Microsoft Exemplifies Inclusion, Launches Program To Hire People With Autism

Microsoft has long been committed to giving those in less-than-ideal circumstances a chance to lead a fulfilling career at the company, and today, it expands that level of inclusion to those suffering from autism.

For those of us not keenly familiar with what it's like to know someone with autism, it could be easy to believe that such people would be unemployable. Not so, says Mary Ellen Smith, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Operations. This is a topic she holds near and dear to her heart, as her own son, Shawn, suffers from the disorder.

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Mary says that Microsoft already hires a large number of people via supported employment and vendor partners to put them in roles for event services, transportation, and food. She goes on to say that in these roles, Microsoft only sees a 1% attrition rate.

What kind of disabilities people in those roles suffer isn't made clear, but the fact that Microsoft would consider bringing autistic persons on highlights the fact that it's willing to give people in unfortunate physical situations a chance. Mary goes on to say that autistic persons can bring a lot of value to a company like Microsoft; some could have an amazing ability to retain information, while others could excel at math and code. "It’s a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft!", she notes.

Mary wraps-up by saying, "I am also proud of how our society and our workplace is moving forward with the commitment to help support people with autism and disabilities in general."

Anyone interested in giving this pilot program a consideration can email Microsoft at