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Natural diversity of human minds in an inclusive workplace

< Dis-Enable >, one of our employee resource groups promoting DE&I addresses neurodiversity
At Toyota we aim to create a workplace where everyone can thrive as their authentic self. Our members engage in various employee resource groups that cover different areas of diversity in order to promote inclusive mindset and behaviour. 

Working group on neurodiversity

One of our ‘employee resource groups’, <Dis-Enable> focuses on breaking down the stigma about physical and hidden disabilities, When we understand and remove the physical, social, institutional and communication barriers facing people with disabilities, we can enable all our colleagues to demonstrate their strengths and qualities. The <Dis-Enable> group has set up a working group about neurodiversity. 

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity refers to the natural diversity of human minds. As individuals, we are diverse in our minds and brains just like we are diverse in our gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. We all have different ways of thinking, processing information, feeling and acting. Some people are neurotypical, meaning that their mind or brain is typical, is following the norm. Other people are neurodivergent: because of genetic or acquired conditions, their mind or brain diverges from the norm. 

Who is neurodivergent?

Anyone who has an atypical way of thinking, feeling, experiencing things and simply existing due to a condition can identify as neurodivergent. Conditions can range from neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD, etc.), to learning disabilities (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, etc.) to various mental health disorders and conditions (schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder - OCD, depression, anxiety, etc.). 

Sharing and supporting within our workplace

Last month, we held an employee event about neurodiversity. Some actually neurodivergent colleagues shared moving testimonials in order to support our growing culture of transparency and inclusion at work. There was also a lively Q&A session where they answered questions from other colleagues. In addition, a guidebook is now available to all employees so that everyone can learn more about neurodiversity and understand how to support neurodivergent colleagues bring out their capabilities and qualities. 
“Neurodivergence is a very important topic that affects many more people than we generally recognise. I believe that, in the right environment, being neurodivergent can be kind of a superpower. Many neurodivergent individuals think outside the box, they are resilient, passionate, creative and innovative. This is why, as a company, it’s important that we understand what challenges our neurodivergent employees face and how we can best support them to unleash their full potential and thrive.”
Simon McDermott, Vice President, People & Innovation