Hi. My name is Becca Chambers, and I am a neurodivergent executive.
What does neurodivergent mean? It’s a big question, but at a high level, neurodiverse populations are those who have diverse thinking styles and have conditions like, but not limited to, ADHD (that’s me!), autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and other diagnoses related to the way people perceive and interact with the world.
According to numerous studies, around 20% of the world is neurodiverse. Yes, that’s a lot of people. It’s also important to call out that many neurodivergent people go undiagnosed and live their lives experiencing difficulties with organizational skills, social perception, and social interactions. Up to 80% of those on the autism spectrum face unemployment. It’s not because neurodivergent lack something or are less capable. It’s because the world was built for the neurotypical majority. When held against those standards, neurodivergent people are set up to struggle. Despite advancements in acceptance of mental health, there remains a significant stigma around neurodiversity. I believe some of the responsibility falls on leaders across all industries to help break down this stigma. At my company Alludo, I’m doing my part to help the company embrace and lean into neurodiversity. I’m proud that Alludo is on the forefront of leading this revolution and breaking the stigma for good. How are we doing it? For starters, Alludo isn’t afraid to hire great talent that is born out of diverse backgrounds, locations, and thinking styles. Here, we believe that neurodiversity—that is, diversity of thought and perspective—is diversity. And we know that diversity begets innovation and accelerates progress. It breaks through plateaus and ruts, allowing organizations to go further, faster.
Bringing your true self to work
As SVP of Brand and Communications and a person who is neurodivergent, I’ve yet to work with a leadership team like the team at Alludo. For the first time in my career, I can finally be my whole, neurodivergent self. It’s a gift I’ve never been given until now. I have always walked a tightrope of balancing my gifts with my perceived shortcomings, struggling to present as neurotypical. How can we bring our absolute best and innovative selves to work if our thinking style is not embraced? (Spoiler: we can’t.)
Leaning into neurodiversity
At Alludo, I am empowered to lean into my neurodiversity. I don’t hide it. I embrace my whole self, and by doing so, I give people around me permission to embrace their whole selves—neurodivergent or not. Even though Alludo is at the leading edge of this revolution, we’re nowhere near done yet. We have a wonderful and challenging journey ahead of us. We’re starting with a newly launched Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group, a safe space for neurodivergent employees and allies to discuss, share, and educate each other on the challenges and opportunities associated with neurodiversity.
Until this point, the world has missed out on an incalculable volume of creativity, inspiration, and innovation stemming from stigma around neurodiversity. Now that we’ve started to break down that stigma, the possibilities are endless. I’m excited about where we’re going. I finally feel true freedom (one of Alludo’s values) in my career and won’t settle for anything less. And I want that same feeling for every one of the 1 in 5 people around the world who don’t fit the neurotypical majority.