October 23, 2017
DXC Technology, EY, Ford Motor Company, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Microsoft, and SAP launch the “Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable”

The roundtable is powered by Disability:IN to help close the gap for Autism unemployment.

Washington, D.C. (October 23, 2017) – US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) along with: DXC Technology, EY, Ford Motor Company, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Microsoft, and SAP have formed the “Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable” to help close the unemployment and underemployment gap for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

These cross-industry employers have led hiring initiatives specific to individuals on the Autism Spectrum for over a year, and recognize the significant benefits to their company cultures as well as those experienced by individuals hired at these companies.

“By bringing neurodiverse professionals into our firm, we can meet key skills gaps, drive innovation, strengthen client relationships, inspire our people, and change lives. At EY we’re proud to be building a better – and more inclusive – working world,” states Stephen Howe, Jr., EY US Chairman, Americas Managing Partner.

In 2016, the Center for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) reported approximately 1 in 68 children in the U.S. are on the Autism Spectrum. Worldwide, 1% of the population is on the Autism Spectrum.

“At our core, Disability:IN represents business. In response to a growing number of requests from companies seeking to connect with one another regarding Autism hiring initiatives, we’re pleased to power the Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable,” says Jill Houghton, president and chief executive officer of USBLN.

The Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable values transparency and the community of employers are sharing best practices and findings for Autism hiring initiatives. For example, employers looking to explore how to get started with their own inclusive hiring programs can leverage the deep operational experience of these companies. Those employers in the roundtable are also given resources and guidance on efforts such as program messaging, approach and other recommendations.

“By working together we can further develop our programs, knowledge and share it with other organizations both large and small, allowing us to make impact for the current and future generations of people on the spectrum,” states Michael Fieldhouse, Director – Emerging Businesses and Cyber security, Dandelion Program Executive, DXC Technology.

Collectively, the employers will help drive impact. Researchers estimate the unemployment and underemployment rates for people on the autism spectrum are 70–90 percent. The launch of the Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable will be one step closer to closing this gap.

“We’ve always viewed this as a pursuit of strong talent, not as being merely charitable. We continue to see strong performance from our hires and our business benefits,” says James Mahoney, Executive Director, Head of Autism at Work, JP Morgan Chase.

The Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable will engage with the Autism communities and broader groups in academia and universities to raise awareness of the various hiring initiatives available at these companies. The collective roundtable of companies will collect feedback on these efforts as various initiatives scale, with the end goal of ultimately having an impact on reducing the unemployment rate for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

“We are delighted to see that this enterprise neurodiversity movement has gained so much momentum. What started as a very organic collaboration amongst a few like-minded companies to exchange experiences on how to hire and retain individuals on the autism spectrum is now evolving into a deeper collaboration model by joining forces with USBLN. By working together to build more diverse workplaces, we’re not only opening our doors to a previously untapped pool of talent, but we’re creating richer and more rewarding opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum,” comments Jose H. Velasco, VP Products and Innovation, SAP Autism at Work.

Representatives of the Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable will meet in person twice a year: first at the annual Autism @ Work Summit, hosted this year in Redmond, Washington by Microsoft; second, at the yearly Disability:IN Annual Conference.

More information on the Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable can be found at https://disabilityin.org/autism-employer-roundtable or by emailing: AutismEmployerRoundtable@USBLN.org.


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