SAP has partnered with the University of Cambridge to recruit and support employees who have autism.
The intern partnership is part of the supplier’s Autism at Work initiative, which saw SAP partner with autism and technical training support group Specialisterne last May.
As part of a five-year agreement, SAP and the University of Cambridge will identify talented students for the Autism at Work programme. The chosen interns will work in one of SAPs locations - India, US, Canada, Ireland or Germany. Candidates will have the goal of being selected to become SAP employees following the completion of their internship.
SAP will be looking for students with software knowledge and programming skills in particular.
Baron-Cohen will ensure the internship process is “autism-friendly” and compliant with the autism strategy as written by the UK Department of Health.
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Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, said: “SAP is setting a terrific example, showing that a multinational IT company not only positively welcomes applicants with autism or Asperger Syndrome, but believes that there is a strong business case for employing them, because of their special talents.”
“Cambridge University is delighted to be partnering in this way.”
The announcement comes as SAP hired its first group of employees with autism onboard in its Palo Alto, California, and Newtown Square, Pennsylvania offices.
Later this spring the company plans to add more employees from its Autism at Work initiative at its Vancouver and Montreal sites.
Anka Wittenberg, chief diversity and inclusion officer for SAP AG, said: “The foundation of innovation is a diverse workforce, and the most creative ideas can come from unexpected places.”
“We hope to spark a global movement that gives people on the autism spectrum an opportunity to add their special talents and perspectives to the business world. By uniting with Cambridge University and other partners, we can change the way people think about innovation and help the world run better.”