Rob Enslin, president – cloud sales, Google, has announced the launch of Google Cloud’s Autism Career Programme, which is designed to hire and support talented people with autism, in the cloud space. The Company is working with experts from the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, which is a part of the Stanford School of Medicine, to provide consultation to make this project successful.
To make the hiring process fair and equitable for these candidates, the Company will make some changes in the hiring process. It will give an extended interview time to these candidates and if required, the interview will happen in a written form via Google Doc, rather than a call. Also, the key part of the process will be the training of 500 managers in the Google Cloud team and also the ones who are part of the hiring process. These managers will be trained and sensitised to conduct the hiring of autism candidates with empathy, and to make the exercise more equitable. Stanford will help and support the applicants during the hiring process and will help to sensitise the team mates and managers of the new hires.
This is quite a healthy step by the tech major to further its neurodiversity agenda. It is a significant move towards building teams with more representations from such communities.
Enslin mentions in a post that he is personally very passionate about this project as he himself is associated with many organisations in the US that are working towards skilling and finding better opportunities for individuals with autism. He categorically mentions that because of unconscious bias on the part of hiring managers and interviewers — for instance, when such candidates fail to make eye contact with the interviewer or ask for extra time to complete a test during the hiring process — companies fail to utilise the immense talent that such people possess. The Autism Career Programme is designed to mitigate such biases.