Inclusion

Let’s talk Neurodiversity

Ruth Rainbow

Neurodiversity Network

October 2, 2020

Accepting difference means understanding how we are alike, how we are different and treating everyone with respect and understanding regardless of the differences – Unknown

National Inclusion Week is about celebrating individuality and difference. We caught up with the lead of our Neurodiversity network, Ruth Rainbow, to understand what we want to achieve within Virgin Media and how we can work together to create a truly inclusive environment.

Why is it important to have a Neurodiversity network within Virgin Media?

It’s incredibly important to have a network within our organisation that understands and supports those who are or who are living alongside those who experience neurodiversity. We are want to connect this community, learn and share from each other and work with Virgin Media to provide not only an inclusive place for neurodiverse people to operate in but to really enable them to thrive and have a sense of belonging.

What’s the current focus of the Neurodiversity network?

Right now, our focus is to better understand our existing community. Build those relationships; learn more about their backgrounds, interests and how we can be a support for them in Virgin Media. Only then can we start to review how we can attract, appropriately assess and engage neurodiverse talent for the future.

Right now, we are working with external support to define neurodiversity appropriately, to provide insight into terminology and abbreviations for the conditions associated. We are building out our own storyboard, sharing our personal experiences within the group in hopes that we can attract those who like us, are trying to learn more.

We’ve presented a reading list / suggested book list for further research. We aim to make this an e-library that members can access and begin a book club for thought sharing and networking in the future.

That sounds fantastic! What are our future ambitions within Virgin Media?

It’s very early days and our network is still evolving and learning but as I mentioned, our first point of call is to find more neurodiverse people within our business.

We’re really conscious that just like Neurodiversity itself, the membership of our network will be extremely diverse – and for example one person’s lived experience as an adult in our business may be a very different to that of a colleague who is caring for a child with Neurodiversity. How we engage with this breadth appropriately will all be part of our learning too. It starts with a willingness to listen.

We want to take the feedback we receive and use this to guide us with what we want to achieve first. Ensuring that we address the present before the future and create ally-ship with our Executive Committee and the broader business through education and a kindness in understanding that not all diversity is visible.

We’d love to create and evidence where neurodiversity positively impacts businesses (our business) and how this has helped us to achieve our North Star (overarching business goal).

Thank you so much for your time and sharing this insight with us. You can follow our National Inclusion Week journey on LinkedIn.

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