Our teammates, Jan and Joel James, are parents and passionate advocates for autism awareness. They’re driven by their personal experience of navigating life with their son, Jered James, who has autism and is also a Boeing teammate.

“Having autism in the workplace has its challenges, but it also brings a unique perspective and abilities that can greatly contribute to the team,” said Jered, a materials management specialist supporting our Everett, Washington site.

“At Boeing, I've found a supportive environment where my attention to detail and focus are valued."

Jan, who supports production for the 777 program, and Joel, an engineer on the 767 Tanker program, reflect on how colleagues have embraced Jered, since he began working at Boeing a year ago.

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The James family pictured at our 747 Sunset event in Everett, Washington.

Jan credits involvement with the Boeing Employees Ability Awareness Association, one of our many Business Resource Groups, as being key in helping Jered adjust to working at our company.

“The group has provided helpful resources and materials and a supportive community where we can share similar experiences,” said Jan.

She says that this support has helped her feel more comfortable advocating for Jered in the workplace. Working near Jered’s area, she educates others on how people living with neurological conditions can interact with the world around them in diverse ways and may need to take a break to prevent becoming overwhelmed.

Jan also suggested implementing quiet rooms as designated spaces to help neurodivergent teammates regulate sensory input, focus on their work, and manage their emotions. This idea fosters inclusivity within teams by providing a setting to support individuals with diverse abilities and strengthen productivity.

With the support of his family and Boeing teammates, Jered says he feels confident being his authentic self and using his skills to contribute at work.

"One of my strengths is once I understand how to do a job, I can explain it in a way that others can easily grasp,” Jered said. “I'm a good listener and I like to ask questions. I encourage others with experiences like mine to ask questions because it's important to get the support we need to be successful."

Learn more about our efforts to advance global equity, diversity and inclusion.