Supporting Neurodivergent Talent

22nd March 2024

Posted In: FYI

Bank of Ireland has today launched its Neuroinclusion Strategy including a suite of policies and process improvements to support neurodivergent colleagues and candidates. In line with its ambition to be one the best places to work, the bank aims to become one of the most neuroinclusive organisations in the country.

Nationally representative research conducted by Red C revealed that, of those who identified as being neurodivergent and are working, just under half have not disclosed their condition to their employer (48%) and a similar percentage (45%) feel that their workplace is not inclusive*.   

In the area of policies and practices, just under one in five of all people surveyed (19%) believe that their company’s policies and practices support neurodivergent people.

The survey revealed that 9% of the population aged 18+ identify as neurodivergent, half of whom are diagnosed and the other half are self-assessed.

This compares to a global average of approximately 15-20%. It is widely understood that there is under-reporting of neurodivergent conditions in both the population and the workplace due to factors including lack of understanding and awareness as well as the risk of stigma.

Among those who identified as neurodivergent the most common conditions are Autism Spectrum Condition (34%), Attention Hyperactivity Disorder (34%), Dyslexia (18%) and Dyspraxia (8%).

Bank of Ireland aims to become one of the most neuroinclusive organisations in the country and is introducing a range of policies and practice improvements to support neurodivergent colleagues and candidates in three key areas: UnderstandingInfrastructure and Culture.

Neale Richmond, TD, Minister for Employment Affairs, said: “Ireland is a great place to work and I want to see workplaces adapt to include all of those who have an important contribution to make to our businesses and to our economy. I welcome the launch of Bank of Ireland’s Neuroinclusion strategy as it is vital that large employers are representative and inclusive of the entire population in order to better serve their customers and communities”.

Matt Elliott, Chief People Officer, Bank of Ireland, said:

“How we better support neurodivergent people in education, the workplace and wider society requires a joined-up effort and focused action.

When a national survey tells us that just half of people feel that their place of work is inclusive of neurodivergent people, and only one-in-five are aware of their employer’s policies or practices to support neurodivergent people, it is clear much more needs to be done.

“Talent is everywhere. People don’t all look, sound, or think the same way.

In making Bank of Ireland a more inclusive place to work, we are also building a company that is better equipped to serve all of our customers and to make a positive contribution to wider society”. 

Bank of Ireland has partnered with the globally recognised organisation auticon, a specialist technology consulting business and social enterprise, that helps companies become a destination for neurodivergent talent. Working with auticon and using its Neuroinclusion Maturity Assessment (NIMA) process, Bank of Ireland conducted an in-depth assessment of its policies, practices and employee experience. The findings from this wide-ranging assessment helped to inform the actions the Bank is taking to become a more neuroinclusive workplace.

Bank of Ireland has announced that it will partner with the DCU School of Inclusive and Special Education to continue to learn and understand neurodivergence in education and the workplace through the latest academic research.  The first research project, a six-month study, will commence in September 2024.  In the longer term, the partnership with DCU will extend to conduct four pieces of co-funded research concerning different aspects of neurodivergence.

*In the case of those from the nationally representative sample who have identified as being neurodivergent and working, the sample referenced is 47 people from the total sample.