What Elon Musk tells us about Neurodiversity in business
In this month’s special edition of Saturday Night Live aired in the US, highly influential slot host and business billionaire, Elon Musk told viewers that he had Asperger’s Syndrome and in a few seconds spread awareness of neurodiversity in business on a collasal scale.
Many ultra-famous and talented figures are said to have autistic traits. Bill Gates who struggled with social skills, Glenn Gould the piano genius who ate the same meal at the same time every night, Andy Warhol who would only wear a certain shade of green and Richard Branson who has dyslexia.
A recent article in the Sunday Times by Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology and the director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, wrote that,
The genes for autism have driven human progress for 100,000 yearsSimon Baron-Cohen
“Latest data shows that a shocking one in five autistic people in the UK are in any form of employment, according to official data from the Office for National Statistics’ Outcomes for disabled people research, which for the first time this year asked respondents whether they were autistic, revealed that just 22 per cent of those with autism were in either full or part-time work.
This means people with autism are among those disabled people with the lowest employment rate”, says People Management.
“My group at Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre has gathered new evidence for the link between the autistic mind and strong systemising. In a sample of 600,000 people, we found those who work in STEM jobs have a higher number of autistic traits than those who do not”. Simon Baron-Cohen
We have seen and continue to see a shift from companies towards prioritising diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. “Now schools and companies are recognising neurodiversity – the idea that brains come in many types”, Simon writes.
“GCHQ, the UK’s signals intelligence service, actively encourages autistic people to help it crack codes in the fight against terroism, cybercrime and espionage”.