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Great minds don’t always think alike

A new collaboration is helping autistic individuals to find work opportunities while bringing fresh thinking to teams across Deloitte Belgium. It’s also opening up the conversation on neurodiversity with our colleagues and our clients.

One in every 80 people has a form of autism. That is 100,000 people in Belgium alone. Autimatic is an organisation that connects talented people who are autistic with employers needing help with tasks such as administration, automation and AI.

Deloitte’s relationship with Autimatic began when some of the Deloitte Private team in Belgium heard of an organisation actively targeting an untapped neurodiverse talent pool. Following some initial conversations, it became clear Autimatic could support us in identifying new talent.

Triple A services

In August 2021, Deloitte Belgium began a project with Autimatic, and it quickly became clear that matching autistic people to roles that played to their strengths brought possibilities for innovation, exploration and openness.

“Our colleagues really value the approach the Autimaticians bring and the solutions they develop,” explains Elien Bollen, talent development and inclusion manager at Deloitte Belgium.

+25 ambassadors support with raising awareness around neurodiversity

Ripple effect

When our accountancy colleagues wanted to introduce an automated customer relationship management tool, their biggest challenge was cleaning up their data. The obvious answer was to team up with Autimatic. “We had heard about the good experiences other teams had, and Autimatic brought skills to our team that we were missing” explains director Lien Declercq.

All Autimatic colleagues are supported by Deloitte buddies, who help them with any aspect of their role. For the buddies, it’s a way to learn more about neurodiversity, first-hand.

15 Autimaticians are currently working at Deloitte across 16 projects

Rewriting the narrative

The work with Autimatic has also helped to break down barriers. Colleagues who identify as neurodivergent but had chosen not to disclose it and parents with neurodivergent children have started to open up and share their experiences. There is now a team of ambassadors helping to normalise the conversation.

“We have shifted the narrative from talking about disability to embracing differences,” adds Elien. “It’s helped people to talk positively about neurodiversity, and this is already changing our culture.”

As for the future, the team hopes to incorporate their partnership with Autimatic into client work. “It would be lovely to bring some of these colleagues into our pitches, so our clients can both make an impact on society and benefit from their brilliant skills too,” says Elien.