Since its initial certification as a Certified Neurodiverse Workplace™ (CNW) in 2020, Boeing Mesa’s Electrical Center of Excellence renewed its certification with an increased appreciation for the talents that neurodiverse professionals bring to an organization. The designation, granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), promotes and embraces the benefits of hiring neurodivergent individuals, including people with autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and other neurological differences.
Those benefits go well beyond checking off boxes in the diversity space. A neurodivergent professional’s way of evaluating a challenge brings innovation to the table, making such hires a focus for organizations that want to stay on the leading edge of their industries. To earn a CNW certification, a company must utilize neuro-inclusive hiring and management practices, including staff training, on-the-job accommodations, and updating their procedures and policies to attract, hire, and retain neurodiverse talent.
Since their 2020 certification, the Boeing Mesa Electrical Center team has realized the benefits of onboarding neurodiverse individuals full-time. Not only did such hires expand the scope of the company’s innovative capabilities, but they also broadened the horizons of their existing staff, most of whom were either neurotypical or unwilling to disclose their differences.
One employee explained, “I learned a lot of things that I didn’t think I needed to know, but I really did. I also learned that someone who looks like they may not be paying attention is just approaching the situation in a different way. For example, someone wearing a hood or is wearing headphones isn’t trying to be ‘rude’ or ‘antisocial,’ but they are trying to focus on their work.”
Additionally, the training required to qualify for a CNW helped grow the team’s managerial and instructional capabilities. One manager put it thus, “Managers don’t always have people that self-disclose that they are neurodiverse or that they need accommodations. This helped me look for signs so I could better help members of my team, and I was able to help them learn about the accommodations Boeing has to help them.” Another Boeing staffer said, “This helped me with working with my coworkers and understanding that I may need to present SOJT [structured on-the-job training] differently to help them learn. It improved my teaching!”
IBCCES chairman Myron Pincomb points to these successes to encourage other organizations to pursue CNW certification. He says, “Our neurodiversity inclusion programs go above and beyond to help companies actualize all the gifts that neurodiverse professionals have to offer.”
Those gifts have borne fruit beyond Boeing Mesa’s doors. Having realized the benefits of welcoming neurodiverse people to their company, Boeing’s leadership has committed itself to helping the Mesa community grow in its commitment to neurodiversity as an Autism Certified City.
For more than 20 years, IBCCES (https://ibcces.org/) has led the world in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals. IBCCES programs include evidence-based content, clinical experts, perspectives of people with autism, ongoing support, renewal requirements, and other resources to ensure continued learning and a lasting impact. As a testament to their effectiveness, IBCCES programs have the sole endorsement of the largest grassroots autism organization in the world, The Autism Society of America.
About the Boeing Company
The Boeing Company (https://www.boeing.com/) is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries, leveraging the talents of a worldwide supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers, and invest in its people and future growth.
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