Microsoft Launching Program to Hire Autistic Employees

autism possibilities

Inspirational photo from Ellen Smith’s Microsoft blog


To commemorate Autism Awareness Month, Tech giant Microsoft is joining the ranks of employers promoting autism acceptance.

Corporate Vice President Mary Ellen Smith announced in a blog post that the company made an appearance at the United Nations center in New York City on behalf of World Autism Awareness Day. The event’s theme was “Autism: The Employment Advantage.”

As the mother to a 19 year old young man on the autism spectrum, Smith is a strong advocate for workplace diversity. Along with other executives at Microsoft, she plans to launch the program initially by placing ten candidates with autism into appropriate full-time technology jobs. They will partner with Denmark-based training and consulting firm Specialisterne, who have experience staffing adults with autism.

Smith recognizes that there are many bright, capable job candidates who struggle to find work because ASD makes it difficult to communicate and relate to others. In a job interview, candidates are judged on their first impression, which may hinder them from landing a job they would truly excel at.

Speaking about the program, Smith praises Microsoft for embracing different kinds of minds:

“People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code. It’s a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft!”

Ellen Smith is proud to be part of a company that embraces workplace diversity. Microsoft’s philosophy embraces all types of disabilities in the workplace, investing deeply in employees who will feed the company’s growth. Their level of commitment to provide opportunities for young adults like her son Shawn, who is now a college student working part time, promotes autism acceptance in a huge way.

When Shawn was diagnosed at age 4, the Smiths drove home from the hospital in silence together. They were each at a loss for words. Now, 15 years later, Ellen believes the journey has led them to find their voices. She is driven by this experience to educate employers about the “unique advantage” offered by under-estimated autistics like her son.

Candidates interested in applying to the program can email their resumes to

Written by Hannah Jay

This entry was posted in Autism Action Alerts, Autism Advocacy, Autism America, Autism Awareness, Autism Causes, Autism Diagnosis, Autism Education, Autism Media Coverage, Autism News, Autism Resources, Autism Symptoms and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted June 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    im not gonna act like one of those girls who are li&Mk#8221;OeG you are soooo good i love you blahbity blahbity blah” but you are good and i like it

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