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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Plans to Hire People With Autism

Written by on April 6, 2015

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), celebrating 40 years as a titan of the computer software industry, announced a pilot program to hire people with autism.

In a blog post, Mary Ellen Smith, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, announced the start of  a new pilot program with Specialisterne, focused on hiring people with autism for full-time, Redmond-based Microsoft positions. Ms. Smith, who mentioned about her autistic teenage  son, continued: “At Microsoft, we encourage all employees to realize their full potential. This belief and the inspiration I get from my son is what drives me personally and why I was honored to speak.”

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, who has three children, also has two special needs children.

Microsoft is far from the only technology company which hires disabled persons. IBM has had a long history of doing the same. It hired its first disabled employee all the way back in 1914. Similarly, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple has a strong message underlining Apple’s commitment to diversity that goes beyond the “traditional categories of race, gender, and ethnicity. It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities.”

Microsoft (and other companies) will do well to emulate Apple’s lead in revealing statistics about the race and gender makeup of the company.