DXC Technology is a Fortune 500 global IT services leader. Our more than 130,000 people across 70 countries, including over 5,000 in Australia, are entrusted by our customers to deliver what matters most. We use the power of technology to deliver mission critical IT services across the Enterprise Technology Stack to drive business impact. DXC is an employer of choice with strong values, and fosters a culture of inclusion, belonging and corporate citizenship.
Acknowledging DXC’s scale, Seelan Nayagam, President Asia Pacific, DXC Technology, firmly believes the company has a corporate responsibility to address the broader social issues and challenges in the regions we operate in. One key initiative DXC created to help drive change for less privileged individuals and communities is the DXC Dandelion Program.
The DXC Dandelion Program began in 2014 to help build long-lasting career paths for neurodiverse individuals. These individuals are six times more likely to be unemployed than a neuro-typical person, despite nearly half of those diagnosed having above average intelligence and skills such as attention to detail, problem-solving and extraordinary focus. It became clear to DXC that neurodiverse individuals struggle to navigate traditional recruitment processes and as a result, organisations were missing out on a unique talent pool of potential resources – especially for certain roles where current skills shortages exist.
The DXC Dandelion Program has 11 teams across Australia for clients including National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank, and Services Australia. To date, over 100 neurodiverse team members, along with over 20 technical and support leads, have participated in the program, gaining valuable work experience in the ICT arena, spanning areas such as cyber security, data analytics, and software development.
DXC’s Dandelion Program is unique globally, as it is the first program ever developed that is underpinned by evidence-based research to understand neurodiverse people’s employment retention challenges. As a result, it has been designed through a framework that focuses on ‘sustainment’, rather than just ‘employment’. This has resulted in high employee retention (currently 92%) and increased workforce participation.
The DXC Dandelion Program team works closely with clients to understand their desired outcomes and workplace environment. Additionally, the recruitment process removes hidden biases to ensure candidates are assessed on their ability to do the job, not how they communicate in interviews. Training for existing staff is also provided to help champion inclusion, and post-implementation reviews are held to enhance current program approaches, as well as inform future planning and overall program development.
The results of the program have been far reaching, positively impacting participants, their families, and employers; the Australian government; and taxpayers as a result of the positive economic outcomes. The program’s 100+ neurodiverse participants felt an increased sense of purpose and gained invaluable independence, organisations have seen a 30-40% increase in productivity and all clients have expanded their programs by 60-100%. Importantly, the program has been instrumental in championing diversity at DXC and gives employees a sense to provide to work for such an inclusive organisation.