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The Advantages of a Neurodiverse Workplace


November 6, 2017 by Erica Polis

The Advantages of a Neurodiverse Workplace

Although adults with autism are still facing an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining employment, many companies are making the job search a bit easier. Huge companies such as Microsoft and Chase are speaking out about the importance of adding neurodiversity to the workplace. Using these companies as a model, larger numbers of small companies are also beginning to implement their own requirements for hiring individuals on the spectrum.

For example, Chargeback, a Utah-based company that looks into credit card disputes, has utilized the skills of those on the spectrum that have a sharp eye for detail. Their analysts

need to be persistent and organized, qualities often found in many individuals with ASD. “We’ve been very, very impressed,” states company president Khalid El-Awady, after hiring analyst Carrie Tierney. The experience he has had working with Tierney has set his goal into motion: hiring even more employees with disabilities. 


Historically speaking, men and women with ASD have had significant difficulty obtaining employment. Opportunities simply were not there. Times have changed, as large and small companies alike are actively recruiting neurodiverse workers. Companies consider it a competitive advantage, as those on the spectrum can be incredibly creative, detail-oriented, analytical, and laser-focused. In fact, ICare4Autism has been involved in it's Workforce Training Initiative for the last year and is sponsoring a major national Workforce Conference in Washington, DC that will roll out it's training concept for all U.S. high schools.


As of 2017, fifty U.S. companies have workforces that are almost entirely autistic. Giant companies such as SAP Software Solutions have implemented their own model of hiring requirements – they are maintaining at least 1% of their workforce as autistic employees – that’s 650 positions! Jose Velasco, head of SAP’s autism program, emphasized that autistic individuals are typically “underutilized”, while in fact they “bring diverse thinking to fuel innovation”.


Huge companies such as JP Morgan Chase and Microsoft are also rolling out autism-hiring programs. Microsoft states their autistic candidates are an “untapped pool of talent”, while the director of JP Morgan’s program states they are “ideal assets in the workplace, [especially] in industries like tech and engineering.”


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