Factors Influencing the Decisions of Women Small Business Owners on Hiring People with Disabilities

Roy K. Chen, Stephen A. Zanskas, Hung-Jen Kuo, Noel A. Ysasi


Despite the passage of disability rights legislation in the United States, individuals with disabilities continue to experience high unemployment and underemployment rates than their counterparts without disabilities. The purpose of the study was to examine the attitudes of women small business owners towards hiring individuals with disabilities, and to determine what factors influence their hiring decisions. A total of 80 women small business owners in a southwestern U.S. state took part in the study. The Employer Attitudes Questionnaire (EAQ) and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale Short Form-C (M-C Form C) were used to assess participants’ attitudes. The results of a sequential multiple regression analysis indicated that the independent variables as a whole contributed 7.2% to the variance in the outcome of EAQ score. Scores of the EAQ were weakly correlated with scores on the M-C Form C (r = .276, p = .013). Working facilitates the development of a sense of self-worth, self-sufficiency, self-efficacy, and social networks. The bearing of unemployment and underemployment on the quality of life for individuals with disabilities cannot be underestimated. Women-led businesses offer a number of advantages for employees with disabilities, including their resilience to economic downturns, have a lower employee retrenchment rate, and possess a better understanding of employment and anti-discrimination legislation.    


employment, attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, women business owners

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ISSN: 2454-6623