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Seeking experts for developing neurodivergent board guidance

News item

2nd July 2024
Last updated
3rd July 2024
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Co-operatives UK is looking for experts to create guidance that leverages the unique strengths and perspectives of neurodivergent individuals in boardrooms. 

Experts are being sought to develop guidance on harnessing the unique perspectives and strengths neurodivergent individuals bring to the board.

Existing director and board guidance, currently being reviewed by the Co-operative Governance Expert Reference Panel, focuses on neurotypical behaviour. To broaden and enhance the scope, new guidance should encompass and address challenges "neurodivergent people face within the boardroom, and how organisations can embrace diversity, ensure an inclusive environment and improve conditions to strengthen the contribution of neurodivergent individuals."

Expressions of interest in undertaking this paid piece of work, anticipated to take no longer than four days, should be submitted by 26 July (2024).

Emma Laycock, Member Services Lead at Co-operatives UK, said: "We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and valued. Our improved guidance will provide co-operatives with the tools they need to support neurodivergent directors, enhancing decision-making and governance across the sector."

Key aspects of the guidance

The new guidance will focus on several critical areas, including:

  • Definitions: Clear definitions of neurodiversity, neurodivergence, and neurotypicality, highlighting their importance.
  • Behavioral Insights: Practical examples of how neurodivergent individuals may approach board roles differently from neurotypical individuals.
  • Support Structures: Strategies for developing supportive structures, processes, feedback mechanisms, and cultures.
  • Impact and Benefits: Insights into the cognitive diversity, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving skills neurodivergent individuals can contribute.
  • Inclusivity Risks: Identification of risks associated with a lack of board diversity, with a focus on neurodivergence.
  • Election Processes: Considerations for inclusive election and appointment processes.
  • Practical Adjustments: Examples of adjustments to provide a supportive environment for neurodivergent board members.

Invitation for expressions of interest

Experts with demonstrable experience in neurodiversity and some knowledge of co-operative governance should contact Emma Laycock at [email protected] no later than midnight on Friday 26 July. See full brief here.


Calling all neurodiversity experts

Read the full work brief.
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