The DMA is backing a new scheme designed to attract more neurodiverse people into the marketing industry with the launch of a new employment guide for businesses, which includes best-practice advice and case studies.
DMA Talent: Autism Employer Guide has been compiled using insights gleaned from the NHS, brands, employers and autistic employees who work in creative, data and marketing roles.
Neurodiverse people, especially those on the autism spectrum, can often thrive with problem solving tasks, data analysis, and projects that require high attention to detail, the organisation claims.
The publication follows the launch of a number of workshops run by Matthew Trerise, who since 2009 has worked in a specialised NHS diagnostic service to help develop its diagnostic programme and assist businesses with their training.
He has advised multiple employers on alterations they should make to their recruitment procedures and working environment to be “neurodiverse friendly”.
According to the National Autistic Society, there are about 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK, but only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment and 77% of those unemployed say that they want to work.
The guidelines include recommendations on adjustments that employers can make to recruitment processes, support networks and how to treat employees as individuals. Suggestions include being clear in communications and changing lighting and background noise that can trigger hypersensitivity.
Trerise, who has co-authored the guide, said: “Autistic people have been misunderstood and socially excluded for far too long. We must change the way we think about autism, have a lot more respect for the significant role autistic people have in society and recognise the skills, strengths, honesty and integrity that this exceptional group of people bring to the workplace and our community.”
DMA Talent general manager Kate Burnett added: “There is enormous demand within the data and marketing industry, and the wider professional community, for recruitment and employment initiatives that help people with neurodevelopmental conditions to seek and maintain employment.
“Our guidance is designed in such a way that, whatever stage a business is on their neurodiversity journey, they can pick this up to receive expert guidance and best practice.”
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