How to manage dyslexia in the workplace

This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week, and managers are being urged to think more holistically about how the condition affects their staff.

by Peter Crush
Richard Branson
Richard Branson

It’s a condition that’s often brushed under the carpet, occasionally ignored altogether and, in the very worse cases, mocked. But the fact remains that dyslexia is a condition that impacts much more of the population than is often thought. 

Official statistics suggest around 6.3 million people (around 10% of the UK population) suffer from some form of dyslexia, and 4% of these suffer from it severely. Of all those who suffer from dyslexia, 3.2 million are working adults. Charity Dyslexia UK, however, suggests that up to 17% of people may show some degree of dyslexia. 

Interestingly, research from Julie Logan, emeritus professor of entrepreneurship at Cass Business School, estimates that 20% of UK entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Indeed Alan Sugar, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson are all famous and successful business people with dyslexia.

As Branson once said about his dyslexia: "I was hopeless at school. I could never comprehend things like 'net' or 'gross'. It wasn't until I was 50 that somebody showed me a way of remembering it. Then I realised I was making much less money than I thought I was!"

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