21 July 2024
Gender employment gap narrows for disabled post-COVID

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Gender Employment Gap in Individuals with Disabilities Post-COVID

The landscape of employment post-COVID-19 has seen a notable reduction in the gender employment gap among individuals with disabilities, a trend that has not been observed among those without disabilities. Recent data from the National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) Deeper Dive Lunch & Learn Webinar highlighted this significant shift. While men and women with disabilities now have similar rates of employment, questions remain about the quality of employment opportunities for women in this group compared to men.

Understanding the Employment Disparity among Women with Disabilities

Research from Mathematica brings to light the concept of women with disabilities being “twice marginalized,” as both disability policies and gender equity policies have not adequately addressed the unique barriers faced by this group. Dr. Megan Henly, an expert from the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, points out disparities between disabled and non-disabled groups, as well as the seeming equality among individuals with disabilities since 2021. The employment-to-population ratios for men and women with disabilities have become nearly identical post-COVID-19, indicating a closure of the gender gap in employment.

Factors Contributing to the Closure of the Gender Employment Gap

Various factors contribute to the narrowing of the gender employment gap among individuals with disabilities. Dr. Henly suggests that changes in employment patterns post-COVID-19, including industry, occupation, and accommodations, may have played a role in achieving parity between men and women with disabilities. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 on disability rates, where more women have reported symptoms of long COVID leading to disabilities, could explain the changing trend in employment rates among women with disabilities.

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Challenges Faced by Women with Disabilities in the Workforce

Kimberly Aguillard, a health equity researcher at Mathematica, sheds light on the challenges faced by women with disabilities in the workforce. She emphasizes that biases and structural barriers often confine women with disabilities to undervalued positions with limited growth opportunities. Women with disabilities are more likely to work in lower-wage jobs, have part-time roles, and find themselves in the service industry, lacking autonomy and creativity in their roles. Aguillard stresses the importance of creating supportive environments and opportunities for women with disabilities to flourish in the workforce.

The narrowing of the gender employment gap among individuals with disabilities post-COVID-19 is a significant development in the employment landscape. It highlights the need for more inclusive policies and supportive environments to ensure equal opportunities and growth for women with disabilities in the workforce. Efforts to address biases, provide mentorship, and enhance educational opportunities for disabled women are essential to fostering a more inclusive and equitable workforce for all.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.dol.gov/agencies/odep 2. www.eeoc.gov 3. www.adata.org

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Gender employment gap, Individuals with disabilities, Post-COVID

Gender pay gap
The gender pay gap or gender wage gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working. Women are generally found to be paid less than men. There are two distinct numbers regarding the pay gap: non-adjusted versus adjusted pay gap. The latter typically takes...
Read more: Gender pay gap

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a piece of American legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs. IDEA was previously known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) from 1975...
Read more: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Long COVID or long-haul COVID is a group of health problems persisting or developing after an initial period of COVID-19 infection. Symptoms can last weeks, months or years and are often debilitating. The World Health Organization defines long COVID as starting three months after the initial COVID-19 infection, but other...
Read more: Long COVID

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