“When you least expect it, the opportunity to prove your worth appears”Interview with Mª. del Carmen Barrios, woman with a disability

“When you least expect it, the opportunity to prove your worth appears”Interview with Mª. del Carmen Barrios, woman with a disability

Mª. del Carmen Barrios, 38-year-old, is a computer technician. She suffers from movement disorder, which appeared at 34. She aspires to find a job that allows her economic stability. For that, she is currently actively seeking employment.

The Provincial Federation of Associations of People with Physical and Organic Disabilities of Seville (FAMS-COCEMFE Seville) has been able to interview Mª Carmen, who has participated in the Ready Women program, co-financed by the Erasmus + program of the European Union.

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE, 2018), women with disabilities present the worst figures in all variables related to employment (activity, employment, unemployment) not only in comparison with men with disabilities but with respect to people without disabilities at working age. The unemployment rate of women with disabilities is 25.0%, 10 points higher than population without disabilities or the average salary of women with disabilities is 6,000 euros per year lower than the population without disabilities. The salary gap between men and women with disabilities is 15.9%, that is, women with disabilities have a lower salary than men with disabilities by 15.9%. Data that is expected to get worst after the economic crisis that according to experts will be derived from the impact of the Coronavirus in 2020.

Question (Q): What do you think this data is due to?
Answer (A): I think they are due to the fact that they are women and, in addition, disability must be added.

Q: Does your disability prevent you from pursuing a profession that requires higher-level training?.
A: It does not prevent me from working on jobs that require advanced training, as long as the symptoms of the disease do not prevent it at the time.

Q: Do you consider that any other factor prevents you from working in a qualified position?.
A: No

Q: Have you ever felt underappreciated because of your disability at work? And for gender reasons? And for both factors?.
A: No, never.

Q: What is your job search experience like? Which have been the results?
A: It is positive. I am looking for a job independently and I use to go to employment services. The results since I started searching for a job actively, even though having a disability, have been very good.

Q: Have you worked or do you work in any company, entity or body? How has your experience been or is it?
A: I have worked at COCEMFE Seville and my experience has been very good and positive. The conditions have been good and the colleagues have been lovely. They have given me time to document what I had to do, so I have learned while I was working. Also thanks to my colleagues.

Q: Within Ready Women project, co-financed by the Erasmus + program of the European Union, new employment opportunities are offered to women with disabilities through training in different skills connected to new sources of employment, what does the name of the project Ready Women suggest? What do you think defines a prepared woman?
A: It suggests that this program offers modern jobs based on appropiate skills. I think she can be defined as a woman who can self-manage in life in general. Whether in day by day, at work, etc.

Q: Do you consider yourself a prepared woman? Why?
A: I do consider myself a prepared woman. I have realized that I can perform many activities according my possibilities. I have constancy and perseverance. I like to learn and I adapt to circumstances. Teamwork motivates me. I am responsible and I am serious in the work I do.

Q: How would you describe the opportunities you have had, have and will have in the workplace? Why?
A: Positive Because they make me feel more active, I can learn new things, I can meet people and they make me more independent.

Q: Do you think it is important to carry out initiatives such as the Ready Women project coordinated by COCEMFE Sevilla and in which you have actively participated?
A: Yes. For me it has been an incentive.

Q: What has it meant for you to actively participate in the design and construction of the portal?
A: It has been a challenge and at the same time a great satisfaction.

Q: Do you dare to send a message or phrase to empower other “ready women” and encourage them to continue training to get a good job?
A: Continue training. When you least expect it, the opportunity to prove your worth appears.