Autism at Work

What did you want to achieve? 

To be the most inclusive software company on the planet, SAP aims to be an employer of choice for autistic individuals and foster an inclusive workplace that embraces neurodiversity. Our ambition also  is to become a force-multiplier of autism inclusion within our ecosystem. 

What did you do?

New hires join through various channels.  The team receives information regarding autism and according to their new colleague’s specific needs.  

Every individual is unique. While some autistic individuals need more frequent or on-going support, others might not. Every colleague receives the programme’s support according to their own preferences – everything is optional. 

Newly launched in 2022, the Autism at Work Executive Advisory Committee is comprised of inclusive-minded senior executives who serve as advisors regarding strategy, inspiring and influencing engagement, and sharing insights from across the globe. In recognition of the importance of direct representation, there is a ‘rotating’ seat reserved for Autism at Work colleagues. 

Externally, the SAP Autism Inclusion Pledge shares SAP’s best practices to accelerate the autism inclusion journey of employers worldwide. With over 90 signatories, this initiative encourages others to join an ever-growing community of companies leading the way to support neurodiversity in the workplace. Its aim is to re-shape thinking about employment possibilities for autistic individuals.  

What are the results so far?

Autism at Work is completing a decade of championing workplace inclusion. As of 2022, our SAP workforce has more than 215 colleagues on the autism spectrum in 16 countries and across all functional areas. Our colleagues contribute daily to the success of SAP in a wide variety of STEM and non-STEM roles. 

This program enables us to find great talent which we would otherwise potentially miss and allows us to leverage the unique abilities and perspectives of people on the spectrum, to foster innovation. 

What have you learned? 

We learned that the challenges with finding and retaining a job start early in life with a lack of labour market experience. For many of our Autism at Work colleagues, SAP is their first professional experience. 

We recognise that the environment and mindsets are everchanging and we must evolve continuously. The input from our colleagues on the spectrum is valuable to ensure that we stay current and can best support our community.