Women with disability as corporations’ stakeholders
By Luciana Martins Alves
In Canada, 14.9% of women live with disability (Statistics Canada, 2012), of which 13.4% reported unemployment (Statistics Canada, 2011); 5.6% of Canadian women living without disability reported unemployment (Statistics Canada, 2011). This unbalance in unemployment rates between women with disability (WWD) and women without disability denotes a problem that requires attention from academics, policy makers, corporations and society in general. So, to address this issue academically, this paper uses the human development (HD) and stakeholder theories.
HD is the theory that studies human development throughout the life span using the lenses of human capability (Osami, 2017). It is premised on analyzing inequalities and iniquities (eg, between men and women) (Baru, 1998; HOR, 1996), as well as generating environmental conditions for people to expand their choices by using their innate and acquired capabilities. Examples of choice include healthier life, education and resources to a decent standard of living. Examples of using innate and acquired capabilities include leisure and being culturally, socially and politically active (Baru, 1998; HOR, 1996). In other words, HD theory defines well-being as the generation of environmental conditions for individuals to develop the “ability to live well across all spheres of life” (Clark, 2005, p.1340). Therefore, the HD theory is grounded on: strategic organizational planning and corporate social responsibility (CSR) (Freeman, I984), and the academic theoretical framework of stakeholder theory is founded on: “strategic management, human resources management, public policy, business, ethics and CSR” (Freeman, et al, 2010).
In summary, HD and stakeholder theories premises comprehend the importance of analyzing societal problem of inequalities and iniquities and are used in this paper to advocate for the relevance of considering WWD as corporate stakeholders. Therefore, consider their interest and generate an inclusive workplace environment for them to use their innate and acquired capabilities to expand their choices. Thus, acknowledge the right of WWD to well-being.
Luciana Martins Alves is a doctoral candidate in Human Development at McGill University and is currently creating a consulting business that will offer its services to companies that have employees with disability. Luciana has research interests broadly in work inclusion for women with disability, human development and stakeholder theory.
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