Amy Adams

Amy Adams is a 26 year old woman based in Brisbane, Australia. She is interested in psychology, philosophy, minimalism, and environmental sustainability, to name a few things. She has recently finished a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) at The University of Queensland. During and after her degree, she was drawn towards working in the autism space. Then, she started her business, Finding Autism, to fill some gaps in the services tailored to autistic girls and women.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before the venture/ corporate journey?

I always felt different growing up, as if I was somehow different from other kids. “Play time” didn’t come naturally to me and I much preferred the company of those who were older. As time went on, my differences became apparent to other kids and I was bullied as a result. My mental health deteriorated and despite being academically inclined, I dropped out of school at the age of 16. Realising that I am autistic in my 20s, suddenly these past experiences make a bit more sense. I found my way into University eventually and thrived throughout my degree because I found like-minded friends, was studying a topic that fascinated me, and was determined to do my best.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business/initiative? What motivated you within to say “YES, go for it!”

I was working at an Australian autism organisation, taking phone calls from autistic people or their parents/ carers. My job was to connect them to tailored support services in their area. I quickly noticed a gap in the services tailored to the unique experiences of autistic girls and women. Motivated to fill this gap and offer services from a lived experience perspective, I founded Finding Autism.

Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?

I am on a mission to empower autistic people, with a particular focus on girls and women. I aim to offer a safe, supportive, and validating space where autistic people feel seen, heard, and accepted. At Finding Autism, I work towards these aims with my neurodiversity-affirming mentoring service, social groups for autistic people to connect to like-minded peers, autism-focused research into our lived experiences, and consultancy roles where I do autism advocacy work.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

I have had my research into the experiences of autistic women and/or written articles published by Reframing Autism, Neurodiversity Media, Hire Up, and Autie Talk, which has been a great way to spread awareness and acceptance of our experiences worldwide.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

If given the opportunity, I would like to see more acceptance of difference and diversity in the world. It’s okay to be different. Different does not equal deficient. Let’s respect, appreciate, and celebrate diversity in its many forms (including neurodiversity)!

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?

We still have a long way to go when it comes to equality for women in professional settings. Although, I am hopeful that the amount of women in leadership positions will continue to grow. All power to us!

What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Follow your passion and don’t let anyone tell you what you are or aren’t capable of. This is for you to decide.