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Research projects

Supported Employment and gender - how do sex and gender influence a vocational rehabilitation process for men and women with mental and intellectual disabilities?

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2019 - 2024


Johanna Gustafsson

Research subject

A sustainable working life with equal conditions for people with disabilities is a goal in labour market policy, but this goal is still far from being met. In order to increase the goal achievement, various efforts are given in the vocational rehabilitation (VR) and one of the efforts that has gained attention in recent years is the Supported employment (SE) method. Effect studies of SE show good results, but also gender differences, which indicate that the method works differently depending on gender identity. What affects these gender differences is unclear and thus more knowledge is needed to achieve equal opportunities to work for both women and men with disabilities. The overall objective of this study is to investigate if and how gender affects a vocational rehabilitation process, designed according to the Supported Employment method, for men and women with mental and intellectual disabilities.

The project has three specific objectives: (1) a literature review where gender differences in the effects of SE are studied; (2) a survey study of outcomes, chances and resources in SE processes; and (3) three interview studies with the aim to investigate (a) eventual power structures in the professional's work; (b) professional representations of VR, gender and disability; and (c) job seekers' social representations of gender in relation to work. The survey study will use descriptive and analytical statistics and in the interviews studies, deductive content analysis and topical analysis will be used as analytical methods. The aim of the project is to develop knowledge that can be used in quality assurance of VR methods, which can contribute to both increased gender equality in VR and, in the longer run, increased participation in and sustainable working life for people with disabilities.

Research funding bodies

  • The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)
  • Örebro University