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JOSEPH'S TAKE ON DIVERSITY AT UMG

 

Universal Music U.K. CEO David Joseph has discussed his plan for creating a “neurologically diverse” culture that encourages and includes unique mindsets and creativity, in a rare interview with London’s Evening Standard.

Joseph has commissioned a report into neurodiversity in the workplace, which will be published in the autumn. Neurodiversity covers a range of variations in the human brain, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). 

The report follows a number of measures that are already being implemented at UMG, which aim to embrace people who may fall into any of the mentioned categories—Joseph estimates its around 20%—30% of his 1k-member workforce.

Those measures include encouraging an open culture of communication about any differences employees might be struggling with, flexible working hours and changing recruitment protocol (swapping forms for video or audio recordings, for example). 

The impact, he told ES, makes business sense, citing the Harvard Business Review which calls neurodiversity a “competitive advantage” and a number of companies, like Google and the British government intelligence agency GCHQ, that are “now seeking to build on the commercial potential of the differently abled”.

He concludes: “Overall there is a simple economic argument for this. The U.K. is amazing at creativity, from Adele to Harry Potter to everything. So if it leads to employment and a growth sector, double, triple down on the creative sector. And if you start embracing creativity, by definition you are embracing neurodiversity, because it’s all interconnected.”

 

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