When we started over four years ago, our aim was to improve services and facilitate career potential for adults with neurodiversity. Neurodiverse people make up 8% of the working population but 28% of the long term unemployed population, as well as a majority of incarcerated people, which shows the level of embedded discrimination our clients face.
Since 2011, we have provided reasonable adjustment support for over 4000 people. Our evaluation with in-work clients, who come to us because their work performance is suffering, shows that 88% are still in work 1 year later and the remaining 12% have moved on to work that suits their skills. 23% of our clients are promoted within one year of our coaching interventions! We believe that neurodiversity is an untapped talent in the UK workforce, as showcased in BBC2’s Employable Me programme, and our work has contributed to raising the profile of specialist thinkers with the general public and employers.
Genius Within provides cognitive skills support in 11 UK prisons, bringing evidence-based coaching to where it is most needed, and addressing social exclusion. Our prisoners often have cognitive strengths – one cohort had an average of the top 10 % for visual reasoning skills – and we facilitate them to capitalise on this; building career aspirations that are targeted at strengths, through our positive assessments and Memory Genius courses.
We are women owned and run, employing neurodiverse people in all layers of the organisation. We have a frontline employee and and two associates on our board, to ensure that we maintain a hub and spoke model of organisation, feeding real life experience back into the decision making and corporate governance of the company. We are family friendly, offering flexible hours and working; we insist in our company handbook that no one ever needs to ask permission to go to sport day. Genius Within have sought to accredit and benchmark the quality of our delivery through BSI, the Institute of Leadership and Management and by ensuring that our work is evaluated academically to build an evidence base for work in this under researched field.
Nancy Doyle, MD, says “I have been overwhelmed with the reception our work has received from UK employers, the DWP and MoJ. This nomination was a complete surprise to me, but I feel it reflects the hard work of the extremely talented staff team that have joined me in sailing the Good Ship Genius. I am thrilled for them – they carry the flag of professionalism, integrity and positive psychology everyday in their work”.