Microsoft announced a new pilot program to hire individuals with autism by working with agency Specialisterne, CBS reported. Watch a video update of the program below.
"It’s simple, Microsoft is stronger when we expand opportunity and we have a diverse workforce that represents our customers," wrote Mary Ellen Smith, Microsoft's corporate vice president of worldwide operations, on the company's blog.
"People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code. It’s a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft!" Smith wrote.
For Smith, the motivation to hire individuals on the spectrum is also personal: she has a 19-year-old son with autism.
"This represents only one of the ways we are evolving our approach to increase the diversity of Microsoft’s workforce," Smith continued. "We believe there is a lot of untapped potential in the marketplace and we are encouraged by the strong level of readiness from the vendors who cater to this segment."
"Microsoft's announcement is another major turning point in increasing employment of adults with autism," said Lisa Goring, executive vice president of programs and services at Autism Speaks. "Tech jobs offer some people with autism an opportunity to prove their skills in this highly competitive market."
Candidates interested in the pilot program can email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.