Working Knowledge, a Harvard Business School publication, just released an article called ‘Neurodiversity: The Benefits of Recruiting Employees with Cognitive Disabilities‘. It states that every day, more companies are accepting neurodiversity and hiring people with ASD.
The article refers to a recently published case study, SAP SE: Autism at Work, that explains SAP’s diversity program in detail.
Professor Robert D. Austin, one of the case study’s authors, said, ‘One of the things that we’ve done historically in human resource management is, we’ve asked people to trim away the parts of themselves that are irregularly shaped, and then we ask them to plug themselves into standard roles. SAP is asking itself whether that might be the wrong way to do things in an innovation economy. Instead, maybe managers have to do the hard work of putting the puzzle pieces together and inviting people to bring their entire selves to work’.
SAP has already hired more than 100 people with ASD and has set the target that, in 2020, 1% of its workforce will be people with this diagnosis. SAP, along with HPE, are two good examples of large companies in the IT sector that are betting to integrate people with ASD.
Austin also said that, ‘Innovation is about finding ideas that are outside the normal parameters, and you don’t do that by slicing away everything that’s outside the normal parameters. Maybe it’s the parts of people we ask them to leave at home that are the most likely to produce the big innovations’.