auticon launches in Ireland

Pictured at the launch of its Neuroinclusion Strategy in Baggot Plaza Dublin: Back row L-R – Neale Richmond, TD Minister for Employment Affairs, Stefanie Preissner, Bank of Ireland Group CEO Myles O'Grady and Chief People Officer, Matt Elliott Front row – Kurt Schöffer (auticon), Bank of Ireland colleague Aoife Ogden, Adam Harris (AsIAm), Kirsty Cook (auticon)

auticon, the world’s largest autistic majority company and the leading social enterprise championing neurodiversity, is proud to announce that it is launching in Ireland, with its first office in the country based in Dublin – marking auticon’s 15th global location.  

Globally there is a large autism employment gap. Estimates suggest less than 29% ( of autistic people are in any form of meaningful employment which aligns to their educational achievements. auticon taps into this potential by employing autistic adults as technology consultants. Autistic employees are supported with job coaches and project managers producing a win-win-win situation for clients, consultants, as well as society.

Autistic adults often have extraordinary cognitive abilities, such as logic, pattern recognition, precision, sustained concentration, and an ability to intuitively spot errors, yet many find it difficult to secure or maintain mainstream employment. 

auticon’s mission is to address the inequalities in employment for neurodivergent adults and showcase the strengths of neurodiversity in society through its Neuroinclusion Services. Neuroinclusion Services by auticon offers a fully comprehensive suite of services to help an organisation become neuroinclusive and therefore become attractive to an untapped talent pool of neurodivergent people.

Founded in Germany in 2011 by a father seeking better employment opportunities for his autistic son, the global social enterprise started out as an IT Consultancy, placing autistic IT consultants into specialist roles. Working with autistic consultants, supported by neuroinclusion coaches and advisors, proved to be both commercially and socially rewarding for clients.

Many autistic adults possess cognitive strengths that make them particularly well-suited for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Despite this, they are faced with barriers such as an exclusionary recruitment process, poor autism awareness, and employers feeling unprepared to offer support. Working alongside autistic people helps our clients better understand these barriers and how to create more inclusive working environments, which benefit all employees.

Boosting awareness and understanding of neurodivergence in Ireland

New research, 1 conducted by Red C on behalf of auticon and Bank of Ireland, reveals that awareness levels of neurodiversity are low, with only 3 out of 10 people in Ireland reporting that they understand the term neurodivergence. 2

Almost 1 in 10 people in Ireland personally identify as neurodivergent with around 4% of the population stipulating that they have been diagnosed as neurodivergent, with another 4% stating that they self-identify as having a neurodivergent condition.1 Furthermore, just under 1 in 5 people surveyed stated that they had a neurodivergent person in their close family (e.g. parent/ child/ sibling/ spouse).

Research also shows that currently, only 1 in 5 businesses in Ireland have specific policies or practices to support neurodivergent people. With its expansion into Ireland, auticon aims to leverage its groundbreaking Neuroinclusion Services to help bolster awareness amongst businesses. 

This will improve support for existing employees/ customers who are either neurodivergent themselves, or have a close connection to someone who is. This service will also help pave the way for more neurodivergent adults to access meaningful employment, and organisations to benefit from accessing the plentiful skills that neurodivergent staff have to offer.

Global CEO of auticon, Kurt Schöffer, says, “Over the last 15 years, we have seen, through auticon’s proven global success, that creating a neuroinclusive working environment isn’t just good for the individual, it’s good for everyone. Expanding our offering into Ireland presents a huge, and exciting opportunity to bring widespread understanding of the exceptional skills and talents that neurodivergent people have to offer, along with working with organisations to create workplaces where they can thrive. Everyone stands to benefit. 

He continues, “Crucially, when it comes to making meaningful change, we have learned that ‘showing’ is not enough – we have to educate our clients so that they can work with neurodivergent talent beyond our IT consultants – this opens up the possibility to accessing workers at all levels. Our Neuroinclusion Services are crucial to facilitating this and we are so delighted to be partnering with Bank of Ireland – an organisation that shares our passion for showcasing the strengths of neurodivergent talent.”

Bank of Ireland is the first business in the country to use auticon’s services, embarking on a brand new neuroinclusion partnership with the social enterprise. 

Utilising ‘ñima’, auticon’s groundbreaking neuroinclusion maturity assessment tool, which was devised by autistic data scientists, Bank of Ireland is undertaking a series of activities led by auticon, to develop employees who have a solid understanding of neurodiversity, managers who can confidently support colleagues, and ambassadors who can actively promote neurodiversity through lived experiences.

Matt Elliott, Chief People Officer at Bank of Ireland concludes, “How we better support neurodivergent people in education, the workplace and wider society requires a joined-up effort and focused action.  

“As one of the largest employers in the country we have a responsibility to get this right.  We want to create an inclusive workplace where all people applying for a role or coming to work for us feel welcome, supported, and valued. We are taking some practical steps and making improvements to our colleagues’ and managers’ understanding, the physical and operational infrastructure and our culture to make our organisation one of the most neuroinclusive in the country. 

“Talent is everywhere. It doesn’t all look, sound, or think the same way. In making Bank of Ireland a more inclusive place to work, we are also building a company that is better equipped to serve all of our customers and to make a positive contribution to wider society”. 

About auticon
auticon is an award-winning social innovation company. As an autistic-majority company, we’re a resource for talent. We integrate our technology consultants into client organizations, performing as software developers, data analysts, QA engineers, and more. Clients experience our outstanding autistic professionals first-hand, opening minds and achieving diversity goals. 

Our model improves the economic and social conditions of the autistic community with quality careers, unlocking opportunity, and empowering client organisations through actionable neurodiversity training, coaching, and advisory services. Here, our employees build lifelong careers in technology, discovering personal autonomy and improved self-esteem. 

auticon has international offices throughout Europe, United Kingdom, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Investors include Ferd, Autism Impact Fund, Ananda Impact Ventures, KOIS, Felix Porsche, Sir Richard Branson, Ferst Capital Partners, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Investors include Ferd, Autism Impact Fund, Ananda Impact Ventures, KOIS, Felix Porsche, Sir Richard Branson, Ferst Capital Partners and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. 


Pictured at the launch of its Neuroinclusion Strategy in Baggot Plaza Dublin:
Back row L-R – Neale Richmond, TD Minister for Employment Affairs, Stefanie Preissner, Bank of Ireland Group CEO Myles O’Grady and Chief People Officer, Matt Elliott
Front row – Kurt Schöffer (auticon), Bank of Ireland colleague Aoife Ogden, Adam Harris (AsIAm), Kirsty Cook (auticon)

Credit: Bank of Ireland

[1] Online research was conducted with n=1,002 adults aged 18+ living in the Republic of Ireland. Respondents were recruited using RED C Live, RED C’s own online panel of over 40,000 members.

Quota controls were used to ensure a nationally representative sample of ROI adults aged 18+, with interlocking quotas to provide extra confidence in sample profile.

Data was weighted across gender, age, region and social class so as to ensure a nationally representative sample based on latest CSO projections.

Fieldwork for this research took place between 29th February and 5th March 2024.

[2] Neurodiversity means the differences in how people’s brains process information. Neurotypical people are the majority of the group, with respect to their information processing. On the other hand, neurodivergent group members’ processing differs from the majority (and often each other), sometimes in ways that substantially affect daily life.  Autistic, dyslexic, and dyspraxic people, or those with ADHD or Tourette’s syndrome, could all be described as neurodivergent – though individuals may not identify that way. – National Autistic Society

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