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Autism in the workplace

What's in a name?

In the fifteen years of Passwerk’s existence, we have learned a lot from our own field experience about autism in general and autism specifically in the workplace.

‘Autism in the workplace’ remains a broad concept that can be approached in many ways, and fortunately, this is happening more often. Society is more aware and, as far as autism in the workplace is concerned, the labour market has never been more engaged than today. There is a lot to be said for that.

From convincing to supporting

The evolutions of our job coaching and the accompanying approach are inextricably linked to general social changes and their impact on the job market.

Originally, the focus of the job coach was mainly on convincing clients and their employees of the reasons why it would be an added value to integrate a colleague with autism in the workplace. Over the years, the focus of this role has shifted to support: we want to support the client with our experience and the shared conviction of the added value of neurodiverse colleagues as a basis.

Whereas sensitising used to be synonymous with informing (about autism) and removing existing stereotypes, today it is more synonymous with implementing appropriate conditions for and supporting neurodiverse colleagues in the workplace. Sensitising new workplaces is thus the common thread in our approach that links the aforementioned evolutions.

The first, (not necessarily) the best

As a pioneer, you may be the first (and only) - and we should be proud of that - but that does not mean you are immediately the best. Our unique, socially relevant role as an employer of more than 200 neurodiverse employees does not excuse us from making incorrect assessments or assumptions that sometimes prove impracticable in practice. The most important thing is that we keep learning and growing from this.

An example from our experience as an IT service provider is the rather common assertion that our consultants, due to their autism, have less need for variation in their range of tasks and prefer repetitive tasks. While, with software testing as an activity in mind, this seemed an appropriate starting point, in practice it quickly became apparent that this statement obviously does not apply to every individual consultant. Many of our consultants embrace variation and, moreover, are explicitly looking for it. It was up to us as employers to deal with this diversity within diversity.

Partly thanks to this observation in practice, our matching process has gained momentum. This intensive process of matching the right consultant to the right assignment has since become one of our most important USPs because we have started to think even more strongly from the perspective of the individual.

Human capital

Simultaneously with our 'coming of age' as a company, the awareness gradually increased that our human capital represents the physical heart of Passwerk. Our consultants in the first place, but also all other employees - from job coaches to the sales and marketing teams, administration and graphic designer - make Passwerk grow and prosper.

Investing in the well-being of our employees is a priority and forms the intersection between our commercial and social ambitions for now and later. Caring for employees should not just be a theme, it should be an 'embedded system', with lasting commitment. At Passwerk, we pursue this in various ways, the main one being our job coaching. Precisely because our coaches and our consultants develop such a strong, mutual human commitment, we can speak of a real investment in our human capital.


The 'open-source' narrative chosen fifteen years ago by our founders continues to co-determine our DNA today and our possible direction for the future. We have the intention of sharing as much of our experience and knowledge as possible, which has already given us a lot: additional expertise and knowledge, a large network in Belgium and abroad, and self-insight through more self-reflection. Thanks to this approach, we continue to discover broader perspectives on neurodiversity in general and in the workplace.

We therefore see our open-source mentality as our greatest strength to further take up our pioneering role in the rapidly changing society. A society that has never been more aware and never before longed so hard for neurodiverse talent!


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