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ANZ and DXC Technology form autism research partnership

09 Apr 18

DXC Technology has joined ANZ Banking Group’s Autism@Work partnership with La Trobe University.

The partnership supports research into helping autistic people succeed at work.

DXC Technology Australia & New Zealand managing director Seelan Nayagam says the research is aimed at helping people on the spectrum to obtain long-term sustainable employment and to build thriving careers.

“The partnership with ANZ and La Trobe University means that world-leading research in mental health and autism can inform our understanding regarding the needs and supports for people on the spectrum within the workplace,” Nayagam explains.

Professor and director of La Trobe University’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, Cheryl Dissanayake, says supporting autistic individuals to excel in the workplace demands more than simply understanding autism.

“Associated conditions like anxiety and sleep disorders can undermine success at work, and these challenges need to be understood, accommodated and supported to ensure success.”

ANZ’s group executive, technology, Gerard Florian, also comments: “Beyond matching talented individuals to areas where we need these skills, what we learn from this research will help improve the way we and other organisations shape workplaces where autistic people can find meaningful long-term work and thrive.”

In addition, ANZ has its Spectrum Program, a 3-year commitment by the banking giant to recognise the talents of people with autism, and then shaping a workplace in which they can thrive.

As part of the Program, a non-traditional recruitment process better suited to the needs of people on the autism spectrum was employed with a focus on cyber security and testing roles.

The first group started work in February 2018 and is receiving tailored training and support to help them settle into the workplace and develop their careers within ANZ and beyond.

Moreover, ANZ’s Spectrum Program has adopted DXC’s Dandelion Program, an Autism@Work initiative running in Australian Federal Government departments.

The Dandelion Program started in 2014 and aims to integrate people with Autism into DXC’s workforce. As the company notes, people with autism have long been overlooked by the workforce with 80% of people with autism unemployed, or under-employed, according to DXC.

Moreover, DXC Technology emphasises that the Dandelion Program is not just about recruiting people with autism.

DXC Technology states: “The Program is also about reworking the organisational fabric of DXC to accept and integrate these individuals and also prepare them for the workplace and for a career at DXC.”

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