MBA Students explore leadership in a neurodivergent context

Sydney, Australia — University of Sydney part-time MBA students explored the future of work and how to inspire and lead neurodivergent workers in the modern workplace. Through the program they recognised the unique strengths and capability of people on the autism spectrum and the valuable opportunity they present for businesses across Australia.

The students recognised that neurodiversity is not a charity topic, it is a clear opportunity to shape businesses and human resource strategy to focus on the strengths and the operating environment of employees. This in turn will deliver a setting where businesses can create better outcomes.

Students worked in groups and were assigned to develop a training program for a diversity related topic. auticon took part in reviewing the approach of students that chose to focus on neurodiversity.

auticon Commercial Director Ivonne Ranisch was impressed by the ideas that the students delivered.

“The students really recognised the opportunity to leverage different ways of thinking to access better solutions and what this means for the future of leadership.

“It was clear from the presentations the students gave that they could see the strengths in neurodiversity, and this is indeed encouraging for the future of work here in Australia. We hope that these future leaders will take away this knowledge and implement these training programs in their future workplaces.”

University of Sydney Business School Professor Sabina Nielsen is passionate about diversity and decision making and believed that the students addressed some critical workplace issues.

“We’re all different in the unique things that we need to optimise our performance at work, but there are some simple things that businesses can implement that will help employees across the board.

“One of the first things companies need to do is recognise that we are all individuals and to optimise the working environment we need to create flexibility and understand the needs of workers. The students in this program did a great job in demonstrating this point.

“I would like to thank auticon for their contribution and guidance with respect to this program. They brought practical examples of diversity in action and what can be achieved by embracing neurodiversity.”

Cain Coleman, a student from the University of Sydney that took part in the program, spoke about their experience and what they will take with them into the workplace.

“Understanding what diversity can bring to an organisation and the opportunities to grow the pool of available talent with people from a range of backgrounds is an exciting prospect,” Cain said.

“We all know that business has a substantial shortage of STEM skilled workers. People on the autism spectrum have high rates of unemployment and have a high participation rate in STEM related fields of study creating an opportunity for business.

“Through creating a more autism-friendly working environment and though embracing diversity of thought I have learnt that there is an opportunity access more capability and deliver outstanding results.”

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