auticon, a Technology Employer of Autistic IT Consultants, Partner with Woolworths during World Autism Awareness Month
27 April 2020 – In celebrating World Autism Awareness Month, auticon is excited to announce their partnership with Woolworths. auticon will run a 6-month pilot program employing autistic technology consultants working on a quality assurance and software delivery project for Woolworths.
In Australia, around 1 in 100 people are autistic yet only 15-20 per cent of autistic adults have some form of employment. Many autistic people hold university degrees and have created breakthrough technologies because of their ability to think differently. During World Autism Awareness Month Woolworths have launched a pilot program with auticon to think differently about autism. auticon Australia’s Managing Director, Amanda Turnill said, “We thank Woolworths for demonstrating their commitment to inclusive employment, and auticon look forward to delivering a successful project.”
“auticon’s IT consultants are accurate, proficient, diligent and truly gifted. Despite being highly qualified, people on the spectrum in Australia still struggle to hold down full-time work. We aim to change this and the program with Woolworths is a wonderful start.”
“auticon’s mission is to improve the employment prospects of autistic people by providing high-quality career opportunities, shifting perceptions about autism and acting as a catalyst for companies to bring more neurodiversity to their teams.” Said Turnill. John Hunt, CIO for Woolworths Group, “As Australia’s largest employer we know we have an important role to play in creating opportunities for prosperity for all Australians.
“If Australia is to address the STEM shortage, we need to embrace diversity in all its forms. Many autistic individuals are hugely talented in STEM fields, so this presents an opportunity for us. “We are keen to explore ways in which we can work with companies like auticon to create an autism friendly workplace and benefit from a larger pool of talented STEM skilled IT professionals.” “In this context, with auticon’s help, we are aiming to provide a work environment that will support the empowerment of people on the spectrum. We look forward to working with the consultants and building rewarding and fulfilling opportunities with them. Woolworths are excited by the prospect of this engagement and actively encourage participation from people on the spectrum” said Hunt.
auticon has a unique operating model where they employ a Job Coach to manage the integration of autistic professionals into the workplace. This revolutionary process involves embedding the Job Coach within the organisation and that enables companies like Woolworths to benefit from the unique cognitive abilities of autistic people. The Job Coach also helps reduce the stress and anxiety experienced by many people with autism entering the workplace. auticon’s principal consultant Manuel Gomes said, “I love working in an organisation that recognises and nourishes the peerless talents of neurodivergent IT workers. It supports us as individuals to deliver the unique value that too frequently remained locked inside us. The auticon Job Coach model gives me confidence that my teams and I work in an environment where our strengths can shine, and that our clients understand the different ways to manage and interact with neurodivergent staff. The Job Coach’s role as advisors and public educators is invaluable”.
auticon opened their doors in Australia last November; this unique social enterprise employs 210 autistic consultants across the globe delivering some of the most challenging IT projects. The organisation recognises the unique cognitive capabilities of people with autism in the IT and technology field, including pattern recognition, innovative and lateral thinking, error detection, fraud prevention, logical analysis, sustained concentration, creativity and attention to detail. In Europe and the US, auticon has a who’s who of blue-chip clients including Allianz, BMW Group, Swiss Re, GlaxoSmithKline, Lufthansa, Siemens, Virgin, Porsche, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fox Networks Group, Bosch and Warner Bros.
With a high demand for data quality and flawless software development, auticon provides a neurodiverse and agile workforce to improve our client’s IT projects. Our hybrid onsite and offsite teams utilize the cognitive benefits of autism to provide the sustained concentration and analytical mindset that makes us wired for success.
Our teams include fully-trained personnel specializing in software development, data analysis, quality assurance and testing, automation engineering, and more.
auticon has international offices in Germany, United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and throughout the United Kingdom. Investors include Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group Ltd., Felix and Susanne Porsche, Ananda Ventures GmbH, Ferd Social Entrepreneurs (Ferd SE), Yabeo Management GmbH, and Ferst Capital Partners
Amanda Turnill – Managing Director, auticon Australia
Amanda is an advocate for the rights of people with autism and internationally recognised regulatory and product liability lawyer based in Sydney. Over a 25-year legal career, she held APAC leadership and management positions in four corporate law firms, in the area of health law, med tech and pharmaceuticals. Before qualifying as a lawyer, Amanda undertook general nursing training and worked as a registered nurse in paediatric and adult hospitals.
She recently retired from the law to spend more time advocating for her two teenage children, who are both on the autistic spectrum. Since their diagnosis in primary school, she has learnt much about ASD, how it presents differently in males and females, and how to help both her son and her daughter to function well in a largely neuro-typical world. Amanda has spent a significant amount of time advocating for the rights of neuro-diverse children in neurotypical schools, which are not well recognised. Given this background and that so many gifted autistic people struggle to obtain gainful employment due to current social norms rather than technology skills, Amanda is very enthusiastic about growth opportunities for auticon. She believes that many other parents of neurodiverse children and adults will have similar stories and will want to know about auticon’s mission here.
Amanda’s LinkedIn profile is here.
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