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Shane Manogue Promotes Neurodiversity in New Ambassador Role

Shane Manogue Promotes Neurodiversity in New Ambassador Role
02 October 2023

Shane Manogue, CEO of W12 Group and Lovit Technologies, has been named as a Diversity in Construction Ambassador for 2023’s London Build Expo. Shane met up with ThisWeekinFM to talk about his experiences with ADHD and dyslexia and what this new appointment means to him.

Shane was invited to join Diversity in Construction as an ambassador due to his lived experience of dyslexia and ADHD. “There’s no such thing as ‘normal’. In fact, normal to me is simply a button on a washing machine,” Shane told ThisWeekinFM. “I don’t know why there’s this idea that we all think the same, in my career I’ve really struggled with people not understanding me or finding me ‘too much’ as I tend to work at 100 miles per hour. I believe that feeling misunderstood is responsible for a lot of stress that neurodivergent people like me experience.”

“Even simple things like too many people being in a room affect my focus or even too many bright colours. Sensory things like that can affect me negatively.”

Shane is a civil engineer by trade, and before setting up his own business he worked in Europe and the UAE for businesses like PC Harrington, Ardmore and other corporates. He set up W12 Group in 2013 which is a multi-discipline maintenance company. His latest venture, Lovit Technologies, is a tech platform to improve communication in the construction industry, equipping employers with the tools to make workplaces neurodiversity friendly. 


“Throughout my life, I became very good at 'masking' my ADHD symptoms, until I was diagnosed at the age of 34. People may be surprised to learn that I’m neurodiverse because I’ve become so used to hiding it."

Shane Manogue

CEO, W12 Group


One in Four Construction Workers Consider Themselves to be Neurodivergent


It is thought that 15-20 per cent of the world's population is neurodivergent. A recent report commissioned by The National Federation of Builders showed that one in four construction workers consider themselves to be neurodivergent. ADHD is the most common neurodiverse condition amongst construction workers, followed by autism and dyslexia.

Despite its prevalence, many people with ADHD become adept at hiding their symptoms, known as “masking”. This can lead to delays in diagnosis and support. Shane said “Throughout my life, I became very good at 'masking' my ADHD symptoms, until I was diagnosed at the age of 34. People may be surprised to learn that I’m neurodiverse because I’ve become so used to hiding it. I suppose because I am an outwardly successful businessperson, people don’t see the torment I put myself through during my darker periods.” 

Often, the stress associated with this “masking” can cause additional health problems. Shane continued: ”Being dyslexic and having ADHD has caused me a lot of anxiety. If things are poorly communicated then this causes me to become very anxious and leads to periods of depression. This feeling of being misunderstood has not only affected my mental health but also caused problems in my personal relationships. I’ve even had people in business laugh at me for the way I am and my struggles with writing and spelling. That’s why, in my own business, I put a lot into training and guidance for managers and supervisors to tailor their approach to support all different types of people.” 

“Somewhere I have felt really supported is in my role as chair of the Surrey chapter of The British Irish Trading Alliance (BITA). I can be a tough character to deal with because of my ADHD and everyone there is so accommodating and understanding. 

“Despite the negatives, I see ADHD as my superpower, because if someone comes to me with a problem, my brain instantly starts working on 30 different solutions. That’s why I’m such a good networker and problem-solver.” 


Diversity in Construction


Those networking skills will now be put to work within Diversity in Construction, a networking group which brings together diversity ambassadors who want to enact change in the built environment. Shane will use this opportunity to advocate for workplace change for neurodivergent people that goes beyond a tick-box exercise. 

“What I’m striving for is a movement towards communication that benefits everyone, with an understanding that one size does not fit all,” said Shane. “It’s all very well employers going on courses to become more inclusive but I wonder if this is enough for them to really understand. That’s why I want to act as a beacon in our community for people to reach out to learn how to improve.

“Anyone who sees me at London Build can come over and start the conversation on inclusion. I can point them to the right organisation to get more advice and the best training providers. Ultimately, I want to be a mentor for neurodiverse people.”

Shane will be attending the Diversity in Construction networking event on 15 November 2023, click here for more details.

Picture: a photograph of Shane Manogue.

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 02 October 2023


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