Broker says adults with ASD thrive in certain skills

Nicolas Aubert

Willis Towers Watson has announced that it will implement a programme to hire adults with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) in the UK.

The programme was first piloted in the US and has led to five permanent employment contracts for adults with ASD.

ASD is estimated to affect 1% of the worldwide population. It is also estimated that over 80% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed.

Willis Towers Watson head of UK Nicolas Aubert (pictured) said that adults with ASD have skills and characteristics which makes them suitable to work with data analytics.

Aubert said: “We recognise that the data analytics work that we do for our clients is sympathetic to the skills and characteristics of those experiencing ASD.

“We wanted to access this largely untapped talent pool of individuals with unique strengths and capabilities and find opportunities to leverage these capabilities to our mutual advantage.

“It [the programme] proves that autistic individuals can thrive in data analytics.”

As part of the scheme existing employees will also receive education and training to understand more about autism and to challenge prejudices against adults with ASD.

The aim is to promote an inclusive and diverse working environment.

Aubert said: “Diversity is strength and bringing varied abilities from people who experience autism is integral to our commitment to our firm’s diversity.

“Our employees are really embracing this effort, because it makes them feel good about what they are doing and where they work.”