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

by | Apr 2, 2024

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

CHICAGO (April 2, 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 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.

The AutonomyWorks team

The AutonomyWorks team

“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.”

About Golin
Golin is a global public relations agency that helps companies create change that matters.
Together, we discover powerful human truths that bind us, create with bravery and collaborate
inclusively and obsessively. Golin’s 1700 global employees operate across 50+ offices
worldwide, allowing us to provide our clients with comprehensive solutions for multi-market,
regional and global communications programs. Golin was named PRWeek’s 2024 overall Agency
of the Year in the U.S., a 2023 and 2022 PRWeek U.S. Best Place to Work, PRovoke Media’s 2022 overall North America Agency of the Year, PRovoke Media’s 2022 and 2021 North America Large Agency of the Year, PRWeek’s 2021, 2020 and 2019 Global Agency of the Year, AMEC’s 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 Communications Research & Measurement Team of the Year, a 2021 Chicago Tribune Top Workplace and is the first-ever PR agency to be credited with “ideation,” when the firm took home Gold and Silver Lions at the 2019 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

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