World Autism Awareness Day: Finding Talent and Creating Meaningful Employment Opportunities

 |   Equipo Microsoft Latinx

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At Microsoft, being inclusive is not something we do, but rather it stands for who we are. The value proposition for diversity and inclusion within Microsoft is increasingly clear — a diverse and inclusive workforce will yield better products and solutions for our customers, and better experiences for employees.  

Four years ago, on World Autism Awareness Day, Microsoft announced its Autism Hiring Program. Given that 80% of individuals on the spectrum are unemployed or underemployed, Microsoft knew there was an untapped pool of talented people who have the skills aligned to the work being done every day at Microsoft.  

While actively sharing learnings with other employers, Microsoft came together and collaborated with the University of Washington Information School to publish the “Autism @ Work Playbook,” a resource for employers who are interested in beginning or expanding their inclusive hiring journey. The playbook covers topics from building your business case, recruiting and sourcing talent, going through the interview process, to training, on-boarding, and career development. This is a great resource for every organization, so please take a moment to read and share the playbook. 

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Microsoft’s approach to inclusive hiring is not limited to just one event, program, or initiative. On April 23, Microsoft will host the next Virtual Career Fair in partnership with 14 other leading companies including, Fidelity, Deloitte, Travelers, Ford and more. Microsoft also funds an annual scholarship for high school students interested in technology and offer broad inclusive hiring efforts and events. Neil Barnett, Director of Inclusive Hiring and Accessibility at Microsoft shares that “if we bring organizations together to focus on inclusive hiring, we can accelerate progress towards breaking down barriers and changing the unemployment rate for individuals on the autism spectrum. 

Microsoft looks forward to continuing partnering with others to truly make a difference in the employment landscape, educational, and working opportunities for all individuals on the spectrum. If you or someone you know is interested in a career at Microsoft, please send resumes to msautism@microsoft.com and learn more about our inclusive hiring efforts at www.microsoft.com/inclusivehiring. 

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