Improving the lives of adults with autism

Lisa Thomas, Richard Branson and Amanda Turnill, auticon's managing director in Australia
Image from auticon Australia
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 3 August 2020

A great business is one that values new perspectives, different ideas and broader ways of thinking. This is why it’s so important to build a neurodiverse and inclusive workforce.

When it comes to skills like logic, technology skills, problem-solving, pattern recognition, precision, sustained concentration, spotting errors and other unique cognitive functions – people with autism tend to excel. Despite this, people on the autism spectrum are often overlooked, with some studies showing that up to 90% are either unemployed or underemployed.

Image from auticon
Image from auticon

To address this statistic and help businesses diversify their workforce, auticon launched in 2011 as an IT and recruitment firm that employs autistic people as technology consultants for businesses all around the world. I’m so proud of the work Virgin is doing with auticon, particularly following the release of their 2020 Global Impact Study.

The study surveyed the impact and benefits of working at auticon for employees on the spectrum. The results were very encouraging and a great reminder of the mutual benefits of a neurodiverse workforce.

two auticon consultants looking over a laptop
Image from auticon

In the survey, 74% of employees said that working at auticon has improved their personal wellbeing and 80% agreed the work has improved their skills and abilities. 70% of their employees said auticon has improved their self-confidence and provided opportunities for professional development. These figures make it clear that hiring someone with autism can make a genuine impact on the lives of autistic people, while also leaving a positive impact on society and improving businesses.

It’s also great to see how auticon is breaking down stereotypes in the workplace and the video below highlights some of the misconceptions that autistic people face every day when it comes to recruitment and employment.

Breaking down stereotypes - auticon

While the 2020 Global Impact Study was published and all throughout COVID-19, auticon’s 300 employees have been working from home. This was an immense task, but the firm found their autistic employees have been communicating better while working remotely and it has opened the doors to greater global collaboration with their clients based in different countries. The team has been pleasantly surprised by these learnings and the demonstrated power of neurodiversity in times of crisis. 

It’s clear that hiring people with autism can really benefit your business and the lives of autistic people, while also addressing the skills shortage in tech-based roles. For businesses and employers all across the world, working with auticon to hire someone on the autism spectrum is a wonderful way of building equality and embracing a truly diverse workforce. You can learn more about auticon and get in touch with their team here