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Autism – Acceptance and Awareness in April & beyond at Capgemini

Category: inclusive employer, Neurodiversity, Diversity & Inclusion, Autism, Capgemini, Autism Awareness Month, Neurodiverse colleagues, Autism in the workplace, Neurodiversity in the workplace

Neurodiversity

April has traditionally become the month associated with Autism, with more media focus, on television, the press and the inevitable Twitter hashtags, all of which help raise awareness of something that many people are still unclear or unsure about. Autism is complex – so not understanding the fine detail is okay – but anything to help increase understanding is always going to be worthwhile. 

As part of Capgemini’s commitment to Active Inclusion, we have made considerable progress when considering autism awareness, not only by working with a number of external organisations but also by working with autistic colleagues. Personal perspectives are a great way of bringing any topic to life – we’ve heard from those diagnosed later in life, parents of those with a diagnosis and people who were diagnosed in childhood. There’s an expression often used when people talk about autism and these perspectives reinforce that - ‘If you’ve met one autistic person….you’ve met one autistic person.' 

Fundamental to our efforts have been the neurodivergent peer group, within CapAbility, Capgemini’s 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 our internship pilot with the charity Ambitious About Autism. We wanted to make sure our approach was ‘autism friendly’ and using the group helped ensure it was – through the right language used in job descriptions, involvement in assessment centres and being there as buddies for our interns. It’s been a really successful collaborative effort, and with plans to scale and grow the programme, their continued involvement is key. 

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’.

We caught up with Interns Andy Zealand and Frank Okorafor to chat about their autism and their placement on the programme.  They shared their experience with us in this video:

 

 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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