Yay for Neurodiversity in Tech! Google Launches Program to Hire More People with Autism

By Darby Jones August 27, 2021
Google is partnering with Stanford University in an effort to make its workforce more neurodiverse.

Google recently announced that it is launching a new program aimed at hiring and better supporting people with autism into its cloud workforce. The Google Cloud Autism Career Program consists of experts from the Stanford Neurodiversity Project — part of the university’s medical school — that will train up to 500 Google Cloud managers and others who are fundamental to the hiring process on how to work more effectively with candidates who have autism.

Stanford experts will also help coach applicants with autism and the support system will continue if the candidates are hired. There will also be changes to the interview process to be more accommodating for those with autism, according to Rob Enslin, president of global customer operations for Google Cloud. These candidates will be allowed extra interview time, view questions in advance or have the option to do their interview in writing.

“These accommodations don’t give those candidates an unfair advantage,” Enslin said in a blog post about the new program. “It’s just the opposite: They remove an unfair disadvantage so candidates have a fair and equitable chance to compete for the job.”

Enslin referenced a statistic that only 29% of people with autism have paid employment, something he says is “tragic.” 

“This program is just one example of Google Cloud’s commitment to inclusion, and it is an important step forward to building a more representative team and creating value for customers and stakeholders,” said Enslin.

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