The month of April has traditionally become the month associated with Autism and Neurodiversity on a wider scale, with more media focus, in television, the press and Twitter hashtags, all of which helps raise awareness to something that many people are still unclear or unsure about. Autism is complex – so not understanding the all complexity is common – but anything to help increase understanding is always worthwhile.
As part of Capgemini’s commitment to Active Inclusion of persons with disabilities, the company has made considerable progress by working with organisations like the ILO Global Business and Disability Network, The Valuable 500, Business Disability Forum in the UK, PurpleSpace and also working with autistic colleagues. Fundamental to the efforts have been the neurodivergent peer group, within CapAbility, Capgemini’s employee network for disabled colleagues and/or carers.
As well as being a virtual space for neurodiverse colleagues to meet up, autistic members of the group have worked with the Active Inclusion team and wider business on a number of initiatives including an internship pilot with the charity Ambitious About Autism. By using the group, the company aims to ensure that the approach was ‘autism friendly’ – through the right language used in job descriptions, involvement in assessment centres and being there as buddies for the interns.
Peer group member Chris Mountford shares: “This has been a great initiative for the Peer Group to be involved in. The Active Inclusion team have made every effort to make sure Capgemini give our interns a positive and meaningful experience. It’s important to stress this is not about charity it’s about giving people with diverse strengths the ability to bring a different way of doing things to the business. It’s good for them but it’s also good for Capgemini”.