Microsoft is now hiring people with autism for full-time work through a new program called the Specialisterne. The company also has plans of hiring more people with disabilities in the future.
Microsoft believes in people with autism
Redmond-based Microsoft believes that people with autism will bring the company strengths and abilities unique to them. People with autism are known to have remarkable abilities to retain information, think with the right level of detail and depth and to even excel in mathematics or coding.
“It’s a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft,” Mary Ellen Smith, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for worldwide operations, wrote in a blog.
Smith said that Microsoft’s effort will go beyond people with autism.
“We are passionate about hiring individuals of all disabilities and we believe with them, we can create, support, and build great products and services. Our customers are diverse and we need to be as well.”
Smith is a mother to a 19-year-old son with autism.
“At Microsoft, we encourage all employees to realize their full potential. This belief and the inspiration I get from my son is what drives me personally. I am the proud mom of Shawn, now 19, diagnosed with autism when he was four years old.”
Through her personal experience as a mother to Shawn, she can very well attest to the fact that people with autism have a unique advantage.
“What we learned over the last 15 years was to find our voice. To model what a unique advantage a young man like my son Shawn can offer. To think of where he is now, a college freshman and part-time employee, and where he has the potential to go, makes my husband and I so proud,” Smith wrote.
Microsoft’s Culture of Global Diversity and Inclusion
Microsoft has always believed in diversity. Data as of December 2014 showed the company has 28.9 percent Asian employees, 5.2 percent Hispanic/Latino, 3.5 percent African American/Black, 0.5 percent American Indian/Alaska Native and 0.3 percent Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
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