What I Learned About Neurodiversity At LMF’s Workshop
Only 4 out of 10 absolutely understand how neurodiversity impacts their lives, according to LMF Network’s research on diversity and inclusion.
This insight was shared during the “Introduction: Neurodiversity & Personality” workshop, led by Sonya Barlow, founder of LMF. But, one of the key findings was that more people need to understand how terms like neurodiversity, allyship and inclusion impact their everyday life and understand them.
She explained how the terms inclusion, diversity, neurodiversity, and allyship all link together, although they have different meanings.
“To foster inclusion, you should communicate with your employees and understand them. It is important for employers and employees to educate themselves on the topic of inclusion, neurodiversity, equity and allyship”, Sonya expressed in the workshop.
Sonya explained that becoming an ally is a journey that starts with awareness and ends with individuals playing a more active role in championing change. For Sonya, allyship is vital to creating an inclusive workplace, as it is important to listen and gather diverse perspectives. Being open to learning, acknowledging the differences and identifying your privileges are key ingredients for being an ally.
For me, the main learnings from the workshop were:
1. Everyone is different and that it’s okay.
An example is how contrasting introverts and extroverts.
During the workshops, Sonya explained that introverts are those who enjoy spending time alone, they think before they speak, can be seen as more reserved and prefer working independently. On the contrary, extroverts gain more energy in social situations, make quick decisions, can be seen as outgoing and thrive in a team-oriented work setting.
Want to know what is your personality? The DiCs profile is a valuable, personal assessment tool that can help improve communications, teamwork and productivity in the workplace.
2. Knowledge helps us understand ourselves better.
For me, it was like Sonya was speaking directly to me, giving me advice and educating me. The workshop provided us with the knowledge to better understand neurodiversity and help us understand ourselves.
A great piece of advice was to celebrate our weekly successes rather than focusing on our failures. This was especially important for those who are neurodiverse that can find many daily situations challenging.
3. We can start doing something today to make a change.
Sonya advised us on how small actions can impact how someone feels. For example, checking up on colleagues, friends and family, and ask how they are doing. All these can be applied to everyone, individuals and companies alike.
This is important because change will only be brought when everyone starts to work together.
The data post-workshop showed the impact of these sessions:
- 31% of those who attended the workshop considered themselves neurodivergent, and 53% did not know if they considered themselves neurodivergent.
- 95% of those who attended found it helpful.
- 97% would recommend this workshop to colleagues., friends, and/or family.
These numbers showed that LMF Network efforts are helping with the education on diversity and inclusion topics for more inclusive environments.
About LMF Diversity and Inclusion Research:
At the beginning of 2021, LMF Network launched a four-report research project that explores diversity and inclusion challenges and proposes recommendations for companies. The findings were used to create a new series of workshops to educate and upskill on DEI topics.
Written by Sana Khan,
@LMFnetwork Research Intern and recent graduate
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What is LMFnetwork?
The LMFnetwork is a global social enterprise (not for profit) focused on empowering, enabling & educating womxn and marginalised groups into tech, entrepreneurship & digital. We specialise in designing and delivering accessible programmes and supporting a global community. We’ve gone from a brunch club to a social good brand based on what the community wanted. We are a real community run by real people.