The Impact of Work, Family and Gender Equality Policies on Vertical Occupational Sex Segregation: Comparative Analysis Across 21 European Countries

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Andrea SCHÄFER , Center for Social Policy Research, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Karin GOTTSCHALL , University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Labour markets in Western welfare states are highly gender segregated with women concentrating in less prestigious occupations and industries and being underrepresented in top positions. During the last two decades a whole set of EU and national policies in Western European countries have been aiming at gender equality on the one hand and promoting an adult worker model on the other. While these policies usually are seen as separate, the first addressing discrimination, the latter better reconciliation of work and family, they both have an effect on gender inequality in the labor market. However, little is known so far about the outcome of these policies in comparative perspective.

We will address this lacunae by looking at the impact of work, family and gender equality policies on vertical occupational sex segregation. The study starts with a comparative assessment of different welfare state regimes in terms of overall division of labour to identify the type of breadwinner model and then map the relevant recent policy reforms in 21 European countries. Special emphasis is given to policies reconciling work and family and gender equality policies. While it can be assumed that these policies have an effect on female representation on the top and middle ranges of the job hierarchy, female concentration at the lower end might be less affected. Since low representation of women at the top often is mirrored by a clustering of women in so called ‘pink collar’ service sector jobs, we will additionally include policies regarding low-wage work to cover their impact on occupational stratification among women. The multilevel model applied uses data from Multilink and the EU-SILC for the year 2010/2011. Concluding remarks will reflect on the complex interaction of welfare state policies, employment systems and women’s labor market integration.