Greater inclusion of women with disabilities in the labor market will contribute 7,300 million per year to Spain’s GDP
In Spain, women with disabilities face a double inequality in terms of access to and participation in the labor market: on the one hand, that caused by disability and, on the other hand, that caused by the question of gender. The effect of the two inequalities limits their full contribution to the generation of labor income and represents a significant opportunity cost for the economic development of the country.
Specifically, according to the latest report from the ClosinGap cluster, which analyzes the gender gap in disability and was prepared by Grupo Social ONCE in collaboration with Afi and ILUNION-, the largest inclusion of women with disabilities in the labor market. work increases by almost 7,300 million euros of Spanish GDP (the equivalent of 0.6% of GDP in 2019). This figure represents 40% of the 18,800 million euros (1.5% of GDP) that the Spanish economy will add each year if there is greater professional inclusion of people with disabilities in general.
In addition, the high rate of part-time contracts for women with disabilities who have entered employment represents an opportunity cost for Spain’s GDP that exceeds € 1,000 million per year. To this amount, an additional economic impact of nearly 700 million euros could be added if the pay gap between men and women with disabilities disappeared (and that it would rise to 3.4 billion euros if the wages of people with disabilities were equal to those of men without disabilities – the group with the highest wages -).
In short, if the current inequalities that prevent women with disabilities from participating more and better in the Spanish labor market were eliminated, the economy would generate almost 9,000 million euros in additional wealth per year.
Disability, the main obstacle to access to employment
The ClosinGap report is a pioneering study, as for the first time it contrasts the realities of women with and without disabilities, as well as men and women with and without disabilities, which allows us to observe how gender inequalities arise. add to the inequalities that people – men and women – with disabilities suffer.
The most significant differences are observed in the indicators of access or inclusion in the labor market, which would be the activity and employment rates between disabled and non-disabled people. In this case, it is concluded that these inequalities are determined by disability. On the other hand, if we look at the rates of temporary work and partiality in employment contracts, there is a significant gap between men and women, regardless of the group to which they belong (with or without disability), therefore in this case the inequalities are explained by sex. For the president of Grupo Social ONCE, Miguel Carballeda, “the data confirm with overwhelming insistence what we already know, that woman and disability are a couple which, too often, means vulnerability, exclusion, risk, and we are unwilling to do it. therefore”.
From the study and comparison of activity and employment rates, we can see that people with disabilities (HCD, MCD) have a lower participation in the labor market, regardless of gender, and therefore also have higher rates. lower employment than people without disabilities (HSD, MSD). These data suggest that the difference in activity and employment rates depends more on disability status than on female status. Indeed, the gender gaps among people with disabilities are barely noticeable (1.3 percentage point (pp) of activity rate and 1.4 pp of employment rate, against 11.1 pp. Of activity rate for men and women without disabilities and 12.4 pp of the employment rate).
In the last five years, on the other hand, it has been observed that, while the percentage of non-disabled people of working age who actually work has increased, the employment rate of disabled people has remained constant around 25%, regardless of or age. .
Temporality, bias and wages: a question of gender
Once on the job market, the ClosinGap report analyzes the working conditions of the people employed according to the length of the contract (permanent or temporary) and the working day (full or partial). In this case, we observe that women of the two groups more often have less stable contracts and we can affirm that the inequalities are explained by sex, disabled women being those who have the highest rate of temporary employment and bias (29.6% and 24.3%, respectively).
Finally, the analysis of the average salaries of employees [ver Figura 3] reveals that pay gaps are more conditioned by gender than by disability and that disabled women are the lowest paid group with an average salary of 15,014 euros per year in fixed-term contracts and 18,980 euros / year in open-ended contracts. If women with disabilities were paid the same wages as men with disabilities, this would represent an additional annual gross profit of almost € 690 million, or 0.1% of GDP.
If the incomes of men and women with disabilities were equated with those of men without disabilities (which is the highest average income of all groups), the additional economic impact would exceed 3.4 billion euros, or 0.3 % of GDP. And, finally, if all groups equal their annual incomes to those of men without disabilities, the potential impact of reducing the gender pay gap would be 54.4 billion euros per year, i.e. 4.4% of 2019 GDP.
For Marieta Jimnez, president of ClosinGap, “the contribution of this report from the social group ONCE is absolutely essential to understand the real situation of women with disabilities in Spain and to move towards a society where diversity and inclusion are always present. In addition, it allows us to bring to the table the evidence that generates much needed debate in our society, to learn from it and to adopt measures that correct the huge existing inequalities.
Obstacles that slow down consumption
The ClosinGap study prepared by Grupo Social ONCE also identified another gap that women with disabilities face due to the greatest obstacles when it comes to allocating income from work to the consumption of products, goods and services, that is, in their paper as consumers, both in person and online.
Thanks to an ad hoc survey of more than 1,400 people (disabled and non-disabled women, and disabled and non-disabled men), it was discovered that online commerce and the availability and quality of the offer and prices adapted are the most difficult purchasing processes. enter for people with disabilities and, in general, the majority of people with disabilities have not given up on consumption despite the access difficulties encountered, but in general they will spend more if they disappear.
Specifically, around 60% of people with disabilities surveyed will spend more on food, clothing and shoes as well as on hair and beauty salons. Women with disabilities would be willing to spend more on clothes and shoes, while men with disabilities would spend more on food and hairdressers. Analyzing other questions, the survey concludes that women with disabilities will spend more on recreation, culture and sports than men with disabilities, who will focus their spending on tourism services. Finally, the consumption of financial services by people with disabilities will not be as altered in the absence of difficulties, although this is the category of services most in difficulty reported both online and in person.
Miguel Carballeda, president of the social group ONCE, adds that “in the field of consumption, there is a clear demand for greater awareness, empathy and training of customer service staff. In addition, automated customer service is an additional obstacle if it is not accessible to everyone, both in online purchases and in telematic processes with the public administration ”.