The world has been through a series of unprecedented years, with COVID-19 and lockdowns bringing many challenges to employers (just as with wider society). Now, three years on from the start of lockdown, working practices across many sectors are setting into a ‘new normal’ which has reverted back in some ways and retained the (at the time revolutionary) working practices of lockdown in others. Throughout, EDI has remained high on the agenda for many at a time when it could well have fallen by the wayside; and these changes in working life brought about by COVID-19 continue to offer an opportunity for greater inclusion in future, particularly in respect of autism and neurodiversity. During this webinar, solicitor and autism employment campaigner Jonathan Andrews will explore how employees can embrace new ways of working to create more opportunities for neurodiverse colleagues. In honour of Autism Awareness month, Jonathan will discuss the rapidly changing working landscape and the need to consider accessibility in approaches, reasonable adjustments, and how to influence D&I to build more equitable and inclusive workplaces.
A solicitor at global law firm Reed Smith, Jonathan is a passionate advocate for fair access to the workplace for people of all backgrounds and identities, and secured his training contract while being completely open about being on the autistic spectrum – speaking to firms about the advantages this can bring. He is also chairman of Bromley’s All-Age Autism Partnership Board in his role as a local councillor and is the UK’s representative to the International Trademark Association’s Diversity Council, alongside many other commitments. Shortlisted for ‘Positive Disability Role Model’ at the National Diversity Awards 2015, Jonathan has been recognised for his advocacy as Campaigner of the Year at the European Diversity Awards 2016, a Queen’s Young Leader 2017, the Open University’s youngest-ever honorary graduate in 2018, the Law Society’s Junior Lawyer of the Year 2019, and featured on the Shaw Trust Power List as the UK’s fourth-most influential disabled person in 2020.