Neurodiversity in Infosec- show them they belong

My interpretation of neurodiversity is that there are many different ways to interpret the world and they are all valid. Neurodiversity is particularly important when we consider autism, ADHD or asperger’s . These are conditions that have an effect on the brain and how the person interacts with and reacts to the world around them. This diversity and difference in thinking and perception is valuable and not negative. We need variety and complexity of thought to drive our processes and ideas forward.

Neurodiverse people are not “broken” and do not need to be cured. If we support neurodiverse people effectively they can become more effective than people with typical function.

In infosec we are particularly well placed to support people with autism, dyslexia, ADHD etc. We have an accepting and progressive community that is open and supportive. We offer remote working or we accept that people find office space stressful and might earbud all day.

For an example of good practice that is shaping company culture, Microsoft is a useful example. They use apprenticeships, CTF and a one site training program that aims to foster support and inclusion.

Another excellent idea is the consultancy route pioneered by Auticon. I like this idea of promoting neurodiverse employees as useful and valuable.

Autistic people need mentors and inspirational figures. This is important as they develop their identity of self and their diagnosis. We all need inspiration and hope. Currently it is a struggle to name a top three successful public figures with autism or ADHD. It would be great to see that change.

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I write about privacy in abusive relationships and also muse about inclusion in infosec. I have opinions but I listen. Views are mine.

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