PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia is an employer that understands the potential of autistic employees. In 2018 and again in 2019 PwC partnered with Specialisterne to tap into the autism advantage for their Cyber Security Department.
Candidates were assessed with a combination of activities which included challenges using the Lego Mindstorm robot kits and simulated work activities created by PWC professionals. Additionally, motivation was assessed through a range of informative and interactive talks by employees from the various departments at PwC.
Building capacity of staff
The three week training and assessment programs, called ‘Project Dandelion’ allowed PWC to adapt their existing hiring processes for autistic individuals in order to create an opportunity for them to demonstrate and showcase their skills that they would otherwise be unable to showcase in a traditional interview setting.
The aim of the adapted hiring process was to eliminate the barriers associated with the traditional recruitment processes where the candidate is required to rely on rapport building and the ability to sell themselves which can be difficult for autistic individuals.
Throughout the duration of the programs Specialisterne worked with PwC to build their capacity and aimed to enable their staff through a series of autism specific training and awareness programs. These programs included several general autism awareness training sessions, specific training for identified mentors and leadership training which included both small group and 1-1 sessions.
Jaiden from Project Dandelion says:
“Tech can’t judge you for the fact that you can’t talk to it properly, because you don’t talk to it.”