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Women with disabilities : Inclusion, forgetting and vindication in an organizational setting

Conxita Folguera (Department of People Management and Organisation, ESADE University Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 17 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the views of women with disability about their working lives in a company in the Barcelona metropolitan area which is unusual in that it employs more than twice the percentage of people with disabilities as the legally established quota (2 percent). The paper specifically addresses concealment of disability in a context provided by organizational inclusion policies.

Design/methodology/approach

Narratives from women with disabilities were developed within the case study of the firm to give voice to them and bring forward their perspectives on their own working experience in the organizational context.

Findings

The author found that in an arguably inclusive organizational context, unlike their experiences in other contexts, women could choose whether or not to conceal their disability. The organizational context allowed women to forget their disability, yet disability was vindicated in different ways. Emotions were varied and nuanced around feelings of pride, happiness, a wish for independence, pain and relief.

Research limitations/implications

The research was done in a specific organization with an unusually high percentage of employees with disability. While results cannot be generalized to other companies, this research can aid understanding of what the processes of inclusion may involve for employees, and for those organizations that choose to engage in inclusive practices.

Practical implications

The results of this research are relevant for managers and policy makers in order to obtain insights about how inclusive policies may be perceived by those to whom they are addressed.

Social implications

Disability inclusion in organizations is part of disability inclusion in societies. Disability affects 15 percent of the world population. Addressing inclusion processes of people with disability is socially relevant and needed.

Originality/value

In contrast to previous research, disability inclusion processes are examined though the voices of the women with disabilities working in the company.

Keywords

Citation

Folguera, C. (2014), "Women with disabilities : Inclusion, forgetting and vindication in an organizational setting", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 33 No. 8, pp. 776-788. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-04-2012-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited