Autism and Dyslexia and Employement

Date: 16th April 2015

Posted on: 16-04-2015

A couple of really great articles this week have been cropping up on social media. Louise Tickle poses in The Guardian that Dyslexic entrepreneurs have a competitive edge in business. This is backed up in the piece by James Banister, the CEO of FXecosystem, suggests that his dyslexia help him with problem solving. Banister notes about Dyslexia “Its strengths are ones which are particularly useful in building a strong company – problem-solving abilities, strong reasoning and being able to picture how circumstances will evolve”. Banister believes his Dyslexia helps him where others struggle. Banister also adds “I consciously focus on the wider picture and likely consequences, for example in formulating my business strategy. Dyslexia doesn’t impede my ability to see and analyse things – I may simply see them differently from other people.” Julie Logan, emeritus professor of entrepreneurship at Cass Business School, in London, found in her research in to the US market showed that 35% of company founders identified themselves as dyslexic, compared with 15% in the general population. Logan identified the reason for this “Dyslexic entrepreneurs reported as good or excellent at oral communication, delegation, creative and spatial awareness tasks, whilst non-dyslexics reported as average or good”. Some examples of dyslexic entrepreneurs are Lord Sugar, Anita Roddick, Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver and Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad.

Another article this week trending across social media was that Microsoft has been actively looking to increase the amount of employees on the Autism spectrum they hire. The BBC identified that Microsoft are looking to hire 10 people with Autism on their Pilot scheme at headquarters in Redmond, USA. Microsoft Senior executive Mary Ellen Smith said: “People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft”. When announcing the scheme Ms Smith said: “Each individual is different, some have an amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.” Sarah Lambert, from the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s encouraging to see a global company like Microsoft recognise the untapped potential of adults with autism”. Looking to adjust the balance of Autistic people in employment she added “Many may have strengths such as accuracy, a good eye for detail and reliability, which can benefit all sorts of businesses, not just the technology industry.

To read the article on Dyslexic Entrepreneurs click
here, and for the article on Microsoft hiring Autistic employees click here


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