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Taking a Broader Look at the Meaning of Diversity

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QIS Writer
Published on
February 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM PST February 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM PSTth, February 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM PST

If you missed the #SupplyChainDiversityDiscussion LinkedIn Live Accelerator event hosted by Kelly Barner last Friday - don't sweat....now you can catch the recording!

It was great to hear the different perspectives on this topic - so many good nuggets to think about! For many people, the word "neuro-diverse" is not as well known - and maybe it should be!

According to Harvard Health Publishing, an article by Dr. Nicole Baumer, MD, MEd, and Dr. Julia Frueh, MD in November 2021 defined neurodiversity as, "the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one "right" way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits." Drs Baumer and Frueh continue by stating, "The word neurodiversity refers to the diversity of all people, but it is often used in the context of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as other neurological or developmental conditions such as ADHD or learning disabilities. The neurodiversity movement emerged during the 1990s, aiming to increase acceptance and inclusion of all people while embracing neurological differences. Through online platforms, more and more autistic people were able to connect and form a self-advocacy movement. At the same time, Judy Singer, an Australian sociologist, coined the term neurodiversity to promote equality and inclusion of "neurological minorities." While it is primarily a social justice movement, neurodiversity research and education is increasingly important in how clinicians view and address certain disabilities and neurological conditions."

The question to ask is, in addition to the typical diverse supplier categories....should neurodiverse be added? I can't think of one reason why neurodiverse people should be excuded. Just as adding a neurodiverse person to your team at work would provide you with a different perspective on a task or problem, having a neurodiverse supplier could provide procurement and supply chain with out-of-the-box solutions they had never considered before. I think at the forefront - supplier diversity provides different perspectives and solutions to the dollars that procurement and supply chain professionals spend. Since when is having more options considered a bad thing?