The Data & Marketing Association's talent division has published guidance containing best-practice advice and case studies designed to help employers understand autism and attract more neurodiverse people.
DMA Talent: Autism Employer Guide was compiled using insights gleaned from the NHS, brands, employers and autistic employees who work in creative, data and marketing roles.
According to the National Autistic Society, there are about 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK, but only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment and 77% of those unemployed say that they want to work.
The guidelines include recommendations on reasonable adjustments that employers can make to recruitment processes, support networks and how to treat employees as individuals. Suggestions include being clear in communications and changing lighting and background noise that can trigger hypersensitivity.
Matthew Trerise, co-author of the guide, said: "Autistic people have been misunderstood and socially excluded for far too long. We must change the way we think about autism, have a lot more respect for the significant role autistic people have in society and recognise the skills, strengths, honesty and integrity that this exceptional group of people bring to the workplace and our community."
Kate Burnett, general manager of the DMA Talent division, added: "There is enormous demand within the data and marketing industry, and the wider professional community, for recruitment and employment initiatives that help people with neurodevelopmental conditions to seek and maintain employment.
"Our guidance is designed in such a way that, whatever stage a business is on their neurodiversity journey, they can pick this up to receive expert guidance and best practice."