An autistic view on Marketing
Meet our colleague Louise
For Women’s History Month, we want readers to hear from some of the wonderful women on the autism spectrum who work at auticon. Today, we hear from Louise Stone, who works in our Los Angeles office as an Executive Assistant. She is also the woman behind auticon’s social media channels in the US.
Louise graduated college with a degree in psychology in 2016. Immediately after graduating, she started working in sales at Yelp for nearly 2 years. After that, Louise bounced around jobs that didn’t fully utilize her skills or interests, including tech start-ups, a marketing agency, and a property management firm. Being at auticon is the first job Louise has held where she feels that she is able to work at her full potential, within a field of interest, and that she has plenty of room for upward mobility.
“What I love about my role at auticon is how multi-faceted it is”
How were you made aware of auticon?
I was living in San Francisco and knew I would be relocating to LA. I was actively applying to many jobs without much success, so I decided to turn to autism hiring initiatives. I reached out to a company called Neurodiversity Pathways in the Bay Area that helps autistic people get jobs and does job readiness training asking if they knew of anything like them but in LA. They connected me directly with Rebecca Beam, auticon US’s President. As soon as I learned about auticon’s mission I was willing to be hired on in any role because I wanted to work for auticon.
What made you decide to go into marketing?
At auticon I was officially hired as an Executive Assistant, but due to my interests and background, I also have taken over our social media and help with other aspects of marketing. I have always been interested in marketing because it is a combination of analytics and creativity and also requires you to get into the brain of the people you want to reach, which, having studied psychology, is also very interesting.
What do you particularly enjoy in your profession?
What I love about my role at auticon is how multi-faceted it is. Because I assist people in higher management roles, I really get to see all angles of the business and the operations. This, combined with me being tapped into the autism community, allows me to have a real 360-degree view of everything at auticon. Despite being new and fairly entry-level, the management team values my opinion, especially as an autistic person. I also enjoy the more light and fun aspects that managing social media allows.
Why do you think there are only about 20% of women in the IT industry?
I think it is a combination of how girls are treated in school and sort of steered towards non-technical jobs, and also bias in the industry. At auticon, our numbers for women in technical positions are very low, but we are working against both the general numbers of women deciding to enter into technical roles, as well as that fact that autism is diagnosed far less frequently in women and girls. Thankfully, both of those are changing with awareness on all sides.
Which of your autistic strengths can you use in your job?
For marketing I think the most useful autistic trait is my ability and interest in researching things heavily. When I learn about something, I want to know everything. This helps when I’m looking for what to share on social media or if I’m working on a blog post, I want to consume as much content around that before sharing so that I can have the most informed post. Another that isn’t as marketing specific, but just to my job as a whole, is my efficiency. I work very quickly because I can hyperfocus, so when I have a lot of different tasks thrown at me, I can organize them and get them done quickly. It’s ironic because I think there is a stereotype that autistic people are very bad at organization, but many autistic people I know, myself included, have overcompensated and are actually extremely organized.
What advice would you give to other women in marketing?
My advice would be to take in as much information in your area of expertise as possible. If you’re working in tech, you should really understand the services that you’re marketing. Because I am so tapped into the autism space, marketing our teams’ strengths is so easy for me, whereas if someone wasn’t highly knowledgeable about autism, they would struggle. I would also say to women in any role, take leadership and ask questions. I’ve never been shy about asking questions and I offer myself up to try out new things like writing a blog, or reaching out to a potential PR partner. I think women can be afraid of doing that in the workplace because they don’t want to be seen as needy or un-knowledgeable, but I think it actually does the opposite.
Are you on the autism spectrum and looking for a career in technology? You have a good eye for details, can concentrate perseveringly, recognize patterns and errors or like to analyse questions logically?
Whether you are an expert or a beginner: If you are interested in IT, then we should get to know each other.
We offer interesting projects in the areas of Quality Assurance & Testing, Analytics, Software Development & Migration as well as Compliance & Reporting. We only employ people on the autism spectrum as IT consultants and offer them an autism-friendly working environment.