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Championing neurodiversity: Antoni’s story

Published:
30 March 2021

Since joining bp in 2019, Antoni has used the support and networks available at bp to expand his role as a champion of neurodiversity within the business and beyond

As a senior customer representative, Antoni works to launch and sell new products for the mobility market. Most recently, he was involved in a collaboration with Renault in Poland – selling specific products for their vehicles and coordinating orders and sales with their dealers. 

 

Beyond his day-to-day job, Antoni is also a driving force in the neurodiversity working group: one of bp’s many employee networks set up voluntarily by employees for employees. Partly thanks to his leadership within this group, he was recently announced runner-up in the ‘stereotype buster’ category at Genius Within’s Neurodiverse Awards. “It’s fantastic to receive such recognition – it’s really been an exciting year at bp!” he says. 

 

Elevating neurodiverse talent within bp 

 

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Antoni is proud to say that bp is always looking at ways to develop for the better: “That’s where bp gets it right,” he says. 

 

“When interns joined the business through bp’s partnership with Ambitious with Autism, bp didn’t just say, ‘we’ve had some autistic students come in and it’s great, let’s move on now.’ Instead, bp considered how we could develop a career path for them where they could see a true opportunity to prosper with the company in the long-term,” says Antoni.   Indeed, the neurodiversity working group recently sat down with senior members from bp and strategic partners like SAP and EY to share best practices in terms of neurodiversity. 

 

We’re now developing a roadmap on how to elevate neurodiverse talent within bp – which focuses on inclusivity but also looks at how neurodiverse people can bring a true business advantage to bp.

Antoni explains that 15% of people – and therefore potentially of bp’s current and future employees – are neurodiverse. It’s critical that companies remove the barriers many neurodiverse people may face when finding a new role and entering employment. Antoni and the working group have been involved in testing fonts and graphic designs for bp – ensuring they are accessible and easily read by everyone.  

 

The importance of self-identification 

 

Antoni’s advice for his neurodiverse colleagues is to talk about it: 

 

Don’t be afraid to speak about your neurodiversity. There’s nothing wrong – in fact, you’re doing everyone else a favour by self-identifying openly. You make them aware that you’re a fantastic person, and it allows them to understand you better and to accommodate accordingly.

And for that, he feels lucky that bp has a strong culture of educating people to look for value in others – whether they’re neurodiverse or not. Still, Antoni acknowledges that it can be challenging to self-identify as neurodiverse and that not everyone may want to speak so openly about it. This is why he’s so grateful for the neurodiverse working group, which is always there to provide support, advice and a sense of connection. 

 

I encourage you to reach out to us! I must say that I really love my neurodiverse working group. I love them to bits.

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