Since its launch 15 months ago, the Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable has made significant progress to expand employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum. The roundtable, which includes EY, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Microsoft, and SAP, published the “Autism @ Work Playbook,” a resource aimed at providing programmatic guidance for organizations looking to start their inclusive hiring journey.
Developed in collaboration with the University of Washington Information School, the “Autism @ Work Playbook” represents insights mined across Employer Roundtable members to help other organizations explore new approaches to identifying talent and generating meaningful employment opportunities. The playbook provides guidance for every step in an organization’s implementation lifecycle, including recruitment planning, program resourcing, interviewing and training processes, onboarding, retention and more.
“We realize that our journey to build scalable and sustainable neurodiversity programs can be codified to unlock the broader potential for companies thinking about starting their own program,” said Hiren Shukla, Americas Automation Central Leader, EY. “This playbook has specifically been designed to be consumed by those in position to lead, fund and manage autism hiring programs. It is a masterclass of knowledge that we sincerely hope will be consumed across the board to increase employment of individuals on the autism spectrum.”
The Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable represents a collection of cross-industry leaders that are championing targeted hiring initiatives with the goal of reducing the 80% unemployment rate among individuals with autism. This year, the Employer Roundtable has grown from 5 to 15 organizations, including EY, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, SAP, Ford, IBM, Travelers Insurance, Fidelity Investments, Freddie Mac, Cintas, Spectrum Designs, Ultra Testing, Rising Tide Car Wash, Willis Towers Watson and DXC Technology.
“Being a part of the roundtable allows me to learn from peers, leaders and pioneers in autism hiring who are more than happy to share their knowledge and allows us to give back to the community,” noted Paul Austin, Senior Manager of WebSphere Development, IBM.
“We are thrilled by the increase in participation in the Employer Roundtable and enthusiasm from so many organizations to create inclusive workplaces,” said Neil Barnett, Director of Inclusive Hiring and Accessibility, Microsoft. “Only when we come together across organizations and industries, will we truly make an impact in changing the unemployment rate for people with autism.”
Including partnerships with Dell and HP, this group has already consulted with over 20 additional organizations to help them navigate the early phases of implementing diversity-driven hiring initiatives. In addition, the Employer Roundtable created the Job Marketplace resource to amplify the types of roles currently accepting applications and how to get in touch with respective hiring managers.
“We’ve received employment inquiries from several qualified applicants via the job board, one of whom has already received an offer to join Travelers as a summer intern,” added Bruce Soltys, Head of Talent Acquisition Sourcing Strategy, Travelers Insurance.
More information on the Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable can be found here, or by contacting us.