Recently, Ian Martin’s Stewardship Council celebrated the launch of a new partnership with Autism Speaks Canada. Gathering together with a cross section of Toronto’s employers at an event in April called “Senseations,” the Ian Martin Group celebrated the wins and also the challenges faced by the autism community seeking employment—which are, unfortunately, many.
The partnership is the first official partnership of Ian Martin’s newly established Meaningful Work Foundation, which gives 10% of Ian Martin’s profits to organizations that break down barriers to meaningful work. Beyond just giving money, the Foundation creates mutual relationships with its partner organizations—including mentoring programs, events support, and thought/experience exchange—so that together, our impact is maximized.
Edwin Jansen, Head of Marketing at Fitzii (a subsidiary of Ian Martin) spoke on behalf of the Ian Martin Group at the event and signalled the importance of the partnership to our overall mission to connect people in meaningful work:
“The employees at Ian Martin are obsessed with doing what we can to build a world where each and every person is pursuing meaningful work, and there is no bigger opportunity to make an impact than with this community gathered here. Adults with autism are 14% more likely to be unemployed than those who are developmentally delayed[KS1] . Not only is there 80% ASD unemployment, but of those who are employed only 6% are making a competitive salary versus people in similar jobs. This job market isn’t just inefficient – it’s completely broken – and we have a lot of work to do.”
We’re just at the beginning of a long road ahead, but we’re moving down a bright path. Ian Martin’s Meaningful Work Foundation will provide an initial $15,000 donation to Autism Speaks. In addition, we’ve made the commitment to participate in the Worktopia program that gives adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exposure to different workplace settings and provides job search mentoring.
We couldn’t be more excited to roll up our sleeves and begin the first stages of what will surely be a long and impactful partnership. At Ian Martin, one of our mantras is, “hiring is an act of optimism.” As we seek to challenge ourselves and others to engage the autistic candidate pool intentionally and with purpose, we know that we can make a difference for the present and future generations of people who are affected with ASD. Will you join us?
For information on Autism Speaks and how you can get involved, visit them at www.autismspeaks.ca.