“When you least expect it, there is an opportunity to show what you are worth”.

“When you least expect it, there is an opportunity to show what you are worth”.

  • Interview with Mª. del Carmen Barrios, woman with a disability

Mª. del Carmen Barrios, 38 years old, is a computer scientist. She has a movement disorder, which appeared at the age of 34. She aspires to find a job that will allow her economic stability. She is currently actively looking for a job.


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 programme, co-funded by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union.

According to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE, 2018), women with disabilities have the worst figures in all variables related to employment (activity, employment, unemployment) not only compared to men with disabilities but also compared to non-disabled people of working age. The unemployment rate of women with disabilities is 25.0%, 10 points higher than that of the non-disabled population, or the average salary of women with disabilities is 6,000 euros per year lower than that of the non-disabled population. The wage gap between men and women with disabilities is 15.9%, i.e. women with disabilities have a 15.9% lower salary than men with disabilities. These figures are expected to worsen after the economic crisis which, according to experts, will result from the impact of the Coronavirus in 2020.

Question (Q): Why do you think this is so?

Answer (A): I think it is because they are women, and then there is the disability.

Q: Does your disability prevent you from working in a profession that requires higher education?

A: It does not prevent me from working in professions that require higher education, as long as the symptoms of the disease do not prevent me from doing so at the time.

Q: Do you feel that any other factors prevent you from working in a skilled position?

A: No.

Q: Have you ever felt undervalued because of your disability at work, or because of your gender, or both?

A: No, never.

Q: What is your experience in looking for a job and what have been the results?

A: It is positive. I look for work independently and go to employment services. The results since I started with the active job search, once I had this disability, have been very good.

Q: Have you worked or do you work in any company, entity or organisation? What has your experience been like?

A: I have worked in FAMS-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 learn about what I had to do, so I have learned at the same time as I was working. Thanks also to the colleagues.

Q: In the Ready Women project, co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus + programme, new employment opportunities are offered to women with disabilities through training in different skills linked to new sources of employment. What does the name of the Ready Women project suggest to you? What do you think defines a ready woman?

A: It suggests to me that this programme offers jobs according to the skills you have in modern jobs. I think it can be defined as a woman who can function in life in general. Whether it be in day-to-day life, in the workplace, etc.

Q: Do you consider yourself a prepared woman? Why?

A: I do consider myself a prepared woman. I have realised that I can carry out many activities within my possibilities. I have perseverance and perseverance. I like to learn and I adapt to circumstances. Teamwork motivates me. I am responsible and I am serious about 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, you always learn things, you 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 FAMS-COCEMFE Seville, in which you have actively participated?

A: Yes, it has been an incentive for me.

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: Would you dare to send a message or phrase to empower other “ready women” and encourage them to continue training in order to get a good job? A: To continue training. When you least expect it, there is an opportunity to show what you are worth.

Further information


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