The corporate world is always seeking a talent pool that can make a world of difference by infusing new ideas to sculpt a solid future for organizations world over.
Till a few years ago, individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum syndrome faced many hurdles during their quest to find the right career prospects.
Today, the corporate scenario has evolved in a very positive manner wherein candidates with autism are finding career placements in their areas of expertise. This growing acceptance of autistic individuals into the regular corporate fold is being seen as a positive move in the right direction. Large corporates such as SAP, Microsoft, etc. have led this landmark initiative by providing rewarding career opportunities to numerous autistic individuals after thoroughly evaluating their abilities and aptitude.
The pre-set notions towards candidates with autism spectrum syndrome earlier curbed many talented individuals from finding a suitable foothold in the corporate setup. If humanity has to evolve in a positive manner towards the greater good, then every organization should make an effort in giving equal opportunity to the autistic individuals and give them a level playing field. This widespread acceptance of the autistic talent pool will ensure that no individual feels neglected due to a disability. If the autistic individuals find the right platform to showcase their skill sets, they will definitely strive hard to carve a better future for themselves and will put in more effort than others to prove their point. Recent reports suggest that an estimated 80% of individuals suffering from autism are still unemployed and are struggling to make a mark despite having a higher than average IQ level.
SAP Labs, a major player in the technological sphere, has been a pioneer in building a platform to encourage hiring of autistic individuals in the corporate world. SAP Labs initiated a program called Autism at Work half a decade ago and has since hired 128 autistic individuals till date and has a promised target of 600 in the coming years. SAP Labs hosted a summit in 2017, solely dedicated to the introduction of autistic individuals to the corporate workforce. This event was attended by large conglomerates such as Ford, Ernst & Young, J P Morgan, and a host of other big industry names.
The tech giant Microsoft has also taken a positive leap of faith by providing job opportunities to individuals with autism spectrum syndrome.
Jenny Lay-Flurrie, the Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft, has introduced a specialised hiring process in the year 2015 targeting the autistic talent pool. This program was specifically tailor-made by Jenny, who has a hearing impairment and understands conversations by lip reading. All her communications are done with the aid of an interpreter. Jenny has been instrumental in the creation of a team-building exercise popularly known as the Marshmellow Challenge that specifically caters to autistic individuals and helps them in confidence enhancing exercises and also improves their interpersonal skills to a large extent.
These landmark strides of acceptance of autism at the workplace by corporate giants such as Microsoft, SAP Labs, etc. have helped many autistic individuals achieve their dreams of being winners in this tough competitive world and set a wonderful precedent for the corporate world to follow in the years to come!