Six Kyndryl employees get candid about neurodiversity and why it should be embraced in the workplace

There is a growing focus on including the unique skills of neurodiverse people in the workforce. Many employers, for example, value the critical thinking, creativity and pattern recognition skills neurodiverse people have. But hurdles still exist. Although nearly 15-20% of the global population is neurodivergent, one study indicates that workplace challenges affect 40% of neurodiverse employees. In fact, only 32% of employees feel they can talk about neurodiversity at work.

Kyndryl recognizes the value of neurodiverse people. And in observance of Neurodiversity Celebration Month, six neurodiverse Kyndryls share their views on what others should know about them and their contributions in the workplace and beyond.

Alicja Kubiak-Geisler | Program Management Office Lead, Kyndryl Poland

Advantages of being a neurodivergent thinker

Popular media often stereotype people with autism. But not everyone on the autism spectrum is withdrawn, lacking in empathy or gifted in math. Each of us is unique. We perceive and process information differently, and this affects our perception of the world and interaction with others. Allies play a vital role in our inclusion in social settings such as meetings, lunches and team outings. When people are friendly, acknowledge our presence and introduce us to their networks, we feel safe and familiar enough to be our best selves.

I like organization, structure and control in my work, and solving unique problems. And, yes, interacting with people, too. At Kyndryl, I’ve had the freedom to explore roles and pick the one that fits my skills the best. This has pushed me to pursue bigger goals and challenges in my career.

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Andy Etzler | Project Manager, Resiliency Services, Kyndryl U.S.

Advantages of being a neurodivergent thinker

As someone who was formally diagnosed with ADHD in my 60s, I can now make sense of the challenges I’ve faced throughout my career. Time blindness, working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibition control are often taken for granted in traditional workplaces. However, these are real and daily issues for people like me.

I’m excited to see modern work cultures embracing differences and building teams around curiosity. I’ve been fortunate to work with managers and teams that have recognized this (even when I didn’t), and to work with processes and tools that have helped with task and project management. At Kyndryl, I have found many true allies and accountability partners who listen to my needs and genuinely care about my progress.

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Enikő Hintya | Senior Associate, UK Benefits, Kyndryl Hungary

Advantages of being a neurodivergent thinker

People with ADHD demonstrate that there is more than one definitive way to solve a problem. It’s like our brains are running fault-searching programs from the get-go and won’t move ahead till we have every detail in place. Our unique ability to think innovatively, work at a different pace, and effortlessly assess risks and outcomes stems from our need to always see the big picture. Sometimes our society misconstrues these strengths as nitpicky and attention-seeking behaviors but channeling them correctly can transform the workplace.

I’m proud to be part of building a Kyndryl culture that values creative freedom over rigid rules. Innovation is in my veins, and my colleagues and managers support me with unambiguous communications, easy-to-understand steps, clear deadlines, task allocation, assistance in prioritization and accessible materials.

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Maria Downarowicz | Disaster Recovery Project Manager, Kyndryl Poland

Advantages of being a neurodivergent thinker

As a person with dyslexia, I am proud of my unique perspective on the world. People like me view life in a variety of ways — using multiple senses, observing patterns and solving problems creatively. These powerful capabilities can come to life when work policies, processes and tools are made accessible to all.

I love being part of a company that shares my belief that diverse perspectives and independent thinking make the world richer. At Kyndryl, I am supported to map my unique skills and strengths to the roles I take up. Having training opportunities, flexible work arrangements and access to AI assistants such as Microsoft Copilot is a game changer for people with dyslexia.

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Yolanda Hernandez | Infrastructure Specialist, Kyndryl U.S.

Advantages of being a neurodivergent thinker

Years after a life-altering head injury, I am re-discovering myself as a neurodivergent person. Some days are more challenging than others. Sometimes I need more time to comprehend and communicate. But at the same time, I am more creative and analytical. For me, the key is to accept who I am and allow myself patience and grace as I navigate my personal and professional life.

At work, allies who are patient and aware of my unique pace and work style help me thrive. And this is where year-long training on implicit bias and inclusion comes into play. At Kyndryl, I am protected by our robust policies against harassment and bullying, and this makes me confident to be my authentic self.

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Rohit Raj | Senior Program Manager, Kyndryl India

Support for caregivers of neurodivergent thinkers

Many working parents of neurodivergent children rarely open up about their lives because they fear being perceived as “unproductive” by their employers. As a result, they struggle and burn out in silence. But at Kyndryl, I have been fortunate that these conversations are de-stigmatized and there is a rising awareness of families with neurodivergent members. Being part of a safe and unbiased work environment, where I can share my daily challenges and exchange insights, benefits me both as a professional and as a caregiver.

I have the flexibility I need to manage my work, nurture my child and take care of my own well-being. This sustained support has been instrumental in our family’s journey toward recovery and adaptation.

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Read more about Kyndryl’s work in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. And check out the Progress Report podcast on how businesses can create workplaces where employees thrive.