How to support neurodiverse colleagues

Brain in blue backround, neurodiversity concept


As the CEO and founder of TechTalent, Janice has the privilege of working with an incredible team of individuals, each bringing unique talents and perspectives to the table.

However, her journey to this position was not without its challenges.

Janice discovered she was neurodivergent much later in life, and the realisation came as a revelation. It helped her understand years of feeling misunderstood and stigmatised. But rather than dwell on the past, she used her experiences to impact workplace culture positively. Janice is sharing her story with SheCanCode to inspire neurotypical colleagues to become allies and supporters of their neurodiverse peers.


Janice Rae is the CEO and Founder of TechTalent, an AI-driven EdTech business

Janice is the CEO and Founder of TechTalent, an AI-driven EdTech business which aims to address the skills gap within the tech industry through scalable training and talent solutions.

Janice, who has over 30 years of experience in talent acquisition, founded the organisation in 2019. It currently employs a team of 30 and has offices in London, Birmingham, and Bristol.

Prior to TechTalent, Janice founded Women’s Tech Jobs. She created the business to support diversity in the tech sector by educating companies about best practice recruitment, how to promote diversity and inclusion and mentoring women working in the tech sector.

Janice has also worked as head of recruitment, candidate engagement and recruitment marketing at Genius Consultancy. During her time at the business, she delivered talent acquisition, employer branding and recruitment marketing campaigns for the New York Stock Exchange, Ford and Lloyds Register to support their diversity and talent acquisition projects.

Using the experience she gained from her previous roles, Janice founded TechTalent to equip individuals from a range of diverse backgrounds with the skills and certifications they need to begin their careers in tech. The TechTalent Academy delivers courses across several disciplines including data science, cyber security, software development and cloud computing in partnership with local authorities and the government.

As CEO of TechTalent, Janice is dedicated to training and connecting TechTalent students with employers to support a more diverse sector. Her vision is for a fair and fit-for-purpose tech industry where everyone with talent can thrive.

TechTalent also works directly with organisations to help them recruit, train and deploy diverse tech talent within their organisations whilst helping them to understand their current team’s skillsets through skills benchmarking. It’s this benchmarking that allows TechTalent to build bespoke training for existing team members to support business requirements and plans for growth.

Since its foundation, TechTalent has helped thousands of students achieve industry-recognised certifications through its range of tech courses and has placed its students with major businesses including Barclays, Meta, AWS, Microsoft, UK Space Agency, and Version 1.


One of the most important ways to support neurodiverse colleagues is through empathy and understanding. Take the time to learn about neurodiversity and the unique challenges faced by individuals with conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others. Educating ourselves can break down stereotypes and stigmas that may inadvertently affect our colleagues. Consider attending workshops or webinars on the subject and be open to having honest conversations with your colleagues.


A workplace that encourages open dialogue and communication is a workplace that fosters inclusivity. Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable discussing their needs and preferences. This could involve setting up a dedicated space for sharing experiences and asking questions or encouraging regular check-ins to ensure colleagues are comfortable and supported.


Recognising that everyone communicates differently is critical to supporting neurodiverse colleagues. Be willing to adapt your communication style to accommodate their needs. This could mean providing written instructions in addition to verbal ones, giving extra time to process information, or using visual aids to help convey complex ideas.


Flexible work policies can be incredibly beneficial for neurodiverse employees. This may include offering remote working options, flexible hours, or quiet spaces in the office to reduce sensory overload. By providing an environment that caters to the diverse needs of our team, we can ensure that everyone feels comfortable and empowered to perform their best work.


Supporting our neurodiverse colleagues isn’t just about adjusting our workplace environment – it’s also about standing up for them when needed. Be an ally by challenging stereotypes, advocating for their needs, and celebrating their unique strengths. If you see or hear something potentially harmful or offensive, address it. Your support will not go unnoticed.


Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, celebrate neurodiversity. Recognise that our differences make us stronger and that each team member brings something unique. Encourage a culture of appreciation where everyone is valued for their individual contributions.

In conclusion, my experience with neurodiversity has shaped my leadership style and commitment to creating an inclusive workplace. I hope that by sharing my story and these tips, we can foster greater understanding and empathy for our neurodiverse colleagues. Together, we can create a supportive and empowering environment where everyone can thrive.


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