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Danielle Todd

Director, The Forge

Danielle Todd -  She / They

Director, The Forge


Does it feel like a good 'fit' for you as a neurodivergent woman?

It does, and the fact that it happened by accident is even better. I completed my undergraduate and Masters degrees at Edinburgh University, failed to secure PhD funding, and had to rethink how to develop my skill set and provide growth opportunities for myself. I then learnt about the research and insights industry while looking for other academic opportunities. Things move much more quickly, have much more variation both in a topic and bespoke approaches, and there’s a greater immediacy in results. It caters well to my obsessive magpie approach over details, which helps me turn over data in looking at it in different ways than others would. It also helps that we tell stories with passion, and visuals, rather than word-heavy documents, which I always struggled with.

How has being Neurodivergent shaped the direction of your career?

My strength is in my ability to not see rules. I suggest out of the box thoughts because that's how I think, I'll suggest left field because I don't know it is, I am comfortable being creative and silly, and have developed tools to ensure I can cover my perceived weaknesses (project management!)

What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?

Speak up, ensure you have a support network, share what you need and how you think, and don't let others diminish you if they don't understand. Ask for practical help when needed, and have a trusted voice to sense check when you are feeling unconfident.



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