Google is teaming up with Stanford University to launch a new program to hire more people with autism into its cloud workforce. The technology giant will train 500 Google Cloud managers and others who are integral in the hiring process under Google Cloud’s Autism Career Program. It will work with experts from the Stanford Neurodiversity Project to make its workspace more neurodiverse and to work more effectively with autistic candidates. Stanford University will coach job applicants with autism and those who have been hired.
Google will also introduce some changes to the interview process for those who are part of the Autism Career Program. According to the president of global customer operations for Google Cloud Rob Enslin, the autistic candidates will be given extra interview time as well as questions in advance or to do interviews in writing on Google Docs rather than verbally on a call. Enslin in a blog post said that this step has been taken to provide a fair and equitable chance to autistic patients to compete for the job.
He wrote, “These accommodations don’t give those candidates an unfair advantage. It’s just the opposite: They remove an unfair disadvantage so candidates have a fair and equitable chance to compete for the job.”
Enslin also stated that the statistics suggest that nearly 2 per cent of the population has autism, however, this is not an actual scene as many individuals go undiagnosed. But what grabs the attention is the percentage of employed autistic patients. Only 29% of total diagnosed autistic patients, had any sort of paid work in their lives.
Enslin calling these statistics tragic said that individuals with autism can be highly functioning and contributing professionals in any organization, however, they remain ignored because due to unconscious bias from a hiring manager or interviewer.
Hence, Google Cloud’s Autism Career Programme will coach the hiring managers and interviewers at Google to ensure that the onboarding processes are accessible and equitable for candidates with autism.