“As one door closes, another door opens,” says Anne Pinkowski, program lead of the Neurodiversity in IT Program. “While it was great to work with Jan Cicero and Ganesh Karkala to take Neurodiversity in IT from pilot to program, I’m extremely excited as we embark on this next phase. As a CIO Council supported program, like all of the IDEAL IT programs, I’m thrilled that Michael Fox, CIO for LBRE, has volunteered to co-sponsor Neurodiversity in IT.”
When asked why Fox volunteered to co-sponsor the program, he responded without hesitation, “I couldn’t say no. My convictions regarding the necessity of the Neurodiversity in IT Program specifically, and the broader topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion made it obvious that I needed to step forward.”
Fox went on to include that “Diversity, equity and inclusion is a multi-dimensional effort that requires the concerted effort of many contributors to achieve benefits for us as individuals, as an institution, and as a society.”
The future of the program
With four contract positions posting in the Stanford Neurodiversity Job Bank (SNJB), and a partnership with Dr. Lawrence Fung, director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, the program hopes to find qualified talent from Stanford’s Neurodiverse Candidate Registry. Two contract positions have been posted for a Salesforce software developer and a Java software developer, and two additional roles will follow for a ServiceNow developer and Informa reporting analyst.
With the upcoming expansion of the program, Karkala, Associate Vice President of Enterprise Technology and sponsor of the program reflects, "The individuals within the neurodiversity program constantly amaze me with their hard work, creativity, and unique problem-solving skills. Having them on my team has allowed for a broad range of perspectives that we had not experienced before. I look forward to seeing how Michael and I can further improve this program and facilitate the talent of many more neurodiverse individuals."
The Neurodiversity in IT Program has inspired Fox in a number of ways: “On a personal level, the program is an opportunity to facilitate employment pathways for neurodiverse individuals who might otherwise be disenfranchised. Professionally, the opportunity to help Stanford effectively access a broader and more diverse talent pool is huge.”
The Neurodiversity in IT Working Group was paused earlier this year due to Covid-19, but will soon resume efforts again. As the program picks up speed, it is seeking additional volunteers in the IT Community who may be interested in serving as mentors and allies to neurodiverse colleagues to help foster a culture of inclusion and respect. If interested, please contact Anne Pinkowski.