Mentra is a free service that helps autistic adults find employment in their field.
Apply and let Mentra go to work for you to find a sensory-accommodating job.
Mentra is a fusion of mentor and mantra.
Once you’re set up with Mentra, whose leadership team includes autistic people such as chief technology officer and software engineer Shea Belsky, you will no longer have to go on a scavenger hunt for employment. Think of it as a reverse job fair.
“Working for Mentra is extremely fulfilling as a domino effect!” says Belsky.
“Because we are connecting autistic job seekers with meaningful jobs, they will be able to inspire and motivate other autistic job applicants, allies, advocates and family members.
“This domino effect becomes exponential over time. For one job seeker who gains a job through Mentra, they can have a massive impact on their personal and professional network because of their new employment.
“This effect multiplies for every person who comes through Mentra’s platform.
“That’s what stands out to me especially: Mentra has the power to transform the world and the course of human history, through the ripple effect generated by every person who gets a job who may not have ever gotten that opportunity.”
There are inclusive recruiters out there, and Mentra will get your resume in front of them.
These recruiters know that autistic people can bring many strengths to their businesses.
They want to hire autistic workers as badly as autistic job seekers want meaningful employment in an environment that respects their sensory and social needs.
Mentra makes matches with humanistic AI (artificial intelligence) and community-driven design.
The AI provides a matching algorithm that “learns” from the hiring needs of an employer and the applicant’s strengths.
However, Mentra’s AI goes above and beyond traditional job requirements by assimilating the applicant’s environmental preferences (e.g., dim lighting, absence of office social events), personality, unique skills, work ethics and the ideal job for that individual.
Once you’re hired, Mentra stays at your side, making sure your new job is all you’ve hoped it’d be. Assistance is ongoing.
Getting Started with Mentra
The application takes 20-30 minutes to fill out: an opportunity to tell about yourself and your employment preferences.
You’ll then be contacted by the Mentra team to create your profile, which will augment your resume.
This will then be put before inclusive recruiters who want to hire autistic people because they know the value that those on the Spectrum can bring to their company.
What’s your preferred line of work?
Mentra works with employers representing a broad range of industries such as:
- Administrative assistance
- Data analysis
- Graphic design
- Performance arts
- Public policy
- Restaurant work
“I came across a video of Jhillika Kumar, Mentra’s CEO and co-founder, giving the Keynote Speech at the 2019 Grace Hopper conference,” says Belsky.
“I was inspired by the story of her brother, and her pursuit for equity and acceptance of her non-speaking autistic brother.
“I reached out to her on LinkedIn the same day I saw the video, and officially joined Mentra in March 2020!”
A Message for Autistic People Already Employed AND Those Seeking Employment
“You know yourself better than anyone,” says Belsky. “You are your own best advocate.
“If you’re employed, work with your manager to discuss how they and your company can better support you.
“Working shouldn’t mean suffering or struggling through your job. It should mean working in an environment that lets you be genuine.
“This is also true for folks who are looking for jobs. Being transparent in an interview process gives you a lot of information about potential employers who can meaningfully assist you, and separate them from companies that do not care about your wellbeing.
“The more you understand about yourself and where you’ll do well, the better off you’ll be.
“Once you understand ‘what’ (headphones, adjusted work environment, job coaching, quiet interview setting, just to name a few possibilities), work with your recruiter/interview coordinator to communicate your needs.
“The more they work with you, the better the signs are that they’re an employer you want to work for. And the less willing they are to help, the bigger the red flags are for you not to work there.”
Shea Belsky is an autistic self-advocate and the product of countless educators and supporters over the years. Mentra puts recruiters in front of candidates rather than forcing them to navigate through the challenging process of finding employment. How? Through humanistic AI and community-driven design.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. In spring 2022 she received a diagnosis of Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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