SAP To Employ People With Autism
May 22, 2013

SAP To Recruit Autistic Employees To Harness Unique Tech Talents

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

German software maker SAP AG announced on Tuesday that it plans to recruit hundreds of people with autism for jobs in software testing, programming and quality assurance due to their ability to focus and their eagerness to identify problems.

An estimated one percent of the world´s population has autism, a developmental disorder that can cause emotional detachment, difficulties in communicating and rigid, repetitive behavior. The condition is believed to have a strong, but complex, genetic basis.

However, those suffering with mild forms of the autism can often perform complex mathematical tasks much better than the average population.

"SAP sees a potential competitive advantage to leveraging the unique talents of people with autism, while also helping them to secure meaningful employment," the Walldorf, Germany-based company said in a statement.

SAP said its new initiative follows a pilot project it undertook in India that resulted in productivity improvements. That program will be expanded to the United States, Canada and Germany later this year, the company said.

"By concentrating on the abilities that every talent brings to the table, we can redefine the way we manage diverse talents," said SAP AG Executive board member Luisa Delgado.

The German software maker said it will partner with Denmark-based Specialisterne, a company that helps people with autism work in technology jobs, to support SAP's global expansion of the program over the next several years.

Specialisterne has previously worked with Microsoft and Oracle.

"SAP is the first multinational company to partner with us on a global scale. The partnership will position SAP as thought leader and motivate the ecosystem to follow its example,” said Thorkil Sonne, founder of Specialisterne.