New Relic recently launched an Autism at Work internship program designed to help individuals on the Autism spectrum find suitable employment opportunities within the tech industry.
This program came to fruition through a partnership with the San Jose-based organization Expandability. New Relic has partnered with Expandability to connect persons with disabilities to means of employment that match their interests and skill sets, ultimately offering them opportunities to thrive in a working environment. As part of the kickoff of this new program, New Relic’s engineering headquarters in Portland welcomed two new software engineering interns this week.
To prepare, Marion Long, New Relic’s diversity & inclusion program manager, along with Priscilla Azcueta, Expandability’s managing director, held a training session in our Portland office. The 30 or so attendees consisted of various members of our site reliability team along with other New Relic employees. The session provided employees with relevant information regarding the challenges facing people with disabilities, stigmas relating to persons with different abilities, and helpful tips to create a comfortable and productive working environment for our new interns.
Marion spoke to the ways in which broadening the scope of how we consider candidates can help our organization. “Diversity in the workplace goes beyond gender and ethnicity,” she said. “People with different abilities can be such an asset to our company and culture.”
Mik Gimenez-Peterson, manager, site reliability, and Gus Shaffer, senior site reliability engineering manager, will manage the two interns in the program and are excited to watch as they grow into their new roles. “Just like any other underrepresented group, it is vital that we ensure that we provide opportunities to the differently abled to show the rest of the company and the industry at large that they are a valuable resource that is underutilized,” Gus said.
Mik’s master’s degree in counseling psychology and experience working with adults with autism should suit him well as a manager in this program. “I know that there is a measure of uncertainty that can bias the way we approach hiring. It’s exciting to see New Relic working to broaden how we look at potential applicants, both for the sake of the candidate and also for the sake of building the best possible teams,” Mik said
We are extremely excited to kick off the Autism at Work internship program here at New Relic. To learn more about Expandability, visit www.expandability.org.