Project Opportunity

Including autistic people in the workforce

For a number of years, Novo Nordisk’s Danish headquarters has supported a project that looks at talent in a new way - striving to include those who slip through the net of ordinary recruitment processes.

We believe in the diversity of competencies and that people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have unique skills. If placed in the right job with the right conditions, we can see that there is basis for a” win-win” situation for both employer and employee. Therefore, we have initiated the programme Project Opportunity in partnership with Det Nationale Autismeinstitut. The programme is a unique opportunity to give a group of people, often left outside the labour market, an opportunity to finding and keeping a job and at the same time, we get specific tasks performed to some degree better and quicker than ordinary peers.

History of the programme

Society has in recent years increased its focus on getting more people with special needs integrated in the workforce. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) states that the conditions for people with disabilities should be equal to all others, also in employment, provides a legal framework which allows a project like Project Opportunity to become a reality.

The first phase of the programme was initiated in April 2013 in corporation with Det Nationale Autismeinstitut based on their expertise in working with ASD. The second phase of the programme was initiated in April 2015. Three employees from the first phase were hired permanently after the two years and all four employees from the second phase has been hired on ordinary terms as of 1 June 2017. The third phase was initiated in June 2018. This phase is running until December 2019, and we have so far hired four employees for the 1½ year.


Including the excluded

Alvin is one of the employees recruited through Project Opportunity. For Alvin, the benefits of the project are clear. Being in full-time employment has led to greater independence outside of work – and the structure he finds in his job is something that he has also been able to apply to his personal life.

See Alvin and other colleagues with autism tell their story about joining Novo Nordisk.