EY launches UK Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence

25 January 2022 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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EY has selected Manchester to launch its first Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence in the UK. Manchester joins one of thirteen locations around the world to have an EY Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence (NCoE), alongside Philadelphia and Boston.

The drive to diversify workplaces across all industries continues to gather pace. But while progress is being made to better include employees on grounds of race, gender, sexuality, or class, less ‘visible’ forms of diversity commonly fall by the wayside.

Neurodiversity refers to variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions in a non-pathological sense. ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, and Tourette's syndrome are all examples of neurodiverse conditions. Despite neurodivergent individuals often being typically highly proficient in some ‘in-demand’ skills of right now, efforts to accommodate their needs in many workplaces have been muted at best – and so just 22% of autistic adults are in any kind of employment in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

EY launches UK Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence

In a bid to help the representation and inclusion of neurodiversity in the workplace, Big Four firm EY has announced it will launch its first UK Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence (NCoE), in Manchester. The NCoE is designed to create a supportive working environment for individuals with cognitive differences; fuelling innovation in technology, bringing a new dimension of creativity, and driving greater diversity and inclusion in the UK workplace.

Stephen Church, Manchester Office Managing Partner and North Markets Leader said, “I couldn’t be prouder that EY has selected Manchester and the North of England to locate the NCoE, recognising the innovative spirit in the city and the strength of the community we have locally. We have joined cities around the globe that are opening-up the world of work to neurodiverse individuals, whilst offering local businesses largely untapped talent to help fuel their growth in ways they haven’t imagined before.”

Manchester was selected as the first location in the UK based on the quality of local tech talent and the level of community engagement in the North of England. Globally, EY already has six NCoEs in the US, three in Canada, one in India, one in Poland and one in Spain, with further expansion plans into Europe, South America and Asia Pacific.

With regards to its own firm, EY already adapts its recruitment processes and working environment to support the talents of neurodivergent employees. The Manchester NCoE will be a further step in progressing diversity and inclusion for neurodivergent individuals, as it officially opens with a founding team of six technologists, which includes individuals with cognitive differences such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.

These professionals will join existing EY UK client teams of nearly 2,000 professionals across the North of England working in consulting, intelligent automation, data analytics, cybersecurity, assurance, tax and more. Applications will open again in 2022 for more roles as the NCoE grows.

Alison Kay, EY’s Managing Partner for Client Service in the UK & Ireland, commented, “EY’s UK Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence will help harness some of these skills, boosting innovation for our clients and our own business… We want to create a highly supportive working environment for all of our people, and I hope our UK NCoE will encourage others to lead with purpose and challenge their own talent strategy, to help transform the employment prospects of neurodivergent individuals.”