Engineering services company Stantec has launched its Neurodiversity UK Employee Resource Group (ERG) to support neurodivergent employees and their families.
The company, with headquarters in Edmonton, Canada, hopes the new ERG will “raise awareness, provide a safe and supportive space, and an employee voice to challenge the business and define its strategy.”
The Neurodiversity UK ERG will represent neurodivergent employees and those with neurodivergent children and families seeking support in the UK. Neurodiversity encompasses but is not limited to conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Tourette’s, Dyspraxia, Delayed Language Development, and Acquired Brain Injury.
The ERG will support “everyone who identifies as neurodivergent, whether they are self or formally diagnosed” and plans to work with future Neurodiversity ERGs throughout Stantec’s workplaces globally.
Activities being led by the Neurodiversity UK ERG include awareness presentations, an office re-design project to ensure its UK facilities are inclusive and an office strategy to support all aspects of inclusion. The ERG also seeks to partner with charities and clients to support wider I&D programmes across Stantec’s UK operations.
The group was initially established following an internal Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) awareness month, ‘Inclusion May’, which raised awareness of Stantec’s I&D programme in the UK. The campaign launched the use of “Inclusion Moments” across all meetings, a practice that is being continued.
Stantec’s definition of “An Inclusion Moment” is a “short education opportunity and a way to start meaningful conversations about inclusion and diversity while contributing to building a truly inclusive workplace.”
The company is using the “Inclusion Moments” to raise awareness of the different skill sets, strengths, and attributes diverse talent brings to the global business, which forms part of their mission to make the company a “welcoming, safe, supportive, and free of judgment—a place where people feel comfortable and empowered to do their best work because they’re free to be their truest selves.”
Other ERGs developed at Stantec in the UK include Women@Stantec and a PrideUK@Stantec ERG.
Jo Whittington, Chair of the Neurodiversity UK ERG said: “The new Neurodiversity ERG is an incredible opportunity for change, moving towards creating a working environment that enables difference and breaks down barriers. Neurodivergent people literally think differently which can be a significant advantage, but this can only be realised when the individuals are enabled to make use of their strengths, instead of constantly trying to overcome challenges. We are very excited to have created this ERG made up of neurodivergent colleagues and neurotypical advocates working together to develop a greater understanding of the benefits of difference within the workplace.”