SAP New Zealand creates opportunities for people with autism

Autism at Work

Anka Wittenberg, SAP SE

In the latest extension of its global program, SAP has launched its Autism at Work initiative in New Zealand, helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to find employment in the company.

Launched in 2013, the program currently includes over 120 employees filling 22 different positions, and is active in 10 countries: Argentina, Australia (which was launched in 2015), Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Ireland and the United States. The program’s goal is to create 650 roles for people with ASD.

Locally, SAP New Zealand is supported by the DXC Dandelion Program, and by social enterprise Life Without Barriers, JobLife Employment for recruiting and onboarding.

“At SAP, we focus on everyone’s unique ability to contribute, rather than a person’s perceived limitations. By embracing differences, we help spark innovation – while challenging assumptions and inspiring change,” said Anka Wittenberg, chief diversity and inclusion officer at SAP SE. “Those on the autism spectrum for example, add enormous value with their high-levels of attention to detail in software development and testing, and data analysis as well as other roles in our company such as customer support and marketing.

“It’s fantastic that this award-winning program continues to expand with the SAP New Zealand launch. This will enable the market to not only drive change within New Zealand, with the launch of the program here, our intent is to drive greater employment across all sectors and industries.”

“It’s a pleasure to support SAP’s Autism at Work program in Australia and New Zealand through the partnership we announced at the United Nations in 2015,” said Michael Fieldhouse, DXC Dandelion Program executive.

“Through our partnership, we share information, delivery partners and research that helps improve and innovate our own programs but also, together, helps promote these types of programs to other organisations globally.”

Claire Robbs, chief executive, Life Without Barriers said, “People with a disability who find sustainable employment benefit from greater independence, increased self-confidence and a number of other positive impacts such as improved overall well-being and social participation. This is a great opportunity to work with SAP and DXC Technology to help assist people on the autism spectrum to find employment opportunities within these organisations and beyond.”

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