Culture of inclusion in organizations helps welcome professionals with autism
Creating a culture of inclusion and monitoring professionals on the autism spectrum disorder are fundamental measures to promote diversity in organizations. It is also essential to provide appropriate health care to autistic professionals and to ensure the work environment is suitable in order to integrate these people into teams. These are among the findings of a study by researchers at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP), Ana Teresa Oliveira da Silva Basto and Vanessa Martines Cepellos, published in the Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration Journal.
The authors interviewed six managers of domestic and foreign companies that have hired autistic professionals or are responsible for the onboarding of autistic people in their organizations. Analysis of the interviews identified two predominant and related themes: perceptions about autism and management practices.
According to the researchers, managers’ perceptions of people on the autism spectrum disorder still involves stereotypes and this makes it hard to recognize the uniqueness of each individual. Autistic professionals tend to be associated with inappropriate behavior, a lack of social skills and greater aptitude for working with technology, for example. It is advisable to implement management practices to ensure workers’ integration into teams, in functions aligned with their interests and abilities. This can help tackle such prejudices and ensure successful inclusion.
The article identifies that efforts to get autistic professionals onto the job market can contribute to a change in the culture of companies themselves. “On the one hand, the inclusion of autistic people is generally linked to organizations with humanized management. On the other hand, the inclusion of these professionals can contribute to a more humane culture in organizations,” the authors argue.