My brain is wired differently,” shared Paul Rickelton, Director of Success Management - Portfolio Leader at Salesforce. “I’m dyslexic and it’s something I’ve had to cope with throughout my career.”
1 in 10 people globally are affected by dyslexia. This learning disorder is characterized by difficulty reading and processing language. It’s a condition often identified in early education, when young students are struggling to keep up with the written communication skills of their peers. The stresses and coping methods students learn can follow them into the workforce as adults.
Paul reflected, “I used to be very conscious of writing. I would expend so much energy on it – I’d over-compensate and try to hide my misspellings. Screen sharing or sending a simple email would give me a tremendous amount of anxiety.”
Paul’s experience isn’t unique. There are “systemic barriers to employment for millions of potential employees… who are neurodivergent – meaning that their brains function, learn, and process information differently,” says the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission.
One day Paul stumbled upon a story from a peer with dyslexia who had flipped her narrative. And it changed his whole outlook.
“I became appreciative of dyslexia as a defining characteristic about myself. Because it comes with a lot of advantages too. I’m different – and different is good.”