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Understood.org attends the 2024 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

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This January at the 2024 World Economic Forum, Understood.org was the proud accessibility partner of The Female Quotient, an equality service organization that works with companies and conscious leaders to curate experiences, thought leadership, and media designed to achieve gender equality in the workplace and beyond.

This year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting took place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. It engaged the foremost political, business, cultural, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas. This year’s themes were sustainability, inclusion, climate change, AI & ethics, system thinking, and human-centered design. 

In connection to the theme of inclusion, Understood’s co-president and chief marketing officer Nathan Friedman attended on behalf of Understood and our mission to shape the world for difference. The focus was how Understood is supporting neurodivergent children in marginalized communities and closing the gender gap in health, work, and life for women with ADHD and dyslexia. 

As the official accessibility partner, Understood was represented in The Female Quotient’s Equality Lounge, where Friedman met with thought leaders interested in learning about the benefits of accessibility, how to support their neurodivergent colleagues, and the Understood mission.

“The ability for us to infuse neurodiversity into the conversation at Davos was critical as all change starts with awareness,” said Nathan Friedman. “Decisions are made at Davos and neurodiversity needs to be on the agenda. The partnership with The Female Quotient allowed us to raise awareness, as well as spark an important dialogue around change.” 

Friedman was also on two panels where he was able to add neurodiversity to the conversation and call for inclusion. 

On January 16, Friedman and Shelley Zalis, the CEO of The Female Quotient, were panelists on “Neurodiversity as a Catalyst for Workplace Inclusion”, where they talked about how creating a culture of neuroinclusion is not just a social responsibility, but a strategic investment in the future of work. 

On January 17, Friedman joined Karen Saltser, the CEO of Bloomberg, and Jocelyn Mangan, CEO and Founder of Him For Her, for the “Closing the Equity Gap for Neurodivergent Women” panel where they discussed the equity gap for neurodivergent women. 

During the discussion, Friedman noted that we need to focus on the intersectionality within two important audiences: children and women. We know that girls are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia in childhood and adolescence. To make matters worse, most of the ADHD and dyslexia research is based on men and boys. 

“And that means tomorrow’s generation of leaders are not starting with an equal footing. We must take a bold approach to change the status quo and close the equity gaps for those who are experiencing multiple marginalizations,” said Friedman. 

That is why Understood.org announced the NeuroEquity Fund while at Davos. With this fund, we are building a coalition of organizations, companies, and leaders to break down barriers that prevent children and women from thriving. Our focus is to educate, fundraise, and invite brands to join our mission. 

Over the next three years, we are inviting brands to join the fund with the goal of raising $15 million. The fund will focus on research to inform the work, financial resources for diagnosis, and curriculum-based tools to support neurodivergent children. Join our NeuroEquity Fund here: https://www.understood.org/en/neuroequity-fund 

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