Golin Advances DEI Commitment through AutonomyWorks Partnership that Embraces the Power of Neurodiversity

April 2nd, 2024

Global agency and organization employing people with autism team up to employ specialists on focused PR business across the U.S.

CHICAGO (April 2nd, 2024) – Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) agency Golin announced today new details about its partnership with AutonomyWorks, a company that employs individuals with autism who use their specialized talents to provide high-quality operations support to a variety of businesses around the world. The two organizations began working together in 2022 on a pilot program that involved Golin integrating people with autism into the workstreams of two Golin client businesses, and today on World Autism Awareness Day, are sharing the impact and expanding the partnership that resulted from that pilot program. Golin is the only PR agency to partner with AutonomyWorks, which is based outside of Chicago near the agency’s headquarters.

“Every company seeks talented and dedicated employees, which is why AutonomyWorks unlocks the potential of people with autism,” said Dave Friedman, founder and CEO, AutonomyWorks. “In many communities, the talents of people with autism are wasted, but partnering with Golin has enabled AutonomyWorks to put those talents to work, and we’ve been impressed with how they’ve challenged existing ways of working to match tasks to the talents of our autistic workers.”

Over the past year, eight associates from AutonomyWorks have supported Golin and its teams, taking on assignments that require significant attention to detail and intense focus, including media monitoring, social community management, project routing and reporting.

“In an era when agencies and the public relations industry are making significant investments in technology innovations and AI advancement, we’re equally as invested in client solutions that harness human talent and specialized skills,” said Cori McKeever, co-president, Golin North America. “To do the best work of our lives for our clients means that we need to employ the very best individuals behind that work, both inside and outside of our agency. We’re honored to partner with such an impactful organization that is raising awareness for people with autism, and we couldn’t be more impressed with the talent and quality of work that their staff has contributed to our teams.”

The combined teams currently support two accounts within Golin’s healthcare practice and one account within Golin’s consumer practice, and the AutonomyWorks associates support complex topics across healthcare and pharmaceutical clients where a deepened level of precision for research and reporting is required for policy and patient communication.

Feedback from AutonomyWorks associates supporting Golin client accounts indicates the team members are motivated by the work they’re doing, and that they find value and purpose. One associate, Alex S, says, “I really enjoy doing work for Golin; it centers around social media and other news outlets, which aligns well with my personal interests and keeps me engaged all day. I get my work done quickly and with excellent accuracy, and I’m always searching for new ways to make my work more efficient and higher quality.” Another associate, Sheryl G, commented, “Working on Golin work gives me the opportunity to be part of something bigger than just myself; it gives me a sense of purpose. I not only get to make an impact for Golin, but I get to represent the autistic community as well. I am the best person to do this work for Golin because I am very meticulous and attentive to details.”

Because of the phenomenal results Golin has seen with this partnership in the last year and a half, the agency is working to grow the partnership so that AutonomyWorks team members can bring their specialized talents to more client accounts and sectors of business. The partnership is one of several ways the agency is advancing its DEI commitment by supporting and elevating communities in and around its network. Golin’s 2024 DEI priorities aim to raise awareness for neurodiversity and mental health, and as a result the agency recently launched its sixth Employee Resource Group (ERG) – called THRIVE – for employees who identify as neurodivergent.

“We’re on a journey to transform our organizational culture into an inclusive ecosystem in collaboration with our people, clients, and partners,” said Natasha O’Dell Archer, executive vice president & global head of DEI, Golin. “We are aware of the journey ahead but are proud of the progress we’re making as we continue to learn as an organization. In 2024, with our Global DEI priority theme of Taking Action: Advancing Mental Well-being & Neurodiversity, we are so grateful for the alignment with AutonomyWorks. This unique partnership allows us to put our focus on neurodiversity into practice, and the high-quality work they deliver helps build trust with our teams and our clients. That, mixed with the commitment that our own workforce brings to their daily roles, helps us all advance our shared mission to collaborate inclusively and obsessively and to create impactful change that matters.”