World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April 2020: Neurodiversity in the workplace

OUR INCLUSION AND NEURODIVERSITY JOURNEY
In 2018, m/SIX was the first media agency to launch an internship programme designed to actively champion neurodiversity and unlock the potential of young autistic adults. To add gravitas to the programme we partnered with Ambitious About Autism to deliver a rewarding experience for our previous interns.

We’ve always understood that by employing diverse thinking we can collectively overcome any challenge set. Therefore, we’ve been working tirelessly to raise the understanding and awareness of autism within the agency, as well as provide an opportunity for non-neurotypical talent to shine.

CREATING INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES THAT REALLY MATTER
Fast forward to 2020 and there’s no sign of slowing down. We’ve increased our internship duration and designed more training workshops. We want to ensure that our interns get to experience every facet of the agency, so we encourage them to participate in new business pitches and attend key agency meetings. These opportunities provide our interns with a real workplace experience and enables them to share ideas where they really matter.

Kyra Campbell, Neurodiversity Champion, m/SIX

Kyra Campbell and Alina Ali
Pictured: Kyra Campbell and Alina Ali

NESTING IN: A JOURNEY OF MY INTERNSHIP

Alina Ali shares her experience as an intern at m/SIX.

Hi, my name is Alina, and I’m a customer experience intern at m/SIX. Firstly, I would like to start with what neurodiversity means to me. Neurodiversity is the neural differences of our brains; this can be shown through the way someone might speak or process information. Additionally, neurodiversity is a crucial part of modern working life. *This is because 1 in 7 people (more than 15% of people in the UK) are neurodivergent.

MY EXPERIENCE AS A CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE INTERN
During my placement at m/SIX, the experience for somebody as neurodivergent as myself has been an interesting one. My manager, Kyra, has provided me with a great sense of knowing what it means to work in a digital customer experience team. I’ve been heavily involved in developing a neurodiversity project which we plan to introduce to m/SIX on a global scale. The project aims to educate people on the benefits of hiring talent and not relying on stereotypes.

Being involved in a range of work has boosted my confidence and equipped me with transferable skills.

WHAT I ENJOYED THE MOST ABOUT MY INTERNSHIP
One thing I really enjoyed about the customer experience team is the teamwork. The work is fun and fast-paced, and I’ve had opportunities to learn new skills such as, using SEO with content and data analysis. I’ve also been able to experience the changing media landscape from an industry perspective by attending brainstorming meetings and taking part in key meetings. Working with a neurodiversity champion at m/SIX has had a positive impact on my style when working with a range of colleagues.

I highly recommend the AAA Exchange programme at m/SIX, if you would like to see first-hand how a neurodiversity inclusion programme works in media and advertising industry. Overall, the internship has given me a better insight into how to be a team negotiator. m/SIX sets a great example of including neurodivergent people throughout different settings.

Source: https://archive.acas.org.uk/neurodiversity

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