Invisible Illness_So much isunseenbutfelt

The Working Mother research included case studies of women with such disabilities as Asperger’s and fibromyalgia. What distinguishes this group of disabled workers area, among other characteristics, the following:

  • They tend not to report their disability to management.
  • When they do report it, they often do not receive any accommodation.
  • They are less satisfied on the job than those with visible disabilities.

Nearly 1 in 4 who requested a flexible work schedule to accommodate their disability did not get one, compared to fewer than 3 in 10 of those with a visible disability who made the same request.

As with all disabilities, disabled women statistically fare worse at work than do men. And those with nonvisible disabilities fare even worse. Men are more likely to ask for and receive accommodation for a nonvisible disability, they face less “prejudice” during the recruitment phase, they advance in their careers faster, and they are paid more.

“Indeed, when we look at the workplace supports people with disabilities want versus what they get, we find women have ‘satisfaction gaps’ that are three-fold larger than men. In particular, women are significantly less likely to say their compensation is fair, their opinion counts, their coworkers respect them, and/or their supervisor supports them in work life balance,” the researchers write.Study: Women with invisible disabilities suffer more at work

I find these results hardly surprising. The first place I offered accommodation to my hours flat out denied me. The second place I offered several ways to accommodate me and they said ‘I didn’t have disabilities according to the company’… in other words no visible. However, their HR talked all about invisible disabilities and all about ways to accommodate. They also never did a workplace evaluation of my office. Promised to after working their 9 years but then canceled it.

Same company, a different manager and I received one form of accommodation. A job demotion to accommodation my request for lesser hours. I could not work the full-time hours according to my pain clinic, psychologist, and doctor.

As for job satisfaction that second place was a nightmare for me. The sicker I got the worse my work environment got. The worse I was made to feel for being ill. The guiltier I felt and the more stressed I became. I was demoted and promoted and demoted and promoted. I was the lowest paid worker in my profession given the years I was there and my performance. While I, well I became suicidal.

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