Neurodiversity, Work, and Me
‘Don’t be afraid to talk about it.’ Neurodiverse HSBC employees share their experiences and the distinct skills they bring to the bank.
Man A (blonde hair, grey suit): If a person were to say to me “Wow you’re really good at thinking about concepts,” for example, the equivalent of that for me would be to say to a person “Wow, you’re really good at breathing.”
Man B (bald, purple long sleeve shirt): People think that you’re thick.
Woman A (woman, pink sweater): They think that I can’t read.
Man C (bald purple vest): That we’re dumb, that we’re slow. We’re uneducable. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
Man A: I’m neurodiverse because I am autistic.
Woman B (woman, flowered top, pink jacket): I have something that’s called Asperger’s syndrome, which is an autistic spectrum disorder.
Man B: I’m dyslexic.
Woman C (red hair, black top): I have Asperger’s syndrome
Man B: I’m dyslexic and I also have dysgraphia.
Woman A: I have dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Woman D (blonde, blue jacket and necklace): I got an ADHD diagnosis a few years ago and it was actually the first time in my life that I made sense to myself.
Woman C: I just think it’s the way my brains wired up.
Woman B: Just wired differently
Woman D: I am not seeing what everyone else is seeing. There’s obviously a huge advantage to that but we’ve only learned to appreciate this potential over the last few years
Man B: One way of understanding neurodiversity is if we’ve got people who we call “normal”. We call them “neurotypical”. They can see the visual spectrum of colors going from red to indigo. Neurodiverse people they might not be able to see blue but they can see an infra red. Now you’ve got somebody in your team who can see in the dark. Do you want to have that person in your team? Of course you do.
Man A: Many of my strengths I believe come from my autism.
Woman C: I’m good at retaining knowledge I’m know where to find the knowledge.
Man C: My brain is incredibly logical one of the main traits is I can take lots of different sort of level 2d drawings and then make them into a 3d model in my head and be able to spin them around.
Man B: I’m very good at spatial things. I built a kitchen in our house twelve years ago – bought all the bits from Ikea and fitted the whole thing. And somebody said to me: “Well where did you make a plan.” I didn’t. I did it all in my head.
Woman D: So ADHD is basically like watching 30 different channels at the same time in somebody else is holding the in remote control. I am calm in situations where a lot of other people get really anxious. There’s limited fear to actually make a decision which I sometimes find very helpful in business context because sometimes we just have to decide something to be able to move ahead.
Man A: I can hold very large very complex systems in mind.
Woman C: The way I look at the world is black and white. It’s not the gray areas in between. I can think logically. I can think straight down the middle. It brings the team in together so that it’s not going round and round in circles.
Woman D: I think one of the biggest challenges for me is that neurological differences are invisible. Don’t assume everyone else just because they look like you or they have a similar job or that they think in the exact same way.
Woman B: I would say definitely don’t be afraid to talk about it.
Woman A: For me I would say speak to your managers and let them be aware and I think by doing that it makes you more confident and more free.
Man C: It’s not something that all of us are easy talking about but the more we do talk about it the more people understand and will appreciate the different abilities and the different gifts that neurodivergent people can actually bring to HSBC.