Neurodiversity blog

TwentyTwo’s offering is strengthened by embracing neurodiversity

04 September 2023, by Don Smith

Pioneering companies of all sizes – including prominent companies such as Deloitte and Microsoft – have reformed their HR process in recent years to seek out neurodiverse talent.

Why? Because they recognise the great value that neurodiverse employees bring to their companies – as well as the value the company can provide neurodiverse employees.

Before I jump in further, what is ‘neurodiversity’? In short, it’s a term used to describe neurological differences in the human brain. In other words, we’re all wired differently and our natural differences have a direct impact on how we think and learn which leads to some unique advantages in the workplace, such as a greater ability to solve problems in ways that others might not be able to.

TwentyTwo is among these pioneering companies that considers neurodiversity as a positive thing that brings great value to our team’s thinking. We’ve learnt that neurodiverse employees are more likely to bring a greater empathy, creativity and innovation, as well as a unique resourcefulness in getting around problems, productivity gains and quality improvement that can help us offer better solutions for our clients. In short, being neurodiverse demands a diversity of thought that can add value to delivering a more complete perspective.

As a dyslexic, I’ve grown to understand that it’s a gift that allows me to think differently and get a unique perspective which has been an incredibly valuable skill throughout my career. Working for a company like TwentyTwo which understands, supports and harnesses my dyslexic thinking, means that I’m able to add value that might otherwise have been missed.

I encourage all employers to embrace this skill and use it to deliver better outcomes, like TwentyTwo does. When companies understand and support neurodiverse thinking, they tap into a pool of talent that offers new and often better ways of doing things, including young people in New Zealand, 20% of which are neurodiverse according to the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education. This article on Fidelity Life’s partnership with Auticon is also a great example of how neurodiversity is a strength in the workplace.

It’s so encouraging to see organisations understanding and embracing the value and I applaud them for taking such a positive inclusive approach. I’d encourage all businesses to incorporate neurodiversity into their culture as a part of a wider diversity strategy.


About the author

Married to long-suffering Nina. Two teenage boys. Avid follower of all things' motorsport and owner of too many Italian cars. Proud that his wardrobe is known as his 'shoeporium'.

Don joined the TwentyTwo in 2022, bringing 30+ years of property experience and a passion for technology solutions and innovative, commercial thinking. Don leads our Technology22 and Portfolio22 practice areas, drawing on his knowledge from various senior roles and working on diverse portfolios including commercial office, investment, retail, infrastructure, industrial, portfolio repositioning and strategic consulting. He has an increasing role supporting the ongoing transformation of the business, by applying that commercial and innovation lens across all areas, to ensure we remain agile and future-focused.

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