New Research on Neurodiversity in the Energy Sector: Making Sure all EDI Initiatives Succeed

25 Apr 2024

Author: Vanda Papafilippou, University of the West of England

I’ve rarely felt positive after discussing equality in the workplace, but this wasn’t the case after the UKERC event ‘Diversifying the Energy Sector: EDI initiatives that succeed’ on 26 March, where participants had the opportunity to learn about exciting new research and successful EDI initiatives across the sector.

At the event, I was honoured to briefly present our previous research on neurodiversity in engineering (see videos below). I also launched the call for participants for our new research project on neurodiversity in the energy sector, funded by the IGNITE Network+.

You may be wondering: Why focus on neurodiversity in the energy sector? Neurominority thinking strengths, such as creativity, are crucial for meeting net-zero carbon by 2050. However, our previous research suggests that neurodivergent individuals often encounter challenges in their career progression due to inflexible career paths, HR policies and practices, and the approach of line managers. We thought: Why not bring all the stakeholders together (i.e., energy researchers, HR practitioners and line managers) to better understand the challenges they all face and how we can better support neurodivergent energy researchers?

So, if you work in the energy sector and are:

  • a neurodivergent researcher or line manager in the energy sector (Autistic, Dyslexic, Dyspraxic, have ADHD, or another form of neurodiversity), in either Higher Education or industry
  • a line manager of neurodivergent researchers in the energy sector
  • an HR professional in the energy sector (Higher Education or industry)

and would like to share your experiences and insights in a focus group, we would be delighted to hear from you; please click this link to complete an online form.

More about our previous research

This series of videos gives an overview of our previous study, ‘Exploring the experience of neurodivergent engineers in the workplace’.

1. Introducing the study


2. Getting in: Attraction, recruitment and selection

3. Getting on: Experiences in the workplace, physical challenges, social challenges, mental health, HR policies and practices

4. Moving up: Career development and progression

5. Implications for practice: For team, line managers and senior management

For further information about these projects, please contact the Principal Investigator, Dr Vanda Papafilippou: