This week is Autism Awareness Week.
Increased awareness of autism amongst employers is great news for our Community Interest Company, as we try to improve employment outcomes for autistic talent. Employers across all sectors are keen to create more inclusive workplace cultures, access hidden talent pools and engage different thinking styles to either disrupt or respond to disrupted business models. However, while we welcome increased awareness, often it only serves to highlight the extent of the challenge we face to overcome the ignorant years, which have led to only 16% of autistic adults in full time paid employment. Given the ease with which we can make the emotional and academic arguments for more neurodiversity in the workplace, we now need to channel our efforts into the economic argument.
Against this backdrop, for 2019 ASPIeRATIONS has launched an Employer Alliance for aware and enlightened organisations to better articulate the business benefits of employing autistic talent. One of the questions we are asked most often is “Given the scale of the challenge, where do we start?” We have asked ourselves the very same question, and have determined that capturing and sharing the questions our Alliance Members are asking us, and amplifying the answers that we co-create is a key step along the road from Awareness to Acceptance in the workplace.
We are excited and hugely grateful to be able to announce that some of the leading businesses in the UK share our vision. National Grid, BAE Systems, Siemens, Linklaters LLP, First State Investments, ICAEW, EY and ManpowerGroup have all joined our Employer Alliance as Founder Members, and more are signing up each month.
Together, we can help determine which roles are most suitable for autistic talent, how to adapt recruitment processes to better assess future work performance and what cultural and environmental adjustments can be implemented to improve wellbeing in the workplace – often for a wider audience than we intended.
For more information, or to join our Employer Alliance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org