[Title slide: Advancing with neurodiversity at work: Inclusion and expansion." Behind the title is a stock image of a woman shaking hands with neurodiverse solutions in the top left hand corner.] 00:00:08 - 00:00:47 Anthony Pacilio Welcome, everyone, to today's webinar and our catchy music theme before you got in. Advancing with Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Inclusion and Expansion. My name's Anthony Pacilio, vice president of Neurodiversity Solutions at CAI. A little bit about me, my responsibilities here to help organizations build neurodiversity programs and to lead our global expansion efforts of CAI Neurodiverse Solutions. A little bit of my expertise lies in managing neurodiversity recruiting efforts, developing candidate pipelines. And ensuring best practices for onboarding, support, training, organizational success. [Agenda slide: Top left hand corner displays a box showing 1. 5 min introduction, bottom left corner displays a box showing 2. 35 min discussion, top right hand corner displays a box showing 3. 15 min. Audience Q&A, bottom right corner displays a box showing 4. 5 min wrap up.] 00:00:48 - 00:01:08 Anthony A few things before we begin, I'd like let's take a moment to go over some housekeeping items. If you have any questions to submit during the discussion today, we ask that you use the Q&A feature found at the bottom of the bar of your Zoom app. There's going to be a time at the end of the discussion that we'll address as many questions as we can, and hopefully we get a lot of questions. 00:01:09 - 00:01:35 Anthony In addition, you're going to find more information on the event in the chat box, so be sure to follow along with that as well. Lastly, I want to let you know that we're recording the session today for future viewing. Let's take a look at today's agenda. You're going to see we have a few things we'll be talking about, and we are also going to be sharing with you each question visually as well. [Introduction slide: Meet our guests is written at the top left hand corner. The three speaker's headshots with their titles and bios are shown in the middle. From left to right the speakers read "Hala Annabi, Associate Professor, Information School, University of Washington: Rita Soni, Prinicpal Analyst for Impact,Sourcing and Sustainability, Everest Group: and Anthony Pacilio, Vice President, Neurodiverse Solutions at CAI" with a blue button below his title stating "moderator."] 00:01:36 - 00:02:13 Anthony I'm going to introduce our 2 esteemed guests. Dr. Hala Annabi, associate Professor of Information School at the University of Washington. An associate professor of information management and director of ACCESS-IT research group. Professor in the University of Washington's Information School. Her research and consulting focus on creating and maintaining inclusive learning organizations. Dr. Annabi investigates diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at recruiting, retaining and advancing women, women of color and neurodivergent employees. 00:02:14 - 00:03:00 Anthony She pursues lines of inquiry focused on improving inclusive product management. Her work is published in academic and industry outlets to advance the science and practice of inclusion. Dr. Annabi has worked closely with industry leaders since 2017 to establish best practices for neuroinclusion. She's authored the Autism @ Work Playbook and the Neurodiversity Playbook: Employee Engagement and Growth Series in partnership with the Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable, which includes firms such as Microsoft, SAP, JPMorgan Chase, and EY. The Autism @ Work Playbook is considered the industry guidebook for designing, developing and scaling neurodiversity hiring programs. I was honored to be part of that when we were building that together. 00:03:01 - 00:03:53 Anthony Now let me introduce Rita Soni. Rita's Everest Group's principal analyst for impact sourcing and sustainability. Her focus delivers a triple-bottom lens of people, planet, and profits to global services market research, beginning with an in-depth examination into impact sourcing. Which we're going to talk about today. Before joining Everest Group, she was CEO of NASSCOM Foundation where the term impact sourcing was coined, and continued to evolve the field as an advisor to B2R Technologies. Rita also held the role of country head of responsible banking at Yes Bank, where she led an award-winning business approach to CSR and sustainability. She grasped these economic development issues on the ground in earlier positions at Ford Foundation and America India Foundation after beginning her professional journey with General Electric and NBC. 00:03:54 - 00:04:17 Anthony Her initial start as an engineer instilled in her a strong passion for the catalytic role of technology to solve social and environmental challenges within the private sector. Rita serves on the board of Sapna New York City and is an active mentor at the New York Academy of Sciences. She holds a master of international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor of engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. 00:04:18 - 00:04:37 Anthony Thank you both for being here today. We are going to get started with some questions. I know we have talked briefly before. We have a robust lineup of questions and they go from topic to topic, and I think our audience is going to be duly engaged for the next hour or so. 00:04:38 - 00:05:08 Anthony Businesses, government, organizations, and most importantly neurodivergent individuals like myself, are realizing the importance of long-term success of neurodiversity in the workplace. As these initiatives mature, inclusive hiring practices are now deemed essential with that ensuring a supportive infrastructure is in place. From interviewing techniques to relevant job requirements, effectively integrating neurodiversity into companies culture is absolutely crucial. 00:05:09 - 00:05:32 Anthony However, as growth continues and employment practices evolve, the change that comes with it might be bet with a little bit of hesitation. Experts are in agreement that clear communication training programs providing a 360 view of what the role entails and an overarching picture of the working environment, will definitely ensure continued success for the employer and most importantly the employee. 00:05:33 - 00:06:13 Anthony In this 60-minute webinar, our guests are also going to discuss... Easy for me to say... what comes next for neurodiversity employment programs, the advancement of neuroinclusive ecosystems... Big word there... expanding roles for employment opportunities and the impact on the neurodiverse community. How we measure success with neurodiversity initiatives and employment in the public sector and potential barriers to entry. Let's go to the very first question. Hala, I'm going to go to you first if you don't mind. Do you think we're doing enough when it comes to neurodiversity in the workplace? [Question slide: The question appears at the top of slide "Do you think we're doing enough when it comes to neurodiversity in the workplace?" Below the question slide shows the headshot and title of speaker Hala Annabi in the bottom left hand corner.] 00:06:14 - 00:06:34 Hala Annabi Well, thank you Anthony for the question. It's great to be here with everyone and I'm looking forward to this conversation. I think to answer this question, it's really important to think about where we are in terms of the status of neurodiversity employment. I'll give you the punchline and then we'll unpack why I think that is. [Presentation slide: A split slide displays a teal background on the left side with "Neurodivergent Employees" written at the top and "Advocacy Stronger - across neurotypes" at the bottom. On the right side of the slide shows four vertical boxes. From top to bottom the boxes read "Neruotypical DOL: 5% unemployment," "Autism: 80% unemployed," "ADHD: 33% (1 in 3) unemployed," and "Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia: 46% unemployed."] 00:06:35 - 00:07:16 Hala First, are we doing enough? No, but that's not to say that we haven't done a lot in the last few years, but we still have a ways to go. If we can actually move to the next slide, I wanted to show that when we think about neurodiversity employment, we are still lagging behind in terms of employment. We still haven't created enough employment opportunities and changed enough organizations and also preparation programs and colleges and various forms of upskilling to help neurodivergent people across neurotypes to really engage fully in employment and in meaningful employment. 00:07:17 - 00:07:54 Hala Recognizing that there isn't a good and robust sufficient way of measuring employment and unemployment for neurodivergent people. Part of that is many don't identify or don't disclose. Some have come to identify but have not been formally diagnosed, so their inclusion in certain data collection techniques or efforts have been lacking. But we haven't done a good job as governments or organizations in really understanding the representation across neurotypes in our organization. 00:07:55 - 00:08:25 Hala On the one hand, we still haven't really made a big dent. We have a big population, 20% our US population is neurodivergent, so that's about 50 million people. This is the employment rate that we know, and this comes from a variety of sources. When we say, "Have we done enough?" We still have a ways to go, especially when we look at some of these unemployment rates compared to those who identify as neurotypical. [Presentation slide: A split slide showing on the left with a teal background "Neurodiversity employers and services" and the right side showing four boxes vertically. The first box reads "Employer Roundtable: 2017: 4-5 employees, 2023 60 employees" The box below that reads "Industries: Started mostly in the technology sector: Across industry sectors." The third box reads "Service Providers: Emerging new class of neurodiversity Employment services including: consultants, job/success coaches, service platforms." The fourth box reads "Government support: More programs and legislative support, federal and state agencies initiating neurodiversity at work programs."] 00:08:26 - 00:09:14 Hala But when we look at what has happened in the neurodiversity movement since 2017 in particular, and I'm going to use that date because that's the emergence of multiple employers and the Employer Roundtable. In 2007 when I started working with the employers like Microsoft and SAP and JPMorgan Chase in 2017, 2018, there were 4 or 5 leading employers. I just went on the website yesterday and counted how many employers we have that are registered. Employers in the round table are ones that have had some employment practices and programs for at least a year and more than one person. It's a formal initiative. We have 60, so in the last 6 years we've made some improvement. 00:09:15 - 00:09:43 Hala Another type of that improvement is we started heavy with tech and for knowledge workers, and now we have multiple industries. Within even the tech industry, we have multiple roles across marketing, HR, as well as other services. And we have some for trade roles, so we are seeing more opportunities across the spectrum of those who have high support needs, employment needs and low support needs. 00:09:44 - 00:10:15 Hala We also have an emerging class of service providers like CAI and others that include consultants that help organizations transform their organizations to be neuroinclusive. That's emerging, that's new. We still see more different type of job coaches that are not just vocational rehabilitation, they're success coaches. We also see some emerging government supports in local states as well on the federal government level. Maybe I'll speak a little bit of the government's initiatives. 00:10:16 - 00:10:45 Hala We're starting to hear a lot more about neurodiversity hiring and neuroinclusion on the federal level. There are a number of agencies that created programs. Currently, myself in partnership with Melwood Inc and Mitre Corporation, we're developing the playbook for the federal government to do this. There's also a number of executive orders and other initiatives and legislation that provides better supports and more opportunities. 00:10:46 - 00:11:22 Hala All of that to say, "Are we doing enough when we compare it to the size of the opportunity, we have to engage neurodivergent people who have been disengaged from employment and also to follow the lead of neurodivergent advocates?" We have a lot of neurodivergent advocates who are leading across all these sectors and these opportunities. We need to do more. We have a long way to go. But I'm really optimistic about the emergence of all of these different initiatives and the energy around it. 00:11:23 - 00:12:23 Anthony A couple of things there. You talked a little bit about it started with X. Very small, 4 companies IT based. We're really trying to... CAI Neurodiverse Solutions, yourself, others are really trying to explore serving the whole community. It's just not IT. We understand that. They may have been potentially the easiest place to start with different traits and things like that, but we need to ensure... As I looked at your numbers, staggering of course and somewhat disheartening. But again, it's early in the movement. What comes next for neurodiversity in the workplace? The movement itself, what are we doing? Where are we going? How are we going to get there? 00:12:24 - 00:13:13 Hala I think a couple of things that are really important. One, we need to engage small to medium-sized businesses, which provide a range of opportunities that are local. With small to medium-sized businesses also the transformation of the workplace is a little bit more contained and can really... They're the majority of employers. I think pushing the government, which is the largest employer, to hire more and to create standards that can be replicated across multiple settings. When we talk about government jobs, we are talking about the gamut of jobs that will be available and will really feed the interest of the diversity of our community that we're trying to serve. I think having different types of employers is essential. 00:13:14 - 00:13:41 Hala Having true partnership on the ecosystem on a local level... And this is something I'll address when we talk about ecosystems... We can't do neurodiversity employments if our high schools and middle schools are not creating the right conversations and supports for employment for neurodivergent people. That there are multiple paths, and creating those paths. Creating employment and upskilling opportunities so folks can imagine different careers. 00:13:42 - 00:14:27 Hala Having states have better supports for whether it's coaching, whether it's transportation, whether it's health and wellbeing supports as these young and older adults are trying to engage. In many ways, and I'm touching a little bit on some of the ecosystem issues, often families have to make the choice between risking losing social supports and employment. Because employment is uncertain, it's unpredictable, but social support is not. And so not wanting to get off that wagon because we don't have a stable ecosystem that supports their employment is really challenging. 00:14:28 - 00:15:10 Hala What's next, is a more intentional ecosystem and local initiative across the world and across the US I think is really essential. That's what's next. I think also what's next is an intentional effort by us academics, you service providers and employers to document a little bit more systematically what's happening. We're not measuring what we're doing and its impact in a holistic way, and we're not demonstrating it enough in my mind. I know that you're going to ask me that question later as well, but that's next. 00:15:11 - 00:15:37 Hala What's next is going to different types of organizations, focusing on ecosystem evolution in local settings because that's what's going to propel us to serve a broader range of talents and interests and also meet the needs of organizations that can't fill a variety of jobs for a long time. I'll stop there. 00:15:38 - 00:16:11 Anthony Yeah, no, no, no, that was great. I think there's one thing in there. If there's parents, guardians, caregivers listening and watching right now, we always hear about the young adults like, "How are we preparing them?" What does it look like right now so when they get to that potential cliff that there's either an opportunity awaiting or a next phase of their life? 00:16:12 - 00:17:07 Anthony I can tell you from experience that, that is a question that comes up very often in most either webinars or different events that we go to. "What about my son, my daughter? Is it going to be there after high school and what are we doing right now?" Because maybe there's not a lot going on. I'm sure in some spaces there is, but it doesn't seem to be very impactful at the moment. Good segue. Good job, Anthony. Talking about impact. Rita, I spoke a ton about impact sourcing in your bio. What is impact sourcing and how does it really play into neurodiversity, neurodiversity in the workplace? I'm curious. [Question slide: "What is impact sourcing and how does it play into neurodiversity and neurodiversity in the workplace?" appears in the middle of the screen with a blurred background image. In the bottom left hand corner is the speaker headshot and title of Rita Soni.] 00:17:08 - 00:17:42 Rita Soni Thanks so much, Anthony. And thank you to CAI for inviting me to have this conversation with you all as well as really inviting the conversation more broadly. I've just been introduced to your work and I'm just overblown by how great it is. Especially looking at Hala's statistics on unemployment, which are really heartening about what exclusion really looks like. I'm just really excited to be part of this conversation and appreciate it. 00:17:43 - 00:17:45 Anthony [unintelligible 00:17:42]. We're glad to have you. [Presentation slide: A slide with a white background is shown with the words in blue "Definition of impact sourcing: Though impact sourcing may take different names, the overall purpose remains the same." Below the title and subtitle is a blue pill shape that reads "definition" followed by the definition in blue text: "Impact sourcing: business practice to intentionally hire and provide career development opportunities to people from marginalized communities while meeting objectives such as: mainitaining service quality and cost at parity with traditional BPO/ITS service providers: Furthering CSR, Enviromental Social Governance (ESG), and diversity objectives of the businesses and their clients: Leveraging the uniqueness of the target marginalized group such as detail orientation of youth on the autism spectrum or diversity of perspective for AI/ML data services." The definition is coupled with clip art of a group of diverse people with a magnifying glass over top. Below that is a blue pill shape reading "Target groups." Below that are four blue outlined graphics. From left to right: The first image is an outline of people with a money sign on above. The text below reads: "Econmically disadvantged group: Below or near national/global poverty lines: Women, Generational/systemic poverty, marginally housed." The next image is an outline of 1 person with a sad face above their head with a dotted line leading to four more people. The text underneath reads: "Socially marginalized group: Minority or marganalized communities based on culture, ethnicity, religion, location, etc.: LGTBQ+: Survivors of gender-based violence." The third image is an outline of a person in a wheelchair sitting at a desk. The text below it reads "Under/unemployed groups: Persons with disabilities (physical, neurodiverse, etc.): Older adults: Veterans and military spouses: Incarcerated/ criminal record holders." The fourth image is an outline of the globe with two location points on either side and dots connecting them. The text below reads: "Other groups with unique factors of employability: Refugees or migrants: Rural/small-town residents: single parents." The Everest Group logo is in the lower left corner of the slide.] 00:17:46 - 00:18:30 Rita Impact sourcing is... If we can go to the next slide, we've come up with a very... I would call it a broad definition. More of a inclusive talent practice than necessitating using the term of impact sourcing. Hala actually used a word that really matters in this, and it's about the intentional inclusion of people that are typically excluded. This often takes the form of... It's specifically in the industries of global services, so talent and technology. 00:18:31 - 00:19:37 Rita That's where Everest Group really... That's our sweet spot on where we work. I've been lucky enough to be involved in this sector for the last several years and really seeing so much innovation and creativity in this area. We've given some examples of the target groups. This is not meant to be exclusive, it's just to give ideas that when we look at employment across the globe, we know that there are specific communities that have struggled. Economically disadvantaged groups such as people that are living below the poverty line, socially marginalized groups such as people that identify on the LBTQ spectrum. Underemployed groups, which is where I would put the group that we're... I should say, "Un and underemployed groups" where I would put the community that we're talking about today. 00:19:38 - 00:20:18 Rita Really, honestly, over time, we're even finding newer and newer ways to be inclusive. For example, targeting solo parents is a new group that one of the companies we've worked with in the past has said, "Well, in the towns that we work in, this is a challenge. That if you are a solo parent and you don't have enough sick days to handle being a solo parent. So maybe we can make a policy change to make that community more included." Yeah, that defines impact sourcing. 00:20:19 - 00:20:57 Rita I think the other part of impact sourcing is that it's not a charity. It's not a thing that we're just doing to feel good. There's actually a business case to do this work. If we can flip to the next slide, I'll just give you some high-level reasons or drivers that we see in the industry that impact sourcing is seen as beneficial. There's been demonstrated talent advantages when we look at these various communities on accessing untapped talent. 00:20:58 - 00:21:37 Rita I think even when we saw that stat that Hala had of neurotypical being 5%, we also know that there's a huge number of people that are not even included in that 5%. For example, incarcerated people are not included in that number in the United States. So, there is a huge number of untapped people that could be engaged. What we have found, what businesses have found is that when you include people that are typically excluded, they are engaged. Which gives a different kind of a business edge. [Presentaiton slide: The of the slide reads "Key drivers of impact sourcing." The subtitle reads "Impact sourcing aims to create positive social change while also achieving their commercial goals." Three blocks of text are shown across the slide. From left to right, the first block reads "Talent Advantage: Access to untapped talent: Stable and engaged workforce." The second block of text reads "Business edge: Long-term cost savings: Reliable service delivery: Improved brand equality." The third block of text reads: "Corporate citizenship: Positive social impact: Enviromental impact: License to operate." Below those blocks is a clipart graphic of three people holding up a dotted line with two quotes in between the lines. The first quote reads: "...every time we've asked for something they've delivered or given us more...they're always thinking 2 steps ahead of us..." -Fortune 500 health insurance company. The second quote reads "...the attrition rate of the impact sourcing workforce is almost half as much as the traditional workforce..." -Leading impact sourcing specialist. The Everest Group logo is in the lower left corner of the slide.] 00:21:38 - 00:22:48 Rita We talk about long-term cost savings because the global services industry is known for its turnover, for example. But if you don't have the kind of turnover because it's an engaged workforce, you end up having lower costs. There's also better service delivery often. And then if you're including this in the way that you're talking internally with your teams or even externally, there's brand equity that folks experience. That leads to some of the more corporate citizenship benefits that we really have seen businesses experience. There's a couple of quotes that we've included on this more to demonstrate that it's not only good for society and the feel good benefit. But that buyers, the clients of these companies appreciate it and those that are specializing it have seen major advantages. 00:22:49 - 00:23:45 Anthony Here's what I'm going to say on this one... We're having amazing conversations... all of those things that I see on this slide we also have the flip to that. The impact sourcing is also having the positive change on the businesses, corporations. But the return on investment that you get from providing that opportunity to that individual of... And we say it all the time, increased confidence, they're going out, being independent. All of those things described in these slides lead to humanization of opportunities. Meaning we have the ability to change people's lives if we concentrate on looking at the underserved community, the underserved population. 00:23:46 - 00:24:21 Anthony We've got to do it the right way. We got to be very intentional, impact sourcing, intentional, but we need to move in that direction so that we can provide the opportunity. So you can see it's just a domino effect if we can do it the right way. This is fantastic information and people are obviously looking at it and understanding. Hala, we talked about neuroinclusive ecosystems, what still needs to be done in that space? [Question slide: The question in white text shows on the screen "Where do we stand on the importance and ongoing development of neuroinclusive ecosystems and what still needs to be done?" Below the question is a white banner across the bottom of the slide with the speaker Hala's headshot and title in the bottom left hand corner.] 00:24:22 - 00:25:04 Hala Thank you for the conversation and I will echo what Rita said. When we talk about neurodiversity employment, it's a moral imperative, but it's also a business imperative for a variety of reasons, many that you mentioned and others. It's also a social imperative. There's a lot of arguments around economic development, human development, health and wellbeing. Many of our neurodiversity employment initiatives fall under our population health initiatives that are around building self-determination of the communities of the individuals, which is essential to health and wellbeing. [Presentation slide: A slide shown with a left side with a teal background says "The Neurodiversity Employment Ecosystem." The right side of the slide shows a large blue circle with words written clockwise around it: "Society, values, attiudes, beliefs, demographic, media, technology, law, policy, economy." In an inner circle are bubbles reading clockwise: "family, education services, community services, employers, employee support services, employer support services, transport services, health services, ND advocacy." At the center is a rainbow colored circle reading "The Individual." The Information School, University of Washington logo is in the lower left corner of the slide.] 00:25:05 - 00:25:50 Hala But that can't happen if the ecosystem is still behind. Often I hear from employers that, "We need more talent, neurodivergent talent that have interest or are developing skill sets that align with our needs." We hear it from families and advocates of opportunities to develop those talents in conducive ways. When we think about the ecosystem, and this is something that I adapted from a number of scholars, Kolag and Nicholas have done a couple of iteration of the ecosystem that supports employment for neurodivergent people within any one local community and within a global community as well. 00:25:51 - 00:26:32 Hala All the laws and policies around how you access supported employment or upskilling programs or scholarships for upskilling programs impact whether a person will have the skills to engage in employment and seek employment. They can secure employment, but if you don't have transportation services to get them there, or a well-prepared employer support services like a success coach, a job coach that is not just in the old model of vocational rehabilitation that focuses on highly supported employment. If someone seeks competitive employment, what kind of supports? 00:26:33 - 00:27:36 Hala Many who achieve competitive employment don't qualify for local government supports necessarily. Some do, some don't. But the process is so difficult that they can't have support over the first 60 days if they need it to engage with managers, to engage and prepare their families, to engage with all kinds of employee as well as employer support services. This is localized on some level. If you think of the neurodiversity community in Philadelphia around much of the earlier work and workforce development foundation and all of these other entities, there's a critical mass of folks that are providing services. Employers talking to each other in an easy accessible way, raising the awareness and advocating in their local communities for colleges to have employment-ready supports. 00:27:37 - 00:28:09 Hala This ecosystem is still behind in a lot of other locations, especially in smaller communities and rural communities, even in large cities. In Seattle, when we think about, "What are the elements that we have?" We have a number of these elements, but we have... Some of these elements are not prepared to engage in employment. Let me give you my vision of what would create somewhat of a ideal ecosystem and then each organization or each local community can say, "Yeah, we have these things to support it or we don't." 00:28:10 - 00:28:50 Hala If we go to the next slide, I just want to give you an image of what I think would be ideal on some level. When we think about ecosystem component... And this is only to support the individual... When we think about employment and preparing the ecosystem, we need programs and initiatives in schools and in local communities that help these young neurodivergent people to make decisions about what their interests are. And even imagine and have these conversations not just about making it through school and making it through their IEP goals. But really to imagine how their talents and interests can lead to fulfilling career. [Presentation slide: The title of the slide reads "Example: Ecosystem components supporting each transition phase of the employee lifecycle..." Five boxes are shown from left to right. The first box is an image of chidlren on a box with a blue box in front of it reading "Explore and Develop". Below that box is text reading "11-18 years: self concept and self determination, advocacy, interest and career exploration". The second box has a background of three people looking at a computer with a blue box over it that reads "Prepare" followed by text underneath that reads "16-25 year olds transition to college, transition to work, credential and skills development, degree attainment, workplace readiness." The third box shows a group of people with a blue box over it reading "Recruit". Below is text that reads "18-N" years: job readiness,self advocacy, negotiation, independence devlopment." The fourth box shows a close up picture of a man extending his hand wearing a suit. A blue box over it reads "Onboard". The text below that reads "Job readiness, advocacy, workplace readiness,skills attainment." The fifth box is a picture of a woman talking to two men. In front of it is a blue box that reads "Retain and advance". Below that is text that reads "18- N years. Below that the text says career development, advocacy, negotiaton, skills attainment." The Information School, University of Washington logo is in the lower right corner of the slide.] 00:28:51 - 00:29:18 Hala All these camps that we create and colleges and universities and local communities don't cater to neurodivergent people. They are designed for neurotypical kids who are often high achieving in particular way. So between age 11 and 18, what kind of programming do we have in schools and curriculums attached to IEPs that are really meaningful career exploration? That's the first part of the ecosystem that you could create to make a significant impact. 00:29:19 - 00:29:56 Hala Then once they've identified a path or a set of path, what kind of upskilling do we provide for any of our young folks, but particularly neurodivergent people? Here in the context, of course neurodiversity is pretty broad. But let's take the example of an autistic child transitioning to college and living independently and living in environments that are conducive to them. How do we develop a new way and a new path for them to help them think about their transition to college? For those who don't want to go to college, think about transition to upskilling of credentials that are aligned with their skills. 00:29:57 - 00:30:57 Hala If I'm really into digital photography, what kind of workshops can I do that can help give me some credentials that will help me engage with employers? How do I get ready and understand to navigate job readiness in terms of applying for a job, even writing the resume. We have a lot of information around how challenging that is and how foreign that is to many of our neurodivergent people. How do we help these individuals talk about their talents in ways and translate it to employers? I'm not even touching the transforming employers side. This is just one piece, one view of the ecosystem that is underdeveloped across most environments. And then the supports that they will need to onboard and then their retention. There's a number of these things that need to be developed early on. I'm giving the snapshot of 11 because that's the work that I do, but you could imagine even younger. 00:30:58 - 00:31:33 Hala When we talk about the ecosystem, think about... If we go back to the previous slide... in your community, in your local context, do we have good service providers that can help organizations transform their processes? Do we have empowering job coaches and healthcare professionals and educators that use a strength perspective to focus on talents and help these individuals transfer or translate their talents into meaningful career opportunities and then have all the supports to get them to employment? [Presentation slide: A slide shown with a left side with a blue background says in white "The Neurodiversity Employment Ecosystem." The right side of the slide shows a large blue circle with words written clockwise around it: Society, values, attiudes, beliefs, demographics, media, technology, law, policy, economy. In an inner circle are bubbles reading clockwise: family, education services, community services, employers, employee support services, employer support services, transport services, health services, ND advocacy. At the center is a rainbow colored circle reading "The Individual".] 00:31:34 - 00:32:22 Hala And then we can talk about how do you prepare the employer and provide them the supports and have universities that help people understand how to work in neuro-diverse teams and how to manage them. We're still trying to make a dent in that. We have a global effort in the Employer Roundtable and the College Autism Network and all of these things that we're working on. But they also have to come on a local level and have to have support from private and public and nonprofit organizations. We're not there. Some communities are a little bit more advanced than others. That's my view of the ecosystem and what we have to do to advance it. 00:32:23 - 00:33:20 Anthony This is one of those slides where we probably needed to see this like 4 years ago. This is one of those things where if you lay it out for people to see, the visual gives you the true picture. You can talk until you're blue in the face and people are like, "Yeah, I just hear words." But until they see it in concrete black and white people are like, "Oh, all right, well these are the things we should have been doing all along the way, and here's how we get to that next level." I appreciate you you putting that out for everybody to actually see. Rita. I'm going to switch quickly to Rita on this one. Part of the Everest Group's mission is finding that community of untapped talent, which the neurodiverse community is part of. But are we seeing an expansion of the opportunities? [Question slide: A blurred background with the question shown in white in the middle reads "Are we seeing an expansion of opportunities in the untapped talent in which the neurodiverse community is part of?" The speaker Rita is shown in the bottom left hand corner with her headshot and title.] 00:33:21 - 00:34:09 Rita Yes. Short answer yes, but I think a lot of it is also similar to my own personal journey when it comes to working with people with disabilities and a lot of understanding. For example, when I started in this space, I was working for the Ford Foundation and we had an international fellowships program which was global. It was working across the world and we had local institutions that were identifying who is systematically excluded and needs to be included for higher education. Not a single organization at that time identified people with disabilities. Forget about specifically neurodiversity. 00:34:10 - 00:35:13 Rita Amazingly many of those institutions clawed their way into the eyes of... Ford has done a lot in that space, but for whatever reason, they clawed their way in and got recognition and got support. Now with that movement, I would say majority of the focus was on people with physical disabilities and not really thinking very much about neurodiversity. It's been a very similar journey, I would say, in the global services industry. Even when we talk impact sourcing, I remember as the CEO of NASSCOM Foundation running one of our first job fairs for people with disabilities and getting folks into their first professional formal sector job. It's such an important thing to do and it was really rewarding. But the majority of people, there were people with physical disabilities. [Presentation slide: A white slide is shown with the title "The impact sourcing market is approximatley 350,000 FTE's strong, delivering across a spectrum of services ranging from back-office support to data analysts." The slide is divided on the left and right. On the left is text that reads "Impact sourcing market size (in terms of headcount)" with a 1 source after. Below that reads: "Number of FTE's 2021." Below that is "100% = 330,000 - 370,000." Below that is a graphic that shows an outline of 3 people with text below reading "Inclusive hiring through traditional outsourcing service providers." Next to the graphic in a circle chart a stat pointing to the text reads 85-87%. Below that is another graphic of a person sitting in a chair. Below that is text reading "Impact hiring through impact sourcing specialists." Below that a stat in the chart points to the text reading 13-15%. On the right side of the slide is text reading "IS specialist revenue breakdown by lines of business. 2021, US $million: 100% = 450 - 500. Below that is a circle graph broken into 6 sections. In clockwise order, The first section shows digital 35%, BPS voice 22%, BPS non-voice 23%, ITS application 17%, ITS infrastructure 13%, other 1%. The Everest Group logo is in the lower left corner of the slide.] 00:35:14 - 00:36:26 Rita It also has to do with how the public sector defines disability. In India there are definite categories and you qualify in a variety of ways and much of that is focused on physical. Come to today where I'm deeply involved in the global services space. And I'm meeting folks like CAI and others that are deeply involved and being intentional about neurodiversity makes me think about being in a business in the outskirts of Chicago, and meeting a set of young people that were working on the line for global services, doing amazing work. Meeting them for the first time and having real conversations and hearing about their aspirations. Aspirations that we've all lived through, wanting to find some independence and live away from their parents that this job is giving them, that financial independence. 00:36:27 - 00:37:17 Rita I think it's a journey for many. I was glad to hear from Hala early when we did our prep that much of this conversation started in 2017, so I don't feel like I'm way behind the 8 ball on this because everything I just described was way before 2017. That said, for context, if we look at impact sourcing as a whole, the exciting information or news about it is that last year we measured the market. And we saw that across the globe there's about 350,000 people that businesses would identify as part of their inclusive talent strategy and impact workers. 00:37:18 - 00:37:54 Rita There's a lot of assumptions people make about impact sourcing that it's small companies that used to be nonprofits and became for-profits and the large players are not doing it. Well, our first graph really gives you a very different picture of what's going on. The small companies are amazing and they specialize in impact sourcing, but they make up about 15% of that large number. The large majority are mainstream traditional service providers, which I think is our goal to mainstream these practices. 00:37:55 - 00:39:14 Rita The other myth is that much of what happens with impact sourcing is lower level customer service only, for example. The graph on the right really gives you a better sense of the emergence of things like digital. As we've seen... And I think there's a question that hopefully we'll get to by the end about the effects of AI. Well, I'll tell you at least one of the effects of AI on jobs. Up until now, it's been about job creation, because AI and ML requires a lot of data training. This community of impact workers have been doing a lot of that. We also see that the IT services industry is also employing people that are typically excluded. I think this idea that there's one answer or only one opportunity for a person who is neurodivergent, that's absolutely false. There's a lot of things that people can be doing and it's an exciting time that there's that momentum of being able to do a lot of different things. 00:39:15 - 00:39:48 Anthony Looking at the graph on the right, it's very telling in probably about 10 different variations. We will get some to some of that. I think there's a question at the end about AI, so we're going to move quickly to the next question so we can get to that one. Hala, this one's for you. How were you measuring the success of neurodiversity initiatives? We of course have productivity retention, but what else is topping that list? [Presentation sldie: A slide showing blue text at the top reading "Impact sourcing is a global phenomonon with APAC leading as the key location followed by Africa and North America among specialists. Below the text is a map of the world. To the left of the map is a key from top to bottom reading "Asia Pacific 58%, Africa 17%, North America 11%, Latin America 7%, Europe 4%, Middle East 3%. The Everest Group logo is in the lower left corner of the slide.] [Question slide: The question appears in the middle of the slide in white text "How are we measuring the success of neurodiversity initatives?" Below that is the speaker Hala's headshot with title and company.] 00:39:49 - 00:40:54 Hala Before I answer that question, I do want to make just one clarifying maybe fact. I speak of the neurodiversity movement since 2017, but it's really important to recognize that some of that work, especially with Specialist Erna was way before that. But also we have a number of scholars who've studied supportive employment like in job search, Paul Wellman and Virginia Commonwealth and others since Eric Carter and others since the 90s and early 2000s. But that focused, as you mentioned, on those who have high support needs, and so there's a shift towards the knowledge work. I just want to clarify that. That work exists and we've drawn on it significantly, but we're talking about the movement in this current form is newer and we could say... I use 2017 and the creation of the Employer Roundtable as one way to cut the measures. It's more of a convenience. 00:40:55 - 00:41:30 Hala How are we measuring the success of neurodiversity initiatives? I will say to that, "Not very well." This is my impression, it could be critical, but I think... And there's some good reasons for it. Neurodiversity programs were created to break down the barriers to create an alternative way. Changing mainstream processes for recruitments and such is pretty complex, especially in large organizations. So we broke down barriers through these programs to support the recruitment and onboarding. 00:41:31 - 00:42:14 Hala Once a person is hired, how we track their long-term impact or their long-term success and satisfaction has been really murky for a number of reasons. One is, some folks, once they get into a workplace, they may or may not continue to be involved in their neurodiversity employment program, they might even move to a different location. There's some complexity and privacy around how do we track folks. Some organizations do it better than others, but the universal question is, "How can we do a better job at integrating between neurodiversity programs and HR functions and HR data?" Those are fragmented. 00:42:15 - 00:43:12 Hala Most organizations don't have HR systems and functionality that tags a person saying they came through this program or that this person... There's also complexity around how we capture neurodiversity in our disability and accommodation data. We often find fragmented information systems to track that. Most of what we see is hiring diversity across roles, retention, but that's limited. We need to really look at measurements much more broadly, not just around retention, because retention could also be explained by, "This person will hold onto this job because it took them 6 years to get a job." So they might actually be incredibly unhappy and they're producing. So how are we measuring it? Not very well. We don't have holistic measures that have been published. 00:43:13 - 00:44:12 Hala Some companies are better at doing that than others. I just want to highlight that. This is a huge area that requires attention. It also requires collaboration. There's also a lot of legal and privacy issues attached to it. How should we measure it, I think is a better way for me to answer that question. We should measure it by looking at how many folks are we hiring through neurodiversity hiring programs. But what's more telling how many neurodivergent people are we hiring through our mainstream processes? Because that can also show you the type of cultural change and transformative change that these programs have created. Retention, hiring, but also satisfaction and self-determination of individuals who are hired in this program. And their level and rate to advancement compared to non-neurodivergent people. So you can create those comparisons. 00:44:13 - 00:44:53 Hala I think you can't measure the success of these programs without really measuring the impact on the organization in terms of how many of the ideal neuroinclusive practices became standard in hiring practices. Whether it's asking every candidate to tell us what is their best form and supports that they need during the interview processes. As simple as that. There are companies that do that across the board now. How many require that their hiring teams send the interview questions to all interviewees, whether they're neurodivergent or not, whether it's closed their neurodiversity or not. 00:44:54 - 00:45:54 Hala Thinking about the broader impact, thinking about the level of... I measure what we call self-efficacy of managers and colleagues to engage in neuroinclusive ways. Have we trained up our community to know and understand and feel comfortable? So measuring attitudes, knowledge and self-efficacy of managers and colleagues to understand can they engage holistically in a satisfying and engaged way, is really critical. And then of course to me, looking at all of your organizational policies and DEI efforts, and seeing does neurodiversity even show up in DEI conversations and goals. Some organizations are incorporating mainstream. To some, it's still not. So we have a long way to go with measures. I can talk about measures for a very long time, so I'm going to stop. I recognize the time that we have. 00:45:55 - 00:46:22 Anthony No, no, no, that's great. Well, so we're going to stick with you though, Hala. We talked briefly about it in the top and we got a couple of minutes before we have to go to some questions here. But public sector, employment opportunities, there's some chatter out there that it can be tough to get into. What are the barriers and how do we get past that? [Question slide: The question is written at the top in the center in white text "Do we see many barriers in public sector around employment opportunities, and if so, what are they?" Below that is the speakers headshot, title, and company.] 00:46:23 - 00:47:03 Hala Public sector for the most part has actually some really great enablers that have... This is a chapter I'm researching and writing now, so if you ask me a month from now, I'm going to have much better answers for you. But some of the barriers is we have very traditional processes and what's perceived as, "We have to do it this way" to provide an equitable access. But that equitable access often creates barriers for neurodivergent people in terms of how their resumes are assessed. 00:47:04 - 00:48:03 Hala The government has a number of functions, whether it's Schedule A that allows or provides higher opportunities for those with disability. It's on a temporary basis, so the transition from that to full-time permanent employment can be risky. So a lot of folks won't engage in some of the mechanisms. If you talk to anyone in Department of Labor, maybe not anyone, but a lot of people that understand neurodiversity specifically, they'll tell you that mechanisms like Schedule A and others that were designed to help break down barriers to transition into government jobs are underutilized because they're risky, because they're temporary. Also. Some folks and because of how schedule A emerged and often it's supported those with high support needs, those with low support needs don't want to go through these mechanisms and channels. 00:48:04 - 00:48:36 Hala When you talk about government jobs, some of them require securities and certain kinds of questions that create barriers for our neurodivergent people that have untraditional paths, or have histories that look different than our neurotypical traditional privileged person. There are a lot of these nuanced small barriers that exist that need to be broken down. The good news is there are a lot of efforts and a lot of conversations around how to identify these small barriers and break them down. 00:48:37 - 00:49:36 Hala Folks like Mitre and Melwood who are trying to help transform these processes are really making headway, like Theresa Thomas and Scott Gibson. There's a lot of conversations, but also actions and demonstrating models of how you can do that. In 3 months, you will get a chapter that really weaves through all of the policies and processes. We're in the process of weaving through that to identify all these pathways. The will is there, but under the complexity of bureaucracy and the perceived notion that, "Oh, there are all these rules that I have to follow." Which actually many of them don't exist, they're perceived, creates a higher level of barrier than needed, and that actually probably exists. And so we're hoping that we can provide a clearer path through all of that. And then hopefully that becomes a model for other local governments as well. 00:49:37 - 00:49:45 Anthony Well, sign me up for the chapter in 3 months. I'll be the first to read it. To Rita. Rita, anything to add on the public sector? 00:49:46 - 00:50:34 Rita Yeah, I like hearing about how we can avoid these challenges. I think on the global picture, when we're thinking about the public sector, we've at least seen... We have some learnings from more broadly generally inclusion of people with disabilities. Be it when there's a mandate, whether it's for public sector employment, percentages of mandates or a requirement that's been thrust on the private sector from the government. The 2 cautionary tales that we've seen is that people with disabilities only getting employed in very low level jobs, even though they may have a very high skillset or degrees, et cetera. 00:50:35 - 00:51:18 Rita On the probably more worst case is getting employment only on paper. Meeting those requirements because they're mandated and yet not really being invited to show up at work. And then that means that you are getting a paycheck, but there's no development of one's skills, there's no community to be part of. All of these things that we've described as being essential to real inclusion. It's really just a check mark instead. Just cautionary tales on what happens with some of these mandates or has happened with mandates. 00:51:19 - 00:51:23 Anthony Yeah, no, absolutely. Thank you for adding that. Now we get to the best part. 00:51:24 - 00:51:27 Hala Anthony, may I add one quick note to that? 00:51:28 Anthony Yeah, sure. 00:51:28 - 00:52:05 Hala One of the things I find striking about traditional organizations such as governments too, is their conception of work and showing up to be a responsible civil servant. In your government space is to show up 8:00 to 5:00 looking, and being, and behaving in certain ways around work. Neuroinclusive practices and employment, and really movement across in the past 5 years is changing the notions of work. That is really hard for the government from a compliance and accountability perspective. 00:52:06 - 00:52:49 Hala Those are some of the tensions when I do training in those settings or talk to folks in those settings, is if a person wants to work at night in a different context and needing a much higher secure VPN, let's allow that and figure a way to do that rather than stick to these very traditional notions that come from very good places, accountability to the taxpayer. But those are hard cultural notions that regardless of what rules you create, even if you hire the person who needs to show up differently, they become a barrier to inclusion and advancement in so many ways. Again, it's a holistic ecosystem change, not in just the players, but our cultures and our notions of work. [Q&A slide: A blue background showing "Audience Q&A" in the center is displayed.] 00:52:50 - 00:53:26 Anthony I'm counting on both of you to change the narrative in the public sector. If we can all do that together, we're going to be much more better... That's terrible grammar I know... in this space. Well, let's go quickly to... We got about 5 minutes left here... to some questions. Rita, the AI question came up. The audience asked, "What impact do you see AI making on hiring neurodivergent individuals?" 00:53:27 - 00:54:32 Rita I'll answer this by saying I think what we've seen as much of the AI conversation is that there's going to be an impact on the number of jobs. We do recognize that. However, we also see that the creation of jobs is going to be perhaps larger. Secondarily, that the training for jobs is going to get enhanced with a lot of particularly the generative AI models. Especially we just talked about how you show up at work, but it's also how do you get trained for your job? With generative AI, you can have much more individualized training, be it on the job or in schools. While there's a lot of trepidation for sure, I'm optimistic about the effects that AI are going to have on hiring of neurodiverse talent. 00:54:33 - 00:54:54 Anthony Well, thank you for that answer. I appreciate it. I'm sure the audience member as well appreciates that. Hala, I'm going to go to you. Anything about your research in the neurodiversity in the workplace that surprised you? Is there a couple nuggets that are like, "Holy moly?" 00:54:55 - 00:55:52 Hala For someone who's been studying inclusion of underrepresented groups, I think the barriers, the isms, the systemic barriers, systems of oppression exist in so many different forms. I think what surprised me, also excited me, I see a lot of hope and potential for neurodiversity to be a huge lever in building a broader and much more diverse coalition within organizations and within societies to change these systemic barriers. Because all of a sudden, these systemic barriers that expect and enforce notions of normalcy that really cater to one or a few dominant groups all of a sudden is being challenged by all these groups because of the intersecting of identities. 00:55:53 - 00:56:51 Hala It's no longer just the women's issue, it's no longer just a Latina or Asian issue. It's an issue that crosses all of our identities and abilities across many of our characteristics. We're seeing coalitions. In some organizations you see the diversity of these coalitions and pushing on systemic barriers. We know that once you train a manager or a colleague to be neuroinclusive, all of these practices, and many of them apply to break systemic barriers for women, people of color, women of color, and other underrepresented groups. Because it challenges the notion of, "Focus on the work and focus on communicating the work correctly and assess the work in its value," not in the way it might be building social networks necessarily. 00:56:52 - 00:57:17 Hala I think the surprising element and what makes me really hopeful is there's a huge potential for neurodiversity and neuroinclusion and transforming organizations to be neuroinclusive. To challenge other barriers and to create bigger coalitions that really address barriers across many populations. Yeah, I think that's what I would say. [Closing slide: A slide mimicking the title slide appears on screen. The text on the slide reads "Advancing with neurodiversity at work: Inclusion and expansion". Below the title reads "Thank you for attending! To learn more, visit "www.cai.io/neurodiverse-solutions" Behind the title is an image of a woman shaking hands and CAI Neurodiverse Solutions logo is in the top left corner.] 00:57:18 - 00:57:50 Anthony No, no worries. Well, I appreciate it and I really do appreciate both of you as well coming on today. Our time is over today. I'd love to thank both of you. We're taking time out of your day, how I know it's very early on the left coast to get up. I know you like the evening hour ones a little bit better, so I'm high-fiving you and I will see you soon next month as well. 00:57:51 - 00:58:13 Anthony Rita, I couldn't be more thrilled to have you on today. Your insights were absolutely tremendous. Impact sourcing, a lot of folks are obviously now looking that up and trying to make sure that they're doing the right thing within their workplace. I can't say enough about that. It's been an absolute pleasure chatting with both of you. 00:58:14 - 00:58:57 Anthony I'd also like to thank the audience for your attention and participation. Later we're going to be sending everyone that attended a recording of the event to make sure that you can share it with your colleagues or peers. In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about CAI Neurodiverse Solutions or know someone that is, come and visit our website, cai.io and fill out our contact form. I appreciate everybody and thank you for joining us today. Have a great rest of your day.


Skip past transcript

Let's talk!

Interested in learning more? We'd love to connect and discuss the impact CAI could have on your organization.

All fields marked with * are required.

Please correct all errors below.
Please agree to our terms and conditions to continue.

For information about our collection and use of your personal information, our privacy and security practices and your data protection rights, please see our privacy policy and corresponding cookie policy.