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“Always a glass ceiling.” Gender or autism; the barrier to occupational inclusion

Version 2 2024-06-03, 09:09
Version 1 2018-10-05, 13:47
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 09:09 authored by SM Hayward, KR McVilly, Mark StokesMark Stokes
Background: Under- and unemployment adversely affect the economic, health, and social circumstances of people with autism; notably those with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or high autistic traits (HATs). However, little research has been published comparing the experiences of women to men with HATs, and women without autism (i.e., those typically developing; TD) to ascertain if employment issues are a function of gender or autistic traits (ATs). Method: An anonymous online survey was conducted attracting 28 women and 18 men with HATs aged 18–68 years (M = 38.63, SD = 13.12), with a further 21 TD women and 16 TD men aged 23–62 years (M = 38.38, SD = 10.32). Quantitative data were analysed via logistic regression to ascertain the extent to which employment issues were a function of gender or ATs while controlling for confounding variables such as education, and age. Qualitative data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis, then quantitatively using chi-square or Fisher's Exact Test. Results: It was found that ATs, not gender, was significant to most vocational experiences. Conclusions: It is proposed that employers place greater importance on technical ability than social-communication skills when hiring and supervising women with HATs to reduce barriers and increase workplace diversity.

History

Journal

Research in autism spectrum disorders

Volume

56

Pagination

50-60

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

1750-9467

eISSN

1878-0237

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Elsevier Ltd.

Publisher

Elsevier