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Three key strategies to support neurodiversity at work

Diversity and inclusion champions Charlotte Carnell, Eleonora Losi and Emma Rouhani share how DAZN’s leaders and recruitment processes are successfully supporting neurodiversity at work and in recruitment.

Providing Accessible Interview Processes, by Charlotte Carnell 

DAZN is always looking for new ways to adapt our processes to ensure everyone is able to perform to the best of their abilities. Neurodiversity is a big focus for us, especially in tech where you have such a range of different people who perform the role including many who are more introverted or have disabilities that aren’t visible. We felt our interview processes needed to be flexible for those individuals, without them feeling the need to ask for it.

Our interview process is being standardized to include video conversations in initial stages, and for technical rounds we are now in the process of making it standard to offer the option of a complete at home task or to attend a live programming as a final stage. We feel this has made a massive difference in our process and enabled us to hire excellent candidates who may have struggled otherwise if we only offered the option of a live programming interview.

We have noticed that many candidates who are incredibly grateful to be given this option have been more open to speak up about how this has helped them to show their skills due to a personal need they haven't mentioned previously, (which we would have never known about otherwise). We have noticed better performance from very nervous, anxious candidates. We have also seen those with dyslexia be able to have a more enjoyable process, not to mention candidates who are maybe less extroverted, enjoying the time and space to work on a tech problem in their own time.

It’s been really enjoyable to see candidates have more success in our process (and enjoyment) just with something that hasn’t been a big change for us. Hopefully this can become the norm for candidates at some point in the future, where they face less barriers to show their great skills!

Supportive & Inclusive Managers, by Eleonora Losi

Managers are familiar with the advantages that DAZN can gain from diversity in gender, culture and other individual qualities of employees. But benefits from neurodiversity are more direct because neurodiverse people may bring new perspectives to a company. It is essential for managers to recognize this value and create an environment where neurodiverse people can feel supported and comfortable. 

The behaviours of many neurodiverse people can be different to the notions of what people typically think makes a good employee, such as: solid communication skills, the ability to network, persuasiveness, and a salesperson-type personality. But they are not the only way to provide value; in fact, innovation calls to add variety to the mix and to include people and ideas from different perspectives and personality traits. Many neurodiverse people have extraordinary skills, including in pattern recognition, memory, and mathematics. Having people at DAZN who see things differently helps us all to look in the same direction and create a fantastic product and culture.

Employee Resource Groups, by Emma Rouhani

The voice of our people is what makes the difference. Our Employee Resource Groups have joined people from all backgrounds, teams and parts of the world to help us change DAZN for the better. These are voluntary, employee-led groups that aim to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace. They can provide support and help for people’s professional and career development, act as a forum for difficult discussions and are the driving force to create new initiatives to make DAZN a better place for everyone. Through driving conversation and strategy around DEI at DAZN, providing ideas to support wellbeing, giving people a voice to influence and define decisions, we have seen some incredible work through our ERGs.

A new group for DAZN this year is our Disability group. Within this group, we aim to change the way we see and talk about disability. Through our community, we seek to learn and educate others about the barriers faced by the disabled community, providing a safe space for all. Our objective is to learn, not fix. As a result of this new group, we have had new initiatives such as the accessible interviewing practises, manager training, sign language classes and more. And its all thanks to our employees coming together and making things happen. 

Aside from our Disability ERG, we also have local market groups to drive initiatives within our global markets. We have added several more groups for this year such as Women at DAZN – a community to provide a space to identify and discuss challenges and opportunities for women in the organisation and the broader sports and tech industries. We are also growing other groups such as Proud at DAZN; seeking to engage and encourage the LGBTQ+ community within DAZN to ensure each member of staff can be their authentic self. Parentzone is another popular group, which is open to anyone at DAZN who has parental responsibilities and wants access to support. We are really excited to see more great initiatives and changes coming out of our ERGs.