Nothing about us without us
No large organisation can claim to have a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion if it does not subscribe to independent oversight by marginalised segments of the population.
This service enables employees to rate their employers in terms of psychological safety and inclusiveness for:
- all staff
- autistic and otherwise neurodivergent staff in specific
- LGBTQIA+ staff in specific
Discrimination against autistic people is comparable to the level of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people 50 years ago. The pathologisation of autism has led to what some critical researchers refer to as the autism industrial complex.
The objectives of the autism and neurodiversity civil rights movements overlap significantly with the interests of those who advocate for greater levels of psychological safety in the workplace and in society in general. In the workplace the topic of psychological safety is relevant to all industries and sectors.
Creating and maintaining a psychologically safe environment is fundamental for the flourishing of all staff, yet in many organisations psychological safety is still the exception rather than the norm.
How does it work for staff?
Staff are invited to submit feedback on psychological safety and inclusiveness of their current and past employers via an anonymous survey at any point in time.
This results in a database of anecdotal information that is screened by volunteers from the Autistic Collaboration Trust on a regular basis:
- Responses are grouped by the names of employers.
- All employers that not yet actively participating in the Employer Rating Service are identified.
- The employers that don’t yet actively participate are prioritised based on the level of psychological safety and inclusiveness that they seem to provide – with top priority given to employers that seem to operate environments that are less safe or inclusive than average and to employers that seem to operate environments that are much safer and more inclusive than average.
- Employers are contacted by volunteers from the Autistic Collaboration Trust with an invitation to enrol in the Employer Rating Service to monitor and improve their workplace culture.
- The Autistic Collaboration Trust maintains a public database of employers that have enrolled in the Employer Rating Service and that have given permission to share the aggregated overall results as a reference for others and as encouragement for future employees.
- The Autistic Collaboration Trust maintains a non-public list of employers that have chosen not to enrol in the Employer Rating Service, so that this information is available when employees contact the Autistic Collaboration Trust with a request for assistance via the Bullying Alert System.
The core of the Employer Rating Service is an anonymous assessment of psychological safety and inclusiveness. As an employee you can submit feedback on your current and past employers via this psychological safety assessment.
How does it work for employers?
Employers that are committed to providing a psychologically safe and inclusive workplace can register their interest in the Employer Rating Service by submitting an inquiry via the the form below:
- Employers are contacted by a volunteer from the Autistic Collaboration Trust to confirm the size of the organisation and to ascertain whether the organisation qualifies for enrolment free of charge (the service is free for SMEs and only incurs a charge for organisations with more than 150 staff).
- The employer is given a unique employer code so that anonymous survey responses from staff can be associated with the employer without any ambiguity.
- The employer invites staff to submit feedback on psychological safety and inclusiveness via an anonymous survey.
- Staff submit feedback via an anonymous survey using the unique employer code to associate their response with the organisation.
- The Autistic Collaboration Trust notifies the employer once at least 10 responses have been received.
- The employer asks all employees who have participated in the survey to independently register their name and email address to confirm participation. Please note that in order to maximise the protection of employees, the Autistic Collaboration Trust will never share information about who participated in the survey nor any of the anonymous individual responses with employers.
- The Autistic Collaboration Trust notifies the employer once at least 70% of staff have confirmed participation in the survey.
- Once a confirmed participation rate of at least 70% is reached, volunteers from the Autistic Collaboration Trust select a small random sample of participating employees to verify employment and survey participation via a phone call or email and via online tools such as LinkedIn. This step is necessary to discourage employers from submitting responses on behalf of employees.
- The Autistic Collaboration Trust only provides the employer with the aggregated results from the survey (the individual anonymous responses are never shared with employers), with the overall participation rate, and when available, with benchmarking data in relation to other organisations in the same country or economic sector.
- The employer decides if and when the aggregated results are shared with employees or are made available to the public via the Autistic Collaboration Trust. Under no circumstances will the Autistic Collaboration Trust share the individual anonymous responses with employers or with any other party.
Employers are encouraged to commit to a genuinely safe and inclusive workplace culture by enrolling in the Employer Rating Service on an annual basis.
Collaborative service design
An Employer Rating Service is an interesting idea, but it must be designed by the autistic community and other marginalised groups in order to have legitimacy.
The topic of verifying which organisations genuinely do a good job of empowering autistic and otherwise neurodivergent employees came up in an online discussion with fellow autists in April 2020 and then led to further discussions within the autistic community. This survey has been designed based on input from the autistic community and from other marginalised groups.
The Autistic Collaboration Trust (that operates this website) engages with the wider neurodiversity movement and other minority groups to offer a trustworthy and globally accessible Employer Rating Service that is administered by volunteers from marginalised groups.
If you would like to promote and establish the Employer Rating Service in a specific jurisdiction, the Autistic Collaboration Trust can offer relevant software tools and assist with establishing an intersectional team of independent volunteers from various marginalised groups.
The considerations that have shaped the service design to date are documented in detail on this page.
You can contribute to the service design by submitting your ideas and feedback via the form below.
You can also use the form to indicate interest in being actively involved as a volunteer in administrating the Employer Rating Service: