BE Better: Martin Griffin

Hosted by Heads of Stakeholder Engagement, Kirsty Duncan and Danielle Miller, the latest series of the Accelerate to Zero podcast is all about equality, diversity and inclusion. This week’s episode is with Martin Griffin, Principal Geotechnical Engineer at GHD.

Martin Griffin V1head

The spotlight is on Martin, who is autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic and visually impaired due to a cornea condition is not only an advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) but also a leader in the national neurodiversity network.


Understanding neurodivergence


Kirsty opens the conversation by inviting Martin to explain how he understands the term ‘neurodivergence’. Martin responds, "Neurodivergence covers a range of differences in the way we all think, move, process, communicate. It means different learning styles and different ways of processing information.”


He highlights that it’s different from the word ‘disability’ which is often defined by the medical model. This model and the social model of disabilirty ignore the fact that many of the challenges and barriers faced by people with a disability are not caused by the disability itself but the way our society is constructed.


Resilience, challenges and awareness


In the conversation with Martin, he mentions the persistent challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals in the workplace. From his early days as a rock-collecting lab technician to becoming a seasoned geotechnical engineer, Martin's journey demonstrates the resilience needed to navigate a career as a neurodivergent person.


He says, "There's still a heck a lot of barriers in place", highlighting the importance of breaking down stigmas and increasing awareness to help overcome these.


Martin also advocates for more neurodivergent leaders and representation in the industry who can act as role models for people starting careers. In terms of improving diversity and inclusion within workplaces, Kirsty and Danielle highlight the positive impact diverse perspectives can have in senior positions too.


Looking to the future


As the podcast comes to an end, Martin offers his vision for the future. He says, "I would like to keep on doing what I'm doing now, raising awareness, leading to acceptrance."


He wants to see the construction industry overcome the challenges it faces with diversity and inclusion, to the extent that advocates and spokespeople like Martin are no longer needed. He feels to make this happen there needs to be a profound shift in the mindsets within companies in their approach to working and hiring, urging them to go beyond mere diversity checkboxes and embody true inclusion from the start.