Freddie Mac was recognized by the Profiles in Diversity Journal® with two Innovations in Diversity Awards of Excellence for its Autism Internship Program and LGBT & Housing Insights report. The Innovations in Diversity Awards, now in its 15th year, honors organizations that have developed innovative solutions in workforce diversity, inclusion and human equity. The goal in recognizing these initiatives is to help organizations bring changes as well as applaud the winner's commitment to diversity and innovative initiatives.
Freddie Mac created the Autism Internship Program in a continuing effort to hire the best and brightest people at the company. The groundbreaking program goes beyond simply identifying this untapped pipeline of underemployed individuals – it starts with a network of partners that are experts in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to craft job descriptions for roles that maximize the benefit to the company and help the potential interns realize their full potential. Viewed through the lens of a traditional internship program, Freddie Mac's program puts the cart before the horse: selecting the person and crafting a job to fit their skills, rather than choosing a person to fit a predetermined job description. But that inverse of established practice is what makes Freddie Mac's program so innovative.
In 2018, Freddie Mac commissioned a first-of-its-kind study to better understand the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/gender expansive (LGBT) experience with respect to housing in the United States. This study explored diversity within the LGBT community and the influence of that diversity on housing. It gave the company a broader, more nuanced understanding of the LGBT community, more specifically, the unique experiences, attributes and preferences of each group and the impact of those on housing trends. Thanks to the study, Freddie Mac now has awareness about lower homeownership rates and perceptions of discrimination – and about drivers that influence these statistics. These findings offer Freddie Mac, and ultimately its customers, previously unavailable data from which to develop tailored action plans.
To learn more about the Innovations in Diversity Awards, visit http://www.diversityjournal.com/.