11/16/2023 | by Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Tracy Powell-Rudy, vice president of corporate engagement at Integrate, a nonprofit that helps organizations identify, recruit, and retain autistic and neurodivergent talent, was a guest on the latest episode of Nareit’s REIT Report podcast.

Powell-Rudy discussed the level of awareness around neurodiversity in the wider population today, the level of participation for neurodiverse individuals in the workplace, and some of the key factors impacting their hiring.

She also discussed practical steps that companies can take to become more aware of neurodiversity, to make their hiring processes more amenable to neurodiverse candidates, and how to signal to the outside world that neurodiversity is something that’s on a company’s radar.

In addition, Powell-Rudy covered best practices for companies that are starting up hiring programs or looking to work with a partner.

“Creating awareness around how to be an effective manager of neurodivergent talent, which in essence means becoming an effective and strategic communicator, leveraging compensatory strategies when useful, and creating an environment where an employee feels comfortable disclosing and has the opportunity to contribute and be successful—that's good business for everybody,” Powell-Rudy said.

Neurodivergent individuals have many strengths that they can bring to a workplace, Powell-Rudy said. “We talk about attention to detail, creativity, loyalty, honesty, big picture thinking, or if we're talking about dyslexia, maybe strong 3D spatial reasoning, for example. And clearly companies who are neuroinclusive see benefits in productivity and retention across the organization.”