DiversityNE is part-funded
by the European Social Fund and North of Tyne Combined Authority.

'Growing the power and potential of a neurodiverse workforce'

Where are you from?

I am based in North Shields.

What is your role at Diversity NE?

Employer Engagement Officer.

How long have you worked for NEAS?

I have worked for NEAS since April 2022. I was a job coach for a previous NEAS/Groundwork Employability Project called Moving on Tyne and Wear.

I have been working as an Employer Engagement Officer on the DiversityNE Employability Programme since January 2023.

What is your career background?

Prior to working for NEAS I was an NHS Speech and Language Therapist for 15 years working with adults. I have always been passionate about opening up conversations around difference and supporting others to see skill and competence and changing some of the narratives around disability in the workplace

Can you share a career highlight?

Working with Newcastle City Council and Department of Work and Pensions to develop an employability and recruitment event that better meets the needs of neurodivergent job-seekers. Having employers and other employability colleagues recognise the benefits of doing things differently in order to recruit this talented, but often over-looked, group of job-seekers.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing employers recognise that they do not need to fear difference – that by open and respectful conversation about strengths and challenges they can find ways of improving the work context for everyone.

Why did you want to be involved with Diversity NE? 

DiversityNE supports neurodivergent job-seekers to uncover their potential and move forwards with personal goals. Gaining and sustaining employment is life-changing.

Employer Engagement aims to change the employment environment by working not just with the job-seeker but also with the recruiter, the organisation and line managers to ensure the individual can thrive. This project, with its focus on employment context , as well as on the neurodivergent individual, and its follow-up period after leaving the project, provides comprehensive support to neurodivergent individuals and the communities they work in.

Click here to contact Rachael by email