GCHQ Say Neuro-Diversity is Key to Solving UK Cyber Security Crimes

According to the Intelligence and Cyber Agency the unique skill sets owed by neuro-diverse staff are keeping the UK safe…

Trisha Dunbar (She/Her)

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Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

As a fellow dyslexic I was so happy to wake up to the news of GCHQ announcing that they actively recruit neuro-diverse staff into their teams! They believe that dyslexic and autistic thinking skills are critical for protecting the United kingdom. I will be biased here and agree!

In a video podcast released by the Made by Dyslexia charity in April 2021, Jo Cavan, Senior Director of GCHQ was joined by two intelligence analysts who revealed their unique thinking skills. Charlotte and Rob whose real names were changed for security reasons discussed how neuro-diversity helps them to do their jobs better.

The discussion focused on Charlotte and Rob’s strengths, such as the ability to see the bigger picture via patterns, something that I can totally relate too. This contributed to solutions when considering complex future scenarios and looking towards future challenges .

“Since our inception we have looked to hire individuals who are neuro-diverse, and as a result we have a thriving community of colleagues who think differently” said Cavan, Director of Strategy, Policy and Engagement at GCHQ.

Rob was described as a “transformational innovator” at GCHQ. He currently works closely with the armed forces and has been deployed to the Balkans and Iraq. He noted that his dyslexia has enabled him to do things differently…

“I speak to a lot of people internally who invent stuff and a lot of contacts in industry, and explore how we could use our capabilities in ways we’d never planned, often to deliver amazing effects.”

Cavan said the GCHQ is committed to recruiting people with dyslexia as well as other neuro-diverse conditions and that a high proportion of her apprentices are dyslexic. My…

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Trisha Dunbar (She/Her)

🧠 Lessons on Psychology, Philosophy & Neurodiversity, ✍ A Dyslexic Top Writer | Reading for Growth | Writing for Self-Expression 🦣@trishadunbar@me.dm