Inside our Neurodiversity Group this Disability Awareness Month


We know at least 20% of the UK population have brains that work differently, so what are we doing to support them here at Yorkshire Building Society?

Earlier this year, we relaunched our DisAbility Network as the Accessibility Network. It was a huge step towards making sure everyone facing accessibility challenges at work had a space to talk, be listened to and find support here.

As part of the Network refresh, we wanted to make sure our neurodiverse colleagues, and those who are parents to neurodivergent children, have all the support they need to be their best selves – at work and at home. So, we created the Neurodiversity Group.

“Within the group, I feel I’m understood without having to explain myself. It enables me to comfortably share personal experiences with people that relate to me. It also gives me the opportunity to listen to other people and learn from them." - Manpreet Sidhu, Leadership, Learning & Talent

At least 20% of the UK’s adult population see themselves as neurodivergent, which means their brains work differently to someone who’s ‘neurotypical’. They may have been diagnosed with autism spectrum condition (ASC), dyslexia, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And, since it came around in the 1990s, the term neurodiversity has been about highlighting that these brain differences are just that, differences – not deficits, disorders or impairments, but natural variations.

“The conversations have helped me feel more accepted at YBS, just knowing discussions are happening about considering people like me, who are neurodivergent." - Sam Parr, Process Automation

It means that someone who’s neurodivergent might experience the world very differently to someone who’s neurotypical – as the way the world works, and the way we work, has been designed around the neurotypical brain. So navigating everyday life, and the workplace, may present a huge range of challenges that we can’t see.

That’s why creating groups like our Neurodiversity Group is so important.

“It’s helped me to process that I am autistic and what that means for me – part of how I make sense of what I think and feel is through talking. The group is kind, relatable and accepting. I feel I can grow into who I am with their help." - Marie O'Reilly, Digital Channels

The group is all about building a community of support for our neurodiverse colleagues, and those with neurodiverse children – to help understand the challenges they face and raise awareness. It’s a space where they can share their views and ideas, their struggles and concerns, and get advice, support, and influence change here. Whether that’s in adjustments to their everyday work, or how we all work here at Yorkshire Building Society.

“The group is showing up in making sure that others get the right support, that we accommodate people without needing to know if they are neurodivergent, it’s just a normal thing we do”  - Loren Coles, Commercial Lending

It’s about making sure every one of our colleagues feels welcome, supported, and celebrated here. Because that’s what it means to be a truly inclusive workplace – one that everyone can call home.

Find out more about what we’ve been doing for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion here at Yorkshire Building Society on our DE&I webpage.

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