Campaign presented “All I want for 2018: the industry’s hopes and predictions for the year”—with eight allegedly prominent industry figures, as well as media world and adland leaders, sharing their wish lists for the year ahead. Not surprisingly, only one person mentioned diversity. Direct Line Group Marketing Director Mark Evans offered the following:
Personal: May businesses embrace “radical diversity”
In 2018 I expect more people to wake up to the fact that diversity isn’t just about social justice but makes fundamentally good business sense; to those ready to embrace “radical diversity” will come the spoils.
My tip is that neurodiversity will quickly creep further towards the top of the agenda. It is the diversity conversation yet to happen but with the greatest potential upside to performance. The “superpowers” of those with autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and other neurodivergent conditions will become recognised as critical, particularly in a world where tasks that require repeatable precision will increasingly be automated and innovation will come from the edges from the people whose brains are wired differently.
Gee, Evans probably believes that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their cranium. It’s unlikely, however, “that neurodiversity will quickly creep further towards the top of the agenda,” as it would require leapfrogging over White women, White LGBT, White people with physical disabilities, White elderly people and many other segments—including house pets. Of course, neurodiversity has already gained more public interest than racial and ethnic diversity. A peek at the board and leadership of Evans’ company, incidentally, displays zero diversity, so talking about embracing “radical diversity” is radical hypocrisy. Evans could benefit from having his brain rewired.