Neurodiversity Deserves Its Own Investment Criteria
- By: Andrew Komarow
- Posted: October 4, 2021
The Neurodiversity Index is comprised of 79 companies who are leaders and champions of the neurodiversity movement. This movement posits that individuals with conditions like autism, I/DD, ADHD, and learning disabilities process things differently, but should not be considered "less than" or "defective:". Instead, they offer their own unique assets and strengths to the world. The 79 companies on the Neurodiversity Index recognize this fact and have made an effort to accommodate and include these individuals in all aspects of work life. The fact that there are 79 companies is significant, as 79 is the periodic table number for gold, or Au(tistic). All companies are ranked by proprietary formulas and research developed by a majority autistic team.
The Neurodiversity Index assumes the same principles as many in the impact investing space. If conditions are right for inclusion of neurodiverse workers and consumers, a business will thrive. We have created the structure to test that principle, as disappointingly, no one has done before.
The term “Impact investing” was created by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2008 to define how it saw people and corporations focusing their investments to create social change in the areas of public policy. In 2020, impact investments received close to a 50% increase in funds moving from traditional allocations of mutual funds and ETFs towards funds that had a value proposition that a consumer could identify with.
To our knowledge, not one of those billions of dollars of investments focused on designing a greater sense of accountability for neurodiverse inclusion. We have been frustrated to be left out of the conversation for so long, so we created our own index.
Right now, the Neurodiversity Index is a tracking tool of companies who have made a commitment in neurodiversity hiring, retention, leadership, and product development. Going forward, our principles will allow consumers to invest with us to put their money behind their belief that we can do better for neurodiverse workers, and that by doing better for them, businesses thrive.