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Google Cloud Exec Rob Enslin talks about neurodiversity in the workforce and how the Autism Recruitment Program looks for top talent

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On Monday, Google announced in a blog post the launch of what it calls the Google Cloud Autism Career Program. The tech giant in the Gulf region said it is designed to “recruit and support more talent with autism in the fast-growing cloud industry.”

This effort by Google is the latest in an ever-increasing trend, led by organizations large and small, to amplify the merit of people with disabilities in the workforce and their potential impact on a myriad of industries. Companies like Ablr and The Ability People have made it their mission to make employers more aware and inclusive of people with disabilities when it comes to hiring. In a society where people with disabilities are widely seen as unable to make meaningful contributions to the economy – there is a power-monster to rear its ugly head again – the tech industry can serve as a prime example of the opposite perspective. For intelligence, it is the unique, lived experiences of people with disabilities that make products from Apple, Google, and others as good as they are – they were literally created for Everyone by Everyone.

Even the mainstream media is paying attention to the nervously diverse community of the job market. esteemed 60 minutes A news program recently aired a story in which co-host Anderson Cooper interviewed six autistic people from across the autism spectrum about what it’s like to not only work Find and maintained successfully.

The Autism Career Program is the result of a collaborative effort between Google and the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, itself part of the university’s medical school, to develop the initiative. The school’s goal of the project is to consult and advise employers throughout the cloud computing industry on recruiting potential workers from the neurodiversity community, and to demonstrate how to achieve career success for these employees. For its part, Google sees a huge opportunity in directing people with autism to the burgeoning cloud computing scene. There are many ways in which they can excel.

“A key pillar of our pilot program is to train up to 500 Google Cloud managers and others who are involved in the recruitment process. Our goal is to empower these Googlers to work effectively and emotionally with candidates with autism and ensure that Google’s onboarding processes are accessible and fair” , Rob Enslin, head of global customer operations for Google Cloud, wrote in the company’s announcement. “Stanford University will also provide training for applicants, as well as ongoing support for them, their teammates, and managers once they join the Google Cloud team.”

Enslin added that Google is using the new software to “break down the barriers that candidates with autism often encounter.” In addition to bias, Enslin explained that the typical job interview process often puts an autistic applicant at a disadvantage due to the lack of conveniences — such as extending interview time or answering questions in a Google Doc rather than word of mouth over the phone — that the candidate can use Use them to display their strength. More often than not, they end up succumbing to their weaknesses that are exploited by how traditional job interviews are set up and managed.

In an exclusive email interview with me, Enslin said that Google’s drive to work on its autism recruitment program was influenced by two factors. First, as Enslin points out in the blog post, Google sees the neurologically diverse community as a true treasure trove of largely untapped talent. The second factor is closely related to the first: the cloud computing industry is an area of ​​the technology sector that is growing rapidly, and the demand for talent is in line with the aforementioned rapid growth.

“There is a fantastic opportunity in technology for individuals of all backgrounds, and we are eager to open more doors through our program,” said Enslin.

Enslin explained how the cloud computing industry is an ideal environment to attract the best talent – particularly autistic talent. From sales to customer support to data science to engineering and more, there are plenty of opportunities for hungry tech workers willing to work. Google believes that people with autism can succeed in doing anything in the organization; Enslin was confident saying that because, he told me, “they’re really here making important contributions.” There are many Googlers, as employees are colloquially known, who are disabled and work to make Google products more accessible. It’s similar elsewhere in technology, too.

The optimism with which Enslin and Google view the contributions of those in the neurologically diverse community stems from the institutional belief that they can train hiring managers and other leaders to embrace the skills of disabled workers. In fact, the Employment Program for Autism is a microcosm of Google’s philosophy of diversity and inclusion in the face of disability. In the words of Enslin: “Google is incredibly proud of creating a workplace for all people. While this program [the Autism Career Program] It’s just one example of Google Cloud’s commitment to inclusion, it’s an important example.” “With a team that represents more than the diverse customers we serve, we will also create better products, services, and experiences for our customers.”

When asked about comments about the career program for autism, Enslin objected and provided testimony from one of the career program participants, Shar Backus, who now works as an art program manager at Google.

“Responses to neurodiversity programs at work are as diverse as the number of diverse neurodiversity candidates and employees involved; there is no single answer that covers everyone’s perspective. But I personally am excited to work for a large company that is constantly learning to recognize and appreciate neurodiversity in its workforce; solicits my opinions and builds To meet my needs,” Bacchus said in a statement. “I’m also excited about the work that still lies ahead in appreciating and integrating neurodiversity, at Google, and around the world.”

As for what the future may hold for the autism recruitment program, Enslin said it’s still early days, so the primary focus right now is to ensure the launch goes well. He added that he is happy with how things are going so far. He said Google will monitor its progress and will continue to investigate with Stanford “to determine the most effective and sustainable way to scale the program while maintaining the attributes that we hope will make it successful in the first place.” Furthermore, Enslin reiterated the company’s position on advancing the disability community, saying that “we remain committed to supporting the employment of people with disabilities on a larger scale through the in-house interview process and partnership with organizations such as Disability: IN and Ability Jobs.”

Any applicant interested in the Autism Career Program can contact the Stanford Neurodiversity Project for more information and how to apply.


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