Microsoft is breaking down barriers for people on the Autism Spectrum by implementing new hiring practices.
On April 1st 2016 (International Autism Day), Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Mary Ellen Smith, came before the representatives of 193 countries at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and announced Microsoft’s pilot program for hiring people on the autism spectrum.
Microsoft has been been committed to supporting individuals with disabilities for a long time but their new initiative to provide career assistance for those with autism is a program that has generated worldwide attention. Upon hearing the news, Microsoft employees were ecstatic by this unprecedented event and immediately asked how they would be able to help play their part. Since their announcement, Microsoft has hired 11 employees who are on the autism spectrum and are actively seeking candidates to fill long-term roles. From software engineering, data sciences, customer service and operations to specialized teams such as Windows, Xbox, and HoloLens, Microsoft is expanding their candidate pool and providing promising careers to individuals with autism.
In our society where one or two interviews can make or break your chances for a job offer, it is refreshing to hear that Microsoft is positively disrupting the norm by looking beyond this singular interaction. For individuals on the autism spectrum, social interactions especially interviews, can be very difficult. Yet with Microsoft’s new hiring process, these individuals are now given the chance to obtain a long-term position with Microsoft.
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