Edited by Lucy Rycroft.
Most marathons are run on the weekend.
After all, this is when many people have at least one day off work, and the roads aren’t as busy – so it makes sense.
But for my fifth marathon – and my second in a suit – I decided to run solo on a weekday.
For a specific cause? Of course!
I decided to race on a working day because I’m running to raise awareness of a workplace issue: the massive unemployment faced by autistic people, and to ask people to vote for us in the Google.org Impact Challenge.
According to A4 (Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia), unemployment for autistic people is a colossal 65%. And if you ask some autism charities based in the UK and US, this percentage increases to around 85-90%.
In other words, for every ten autistic people – ten people who each have amazing skills and a desire to contribute to society – only one might actually be working.
In addition, that one person in ten is probably underemployed, either working fewer hours than they want to or in a job that doesn’t fully utilise their skills. Here at Xceptional, we often see software engineers working in retail, or data specialists working on a packing line. While these jobs are very much needed, they’re often not a good fit for our candidates, who would be better placed in a data team or an IT department.
Running a marathon on a weekday, therefore, makes sense when my aim is to raise awareness of this challenging issue. It also gives us the opportunity to visit some of our partners with whom we have placed staff, or who have backed us financially during this important growth phase of Xceptional.
Looking for a way to get involved which takes less than ten seconds? How about voting for Xceptional in the Google.org Impact Challenge? We could win $1 million from Google, which could be invested in hiring and training autistic people, as well as training workplaces to become more accessible. Simply click here, click vote and confirm.
Do you have 30 seconds to spare? Then please share this link with your friends, so that they can vote too. Perhaps you know autistic people, their families and friends, who would like to see Xceptional receive funding to make the workplace more accessible to them.
If everyone reading this shared it with just one other friend, that would double our votes and have a massive impact – so what’s stopping you?
Thanks for getting behind us!