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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Survey: Employers Underestimate Disability Among Employees

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the employment of adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

From Boston Consulting Group:
Most organizations report that their workforce includes relatively few employees with disabilities: just 4% to 7% on average.1 But in our survey of nearly 28,000 employees in 16 countries, some 25% of people said they have a disability or health condition that limits a major life activity.

We are not the only ones finding a higher prevalence of disabilities among the workforce. Our survey’s self-identification rate falls within the range of prevalence rates for workers with disabilities or health conditions across several countries: approximately 13% to 30%.

The disparity between the prevalence rates that employers report and the self-identification rates that employees shared with us reveals three troubling workplace realities:
  • Employees with disabilities significantly underdisclose to their employers, perhaps fearing stigma or a negative impact on their job security or promotion prospects.
  • Employers are missing a large-scale opportunity to enable a quarter of their workforce to bring their full selves to work.
  • And employers making decisions and investments regarding their workforce are relying on inaccurate information. If management doesn’t understand the true number of people with disabilities (PwD), it’s hard to make a case for developing tailored support systems that could have significant benefits.