Julie Logan's Story
Julie Logan was a Professor of Entrepreneurship when she travelled to North America in 2011 to investigate best workplace practices for adults with dyslexia.
Through her study of entrepreneurs, Julie had been fascinated to find that a large number are dyslexic. She applied for a Fellowship to find out what is being done in the US to support those with dyslexia and what can be learnt from their experiences.
Julie met many key people who were championing the rights of adults with learning difficulties, and formed several key contacts. Amongst them was Ben Foss, founder of Headstrong Nation, who introduced her to the video mentoring technology that he was using in dyslexic support networks. Julie was particularly impressed by the Eye to Eye project in New York, which aims to build self-esteem amongst young dyslexics through arts weekends run throughout the country.
At the East Carolina University she met researchers who were investigating the impact of dyslexia on whole families, and stayed in contact with the intention of partnering on future projects.
Soon after her return to the UK, Julie helped to establish Mentoring Hubs, a not-for-profit mentoring scheme for dyslexic people in the workplace. As a consequence of this she was invited by Ravensbourne University to help set up a voluntary scheme providing mentors for young dyslexic artists, which proved highly successful.
More recently, Julie has been carrying out research with Blace Nalavani and Lena Carawan, whom she met during her Fellowship. Together they planned and carried out a survey of dyslexic adults in high-powered jobs in the UK, all of whom were very successful in their field. Amongst the respondents, they found a high incidence of mental health issues, in particular anxiety, which appeared to centre on concealing dyslexia and ‘keeping up’ with colleagues.
Until now, there has been little research around this issue and consequently very few employers are aware of the stress experienced by staff with dyslexia, which often goes undisclosed. Julie hopes that the study will lead to greater awareness and support for dyslexic adults in the workplace.
Despite her official retirement in 2013, she continues to act as an advisor on learning difficulty issues, and is a Trustee for Relate.