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Online lunch lecture Diversity Day

  • 3 October 2023 12:00 - 13:15 hrs
  • Online (in English)

Neurodiversity at the workplace and the lived experiences of neurodivergent researchers in STEM

This year NWO celebrates ‘Diversity Day’ by organising an online lunch lecture on Tuesday 3 October from 12:00 – 13:15 CET, focusing on the theme of neurodiversity at the workplace.

An organization’s most significant source of competitive advantage lies in its workforce. There is an increasing importance of effectively recruiting, engaging, and retaining top-notch talent for organisations. Employees should be a diverse group of people with different approaches, skills and strengths in problem-solving and driving innovation. Studies have shown, time and again that companies with a more diverse workforce perform better.

In addition to considering differences in gender, ethnicity, age and class, it is imperative to cultivate a workforce that also includes neurodiverse individuals. This session will include an introduction to the terminology related to neurodiversity, why it’s essential for organizations to consider this, and what steps can be taken to become neuro-inclusive. What are the experiences of individuals with neurodiversity who are studying or working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and how can managers ensure their neurodivergent staff can work to their full potential?


Welcome words
Prof. Dr. Arfan Ikram, member of the NWO Executive Board

Professor Amanda Kirby MBBS, MRCGP, PhD and CEO of Do-IT Solutions,
Professor Sara Rankin, Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology at Imperial College London

Prof. Dr. Arfan Ikram is member of the NWO Executive Board and president of the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMW). He is a professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He is also Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce at Erasmus MC Rotterdam.

Prof. Amanda Kirby is a qualitied general practitioner and has as a Ph.D. relating to emerging adulthood and neurodiversity. She is the founder and CEO of Do-IT Solutions, an internationally recognized tech-for- good company that provides neurodiversity screening and web-based support tools for children and adults in education and employment. Amanda has firsthand experience of neurodiversity firsthand, as she sees herself as neurodivergent as well as being a parent of neurodivergent children, and grandchildren. She has written 10 books and more than 100 research papers in the field and was recognized as one of the top UK HR Thinkers in 2022, top 50 Diversity power list and top 33 UK Business Influencers. 

Sara Rankin is Professor in Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology at Imperial College London. She is dyspraxic and dyslexic and is an advocate for neurodiversity in STEM and is on a mission to make STEM education and careers neuroinclusive. She has founded “cacti” to develop a network for neurodivergent people working in STEM. She was named one of the Top 50 influential Neurodivergent Women in 2019.

The lecture is organised by Judith Kreukels (Project Leader Diversity & Inclusion NWO-I) and Anneke Bloemen (Diversity Officer, NWO). For questions about the session you can e-mail Judith Kreukels ( All NWO and NWO-I employees are welcome to join in! 


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    For questions, please contact Judith Kreukels via


    • Poster Diversity day 23 (474.22 kB)
    Confidental Infomation