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Chloe Cameron, AMBA ’21, PhD Candidate at Ivey Business School, on following her passion and making meaningful change for neuro-diverse individuals

Chloe Cameron, AMBA ’21, has seen the impact of discrimination against neuro-diverse employees firsthand, and while she’d long had an interest in neuroscience, she didn’t consider that a related career path might be possible until she was partway through her AMBA.

“I have some personal connection with different neuro-minorities; I worked with my partner and saw him be marginalized all the time for things that had nothing to do with his abilities,” says Cameron, now an Organizational Behaviour PhD student at the Ivey Business School focusing on neurodiversity in organizations.

“When I heard about Rob (Austin)’s project on neurodiversity, it just made so much sense to me to be pursuing this area of study. The MBA changed the trajectory of my life.”

Cameron initially embarked on the Ivey AMBA because she was feeling restless at work and felt she needed in change. But the decision was also a way to honour the memory of her aunt – a teacher – who died the year before she applied to the program.

Cameron was drawn to the Accelerated MBA’s condensed length and hybrid-leaning model, which would allow her to continue working while she pursued her education.

Once at Ivey, she also became very interested in the leadership skills and perspective gained through classes like Kanina Blanchard’s Impact and Influence course.

“What really sticks is whatever makes you most uncomfortable – going in and getting personal and being vulnerable is something I found really helpful because it kind of validates the idea that leaders are at their best when they’re transparent and vulnerable,” she says.

“It’s about being the kind of leader who has a human connection and can admit to shortcomings; and the sentiment that people will connect with you better if you’re not hiding who you are.”

And of course, it was through the AMBA that Cameron met Dr. Rob Austin and Dr. Martha Maznevski, whose research into neurodiversity in organizations and diversity in teams inspired her to pursue the study of neurodiversity through a business lens. They are now her PhD advisors.

“There’s some research about it in other disciplines like occupational therapy or psychology. But the management literature is absent. There needs to be some focused work in this area, and I think it will improve a lot of people’s experiences – as well as what organizations can accomplish – if we can understand how to integrate people on a strengths-based system instead of an outdated model of thinking about hiring and management,” Cameron says.

“People tend look for something that they can contribute to their community, some way to take all this time that they put into their job and have that mean something to them, and this means something to me.”

AMBA '21

Ivey Business School

Chloe Cameron

Chloe Cameron

Vancouver, Canada

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