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Jess Gosling

Senior Policy Advisor

Jess Gosling - She/Her 

Senior Policy Advisor


Seeing the world differently and bringing people together has always been my superpower. Before I learned the vocabulary to express what neurodiversity was, I simply would call myself weird and wonderful. I am neurodiverse by three (ADHD, dyslexia and anxiety) and fully own this space. I never had a role model that looked like me, so I decided to become my own and support the next generation of public servants.


I presently work full-time within the UK Government, covering innovation policy and co-chairing the Civil Service Neurodiversity Network (CSNN). Within these role(s), I regularly lead sessions at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the nexus between international policymaking and design thinking. I've recently led CSNN's advocacy efforts with more prominent keynotes at the Dod's D&I Conference and the annual Whitehall & Industry Group's D&I Conference.


With an eclectic 10+ years in various sectors and industries, I've consistently strived to bridge the gap between culture, diplomacy and innovation. I spent the better part of a decade abroad in deployments with the United Nations, NGOs, civil society, startups in East Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central and South America. Within this, I've built my career around interdisciplinary thinking through working on issues like gender mainstreaming, public policy and digital inclusivity for the past decade.


Consequently, I began my PhD at UCL leaning into this interdisciplinary approach with a lens of international affairs/public policy. My project builds on global networks, seeking to look specifically at nation-branding, public policy and the creative industries within the UK, Mexico, Georgia and South Korea.


I am committed to several pro-bono initiatives in my spare time. In January 2021, I launched Gosling & Co., a platform to challenge the perceptions around self-promotion, unconscious biases and imposter syndrome under-represented groups face through free events. Previously I also was the co-founder of the Growth & Grace Collective (G&G). I also frequently host free workshops with UCL, General Assembly, Enterprise Nation and other tech-focused companies around soft skills, impact, diversity & inclusion.


In the past few years, my work has been recognised globally through being nominated for Diversity and Inclusion Award 2021 at UK Civil Service Awards. I've been included in the Top 100 Women Future Leaders by Yahoo Finance + Involve and Most Influential Women in the Tech UK by Computer Weekly two years in a row.


Here are my words of wisdom

  1. From a career perspective, I've always found external help invaluable. Finding a mentor, sponsor and advocate were vital to my career progression. We are all different, so whatever support you need, make sure you get it.
  2. If you feel invisible and have a hidden condition, it can often feel like a double whammy. Speak up if you don't feel heard. It matters, especially for everyone who probably feels the same way.
  3. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You have worth (even if you don't feel it now).
  4. The world was built by the majority, for the majority. Being neurodiverse means we will always face struggles operating in a space where we are the minority (personal life, school, work etc.). We can only foster change through sharing our stories, lived experiences, and creating a space for ourselves.
  5. I don't expect someone who has never come across ND before, something you can't see, to fully understand my reality unless I tell it to them. I've always been incredibly open about my neurodiversity, the stigma I've had and the trauma that came with it. I've found being open and focusing on educating people to be the single best piece of advice I could give anyone. I caveat this with the understanding that this isn't for everyone; not everyone is comfortable being vocal. If you feel uncomfortable, find someone and piggyback on their message (for example, sharing best practices articles, free workshops etc.).

Over the coming weeks we're excited to introduce you to our Top 50 Influential Neurodivergent Women. Sign up to receive our full newsletter straight into your inbox.