Women's Bureau

Publication Date



In 2014, working-age (16-64 years old) women with disabilities made up 1.5 percent of the workforce even though they were nearly 4 percent of the U.S. working-age population. These women represent a critical source of untapped labor force talent. In addition to facing persistently low employment, women with disabilities often face a number of gender-specific barriers as well as difficulties obtaining access to adequate housing, health, and education; unequal hiring and promotion standards; and unequal pay. An examination of employment statistics, including unemployment, workforce participation, and income, reveals an unmet potential for employment among those with disabilities. Despite growing opportunities over the past few decades, people with disabilities, especially women, who want to and are able to work, are encountering barriers that prevent them from achieving economic security. This paper highlights several key employment factors that contribute to the economic vulnerability of women workers with disabilities.


Suggested Citation
U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau. (2014). Key characteristics of working women with disabilities. Washington, D.C.: Author.