Mastermind Highlights from the ADHD Best Practice at Work Conference

What you'll learn


Mastermind Highlights

  • Conference attendees discussed the barriers around key areas of recruitment, retention and sense of belonging, and intersectionality. 
  • ADHDers and ND leaders came up with ideas of what they need in the workplace that can make a difference.

On 16th May 2022, ADHD Girls held the first ADHD Best Practice at Work Conference that looked at the challenges and potential solutions to help ADHDers thrive in the workplace. The conference was insightful with loads of amazing feedback and contributions from ADHD specialists and our attendees.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the key takeaways from each of the three Mastermind sessions we held during the conference. Attendees of the Mastermind rooms discussed barriers they’d faced in the workplace and considered conditions that could help ADHDers thrive at work.

To access the conference recording, click here

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During this session we heard about barriers to recruitment, such as:

  • The recruitment process itself marginalises ADHDers and other Neurodivergents
  • Self-esteem issues causes reluctance to own one’s strengths during the application and interview process
  • A lack of understanding of ADHD from employers and recruiters leading to a reluctance to declare a diagnosis
  • Where declarations are not made, employers miss the opportunity to make adjustments that would help ADHDers

We also discussed barriers to employment in general:

  • The structure of existing teams doesn’t allow for ND team members to fit in and work well
  • Imposter syndrome is a real struggle, leading to strengths being undervalued
  • Negative stereotypes of what ADHD looks like impact on ADHDers

Potential solutions were considered around creating an anticipatory welcome, support with diagnoses and adjustments, support with the processes and training and coaching for ADHDers and their colleagues.

Challenges for ADHDers that came up during this session:

  • Assumptions made by neurotypical colleagues are damaging to confidence and understanding in the workplace
  • ADHDers have been made to feel they must fit in rather than work to their strengths
  • Being singled out can also cause issues with being treated differently from other colleagues
  • ADHDers can be made to feel they must achieve success by ignoring their own needs

Possible solutions and ways to support ADHDers

When asked what a sense of belonging and great reasons for retention meant to them, attendees at our conference highlighted the need to feel secure, safe, accepted, understood, and connected, with the team having more general awareness of neurodiversity. 

When ADHD goes hand in hand with another identity, such as race, class, gender or sexuality, the challenges associated with it can be multiplied.

Our delegates discussed their lived experiences of ADHD:

  • Within certain cultures there’s a stigma of shame attached to ADHD
  • When ADHD crosses with sexuality
  • ADHD presents differently in males and females
  • Extra barriers are thrown up when race is an issue
  • Difficulty to have a conversation around ADHD when culture thrives on standardisation

When dealing with an ADHD diagnosis, it’s crucial to take intersectionality into account and learn from those who have the lived experiences, and ensuring that our behaviour and language is supportive not inflammatory.

Want more tailored support to create a neuroinclusive workplace culture in your teams to enable your neurodivergents to thrive?

Get in touch with us to discuss neurodiversity workplace training and book Sam as a speaker at your next event.

We also do neurodiversity consultations in the form of Q&A sessions with teams.

You can access the conference recording here

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