies or may want to pursue as a leadership candidate.

Read more Read more
Guide to Interim Leadership Assignments in Transport

Read our guide to get a fresh insight into successful interim recruitment in the transport industry.

Read more Read more
Knowing if and When Interim Leadership Is Right for You

For many senior professionals, interim management is the most rewarding career path imaginable – but contract work isn’t for everyone.

Read more Read more
CV Rules and Best Practices for Senior Leaders

How you can take your CV from a tell-all list to a marketing tool that increases your chance of securing an interview.

Read more Read more
Diversity in Transport Report

Learn how your Transport organisation can benefit from enhanced Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in its teams with our exclusive Diversity in Transport Report – the 2023 edition.

Read more Read more
Video: Nina Reflects on 10 Years of Intuitive

Founder and Director Nina Lockwood reflects on the last ten years of Intuitive and shares her thoughts on recruitment and the transport industry.

Celebrating ten years of Intuitive Recruitment
Read more Read more
Video: Ten Years of Intuitive

Intuitive’s first decade has been magical. Here are the highlights, from bringing new faces into the sector to hosting a hit podcast and winning Executive Recruitment Agency of the Year.

Intuitive 2022 Year in Review
Read more Read more
Video: Our 2022 Wrap Up

2022 has certainly been a fantastic year for Intuitive. So to celebrate, we’ve packed our highlights into a short wrap-up video.

Read more Read more
Infographic: Sector Switching – How to Figure out the Right Fit?

Could a different sector be a better fit for your career priorities and progression goals? This 7-step plan can help you decide.

Read more Read more
Get what you need from Interviews Without being Script-Bound

We share six steps for developing an interview approach that gets what you need from leadership candidate interviews, without relying on a script.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 2 – In-Person Interviews

In-person interviews are far more fluid than they used to be – especially for senior leaders. Here are four ways to adapt your interview style for senior leadership positions.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 1 – Video

As video interviews have grown, so have expectations of how candidates use virtual tools. Here’s how to adapt your interview style for virtual spaces.

Read more Read more
Making LinkedIn an Irreplaceable Career Progression Tool

We share our tried-and-true seven-step strategy for making LinkedIn an irreplaceable tool in your career progression journey.

Read more Read more
Hallmarks of Ads that Attract the Strongest Candidates

Discover four fundamental features of senior leadership job adverts that attract the strongest Transport candidates.

Read more Read more
Allyship in Transport Resources

Missed our Allyship in Transport Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Building an Employer Value Proposition That Evolves with Candidate Expectations

While you can’t predict what’s to come, adjusting your strategic approach with an evolving EVP can ensure it always delivers what matters.

Read more Read more
Faster Career Progression by Embracing Positive Thinking

A positive attitude can be a real divider when it comes to professional success and can improve confidence, relationships and the speed at which you achieve your goals.

Read more Read more
Building a Personal Brand That’s Instantly Memorable

How do you curate a personal brand that’s true to you but still has career progression prowess?

Read more Read more
How To Have Authentic Conversations With Candidates

Authentic conversations help uncover the real person behind an impressive CV, and are paramount to matching the right candidate with the right enterprise.

Read more Read more
Weighing Up A New Role: Three Questions To Ask

We share three fantastic questions that every transport leadership candidate should ask during the interview process. Revealing answers are guaranteed!

Read more Read more
Workplace Belonging Resources

Missed our Workplace Belonging Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights and download our resources here.

Read more Read more
Intuitive proudly announce our CPT membership

Intuitive will be teaming up with the CPT to connect bus and coach organisations with exceptional leadership professionals.

leadership potential
Read more Read more
Ways to Identify Leadership Potential Outside Your Sector

How can your transport organisation tap into cross-sectoral talent and identify leadership potential? We explore strategies for finding talent and 5 specific characteristics to look for.

transport sector
Read more Read more
How Transport Can Be a Successful Force for Change

Why connecting with clients with candidates from outside of the transport sector is important and how it can benefit your organisation. We share 4 interesting advantages.

Read more Read more
Reverse Mentoring: Why it’s Important to the Transport Sector

Reverse mentoring empowers less senior, younger, or more unconventional employees to share their knowledge and experience with more senior, conventional, and oftentimes older colleagues.

Read more Read more
How to Challenge Unconscious Bias in the Recruitment Process

Unconscious bias has been associated with career challenges for those from diverse backgrounds, and when left unchecked, can affect workplace inclusivity.

Read more Read more
Why Your EVP will Turn the Tide on Recruitment Challenges

Putting your employer value proposition at the heart of your recruitment strategy can set you up for long and short term success.

Read more Read more
4 Ways to Have a Positive Mindset in Your Role

In the workplace and as a leader, a positive mindset is important not just for job satisfaction, but for being effective and driving change.

ed&i knowledge session transport
Read more Read more
Become an ED&I Agent of Change

Practical resources to help you drive change and opportunity for diverse talent in transport.

Read more Read more
Unveiling the 90 Day Accelerator Programme

Nina and Founder and Director of Metisblue Laurent Bouvier introduce the exclusive and focused 90 Day Accelerator Programme.

Blog Title Card: Nina on Inspirational Women in Recruitment
Read more Read more
Hear Nina on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment Podcast

Nina recently featured on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment podcast, revealing her approach to attracting and engaging talent and more.

Skills for the transport sector
Read more Read more
How to Match Transport Candidates Beyond the Job Description

Whether recruiting as an internal team or with a Talent Consultancy, our tips can help you match high-level roles with the best in transport.

Blog Title Card: Transport Diversity and Inclusion
Read more Read more
Can Diversity and Inclusion Tackle Transport’s Challenges?

Diversity of thought, perspective and experience allows innovation to thrive, and for the best ideas to win. Discover how in our infographic.

Blog Title Card: In-Demand Skills for Transport
Read more Read more
5 Key Transferable and Desirable Skills for the Transport Sector

Discover the top five in-demand transferable skills relevant to high-level roles in the transport sector, based on feedback from our clients.