Intech Investment Management LLC | Senior Vice President. Chief Data Scientist.
The largest pay gap isn't gender, disability or mental illness. It is #autism. Earlier this year former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison caused a ruckus when asked a funding question by a woman with an autistic son. He responded: "Jenny and I have been blessed, we've got two children that don't - that haven't had to go through that." It was an awkward attempt at empathy, off the cuff, which we don't question. But it seems companies are also "blessed" not to have to suffer autistic people, at least for fair pay. In the U.K., the Office of National Statistics reports a pay gap of 33.5%, about triple the gap for disabled men or women. As a story by Allie Nawrat in Unleash (https://lnkd.in/eMyx_VXn) points out, this is rather disappointing given the research on benefits to business of cognitive diversity (e.g. HBR: https://lnkd.in/erH8KwGY). If I asked you to speculate on that pay gap, you might list things you think those on the spectrum do "to themselves", or fail to do, that inhibit their progression up the corporate ladder. Perhaps failure to make eye contact; tendency towards unfiltered remarks; failure to read people; or (have you considered?) additional energy spent filtering background noise. But what you might not see is the flip side of that coin: that neurotypical people are less willing to interact with autistic peers, and that this judgement occurs in seconds (see https://lnkd.in/eZG7wChA). The UK government will monitor the autism pay gap going forward (https://lnkd.in/e7gQWyuD) but if the research is representative, it's surely a hard, hard fix. Keep this in mind reading well-meaning posts on the importance of hiring "well rounded" employees with all the right "soft skills". Those skills can be real, but I wish I had a dollar for every post offering advice along the lines of "math isn't important, coding isn't important, only Y is" ... where Y is "