LinkedIn is now allowing users to tag dyslexic thinking as one of their listed skills in an effort to de-stigmatise dyslexia in the workplace. This initiative comes as part of a campaign with Made with Dyslexia, a charity which claims Richard Branson as one of their patrons.
The initiative has the potential to bring a host of benefits to the business world, including a wider understanding of dyslexia at work and greater levels of representation and visibility for people with dyslexia and neurodiversity more broadly.
It could potentially have wider benefits, such as supporting businesses to eliminate biases and reframe their thinking surrounding dyslexia. It could also set in motion more concerted efforts to drive education surrounding dyslexia, that can in turn inform wider business goals and strategies.
Supporting neurodiverse employees:
Workspaces failing needs of neurodiverse employees
How HR can help dyslexic employees
Speaking plainly: inclusivity and accessibility starts with the written word
It’s vital that we assess and evaluate the current levels of awareness surrounding dyslexia to ensure that this new initiative is as impactful as it is well-intentioned. Therefore, it’s crucial that businesses expand on their awareness surrounding neurodiversity in the workplace to ensure that dyslexic thinking is seen as a beneficial skill within the business world.
Equally important is the need for organisations to have both the drive and necessary guidance to turn their awareness and education into action to promote inclusion across all levels of the business.
Some of the actions to promote inclusion can include focusing on skills and experiences within the hiring process, rather than mistakes in presentation or even spelling within CVs. By mitigating for these biases and questioning the more traditional aspects of the hiring process, businesses open themselves up to diverse talent and in turn diversity of thought.
There are many benefits of dyslexic thinking, such as bringing out-of-the-box ideas, increased spatial reasoning, and strong narrative skills to the table.
The ability to use the dyslexic thinking tag, therefore, does have the benefit of elevating neurodiverse role models in business. This can help to galvanise and inspire others to be proud, step into and ultimately own their power as someone with dyslexia.
Like any initiative, there is always the potential for discrimination. Businesses, however, are changemakers within society and can use their platform and influence to educate their own employees surrounding dyslexia and neurodiversity, and take a strong stance against any forms of discrimination that they see.
Overall, this is a bold and promising move by LinkedIn to spotlight and celebrate those with dyslexia. It offers an opportunity to de-stigmatise and enhance education surrounding neurodiversity and can offer businesses an opportunity to reframe and mitigate potential biases surrounding dyslexic thinking.
This can in turn, ensure that companies are constantly evolving and shaping their internal strategies to be relevant and ultimately, inclusive, of everyone.
Anja Skvortsova is MD of Audeliss UK