SAP to hire autistic IT professionals

According to SAP’s announcement, the company is embarking on a global program to hire people with autism as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists


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This worldwide program started as a pilot project in India. Six autistic software testers, whom SAP Labs India hired through Specialisterne, a Danish company that helps autistic people around the world find technology-oriented jobs. This resulted in an increase in SAP Business Suite's productivity and team cohesion.

One percent of SAP's global workforce will be autistic by 2020. Autistic employees can offer competitive advantages, according to SAP, while helping the individuals secure meaningful employment.

Research studies show that autistic patients show exceptional observation and concentration coupled with a high intellectual test score.

Most of the employees in Specialisterne have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, typically serving as consultants in fields such as software testing, programming and data entry.

"People with autism bring special skills," said Ms Anka Wittenberg, SAP chief diversity and inclusion officer. "Autistic people have a particularly strong sense of visual perception, which among other things is very useful when testing software."

Another pilot in Ireland is wrapping up the screening phase for five positions. SAP will expand the program globally this year, starting in the US, Canada, and Germany.

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