WPP partners with the Achalay Foundation in Spain to help neurodiverse students enter the workplace
This month, WPP welcomed its first full-time interns as part of the company’s ongoing partnership with the Achalay Foundation in Spain, an organisation dedicated to designing inclusion programmes for under-represented groups around the country.
In partnership with WPP and its agencies in Spain, notably Hogarth, Ogilvy and VMLYRx, the Achalay Foundation has supported 30 neurodiverse students currently studying a Sound, Image and Communications Degree at Universidad Complutense de Madrid . Through a series of workshops designed and hosted by WPP at the company’s Campus in Madrid, the students are able to learn practical skills relevant to roles in the media, advertising and communications industry. As part of this training, the first two students from the programme out the cohort of 30 were invited to undertake a two-month internship at one of WPP’s agencies, applying their theoretical learning to real-world projects and understanding how the industry works.
“From Achalay’s perspective, we realised that we could support people with disabilities – that nonetheless had great abilities – but an opportunity was missing,” says Blanca Valentín-Gamazo, Director of the Achalay Foundation. “It seemed that WPP was in a similar position: wanting to change things, make an impact and above all create opportunities for all”.
The students, Alejandro Robador and Verónica Ruiz, were integrated into live projects running at the agencies and were supported by mentors working alongside them to help them achieve success in their internships.
“Our ambition is to build a diverse and inclusive community at WPP so that we are the employer of choice for all,” says Javier Vidaurreta, Country People Lead for WPP in Spain. “Our partnership with the Achalay Foundation has demonstrated that great talent and creative thinking can come from all backgrounds, and I hope that this project inspires others to help neurodiverse talent unlock their potential in the workplace. We are excited to see what’s next for our partnership with the Achalay Foundation, bringing our agencies together as one to achieve outstanding results and change lives”.