The Impact of Gender Specific Occupational Values on the Choice of a Flexible Employment

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Ines ENTGELMEIER, University of Duisburg Essen, Faculty of Sociology, Germany
Anne BUSCH-HEIZMANN, University of Duisburg Essen, Faculty of Sociology, Germany
The Impact of gender specific occupational values on the choice of a flexible employment

Today young women and men want to participate similarly in the working as well as in the family sphere (Allmendinger 2013). Anyway, while young men are describing their future career without including additional family demands, young women anticipating restrictions in their career resulting from family responsibilities even before they enter the labour market (Rosowski 2009). These private life performances might become a crucial criterion for chances and risks in the labour market under flexible working conditions (Oechsle 2009). Because they do not only create new opportunities to reconcile work and family but also require a comprehensive temporal and spatial availability and a subordination of private to professional issues (Pongratz and Voß 2003). These demands are in contradiction to the needs of a family and might prevent young women from choosing a flexible employment which is associated with special career opportunities (Lott and Chung 2016).

Therefore, we want to examine the impact of occupational preferences, defined as “occupational values” (Gottfredson 1981) on the choice of a flexible employment and want to ask whether this influence differs between young women and men.


The influence of the occupational value “work-life-balance” differs by sex. While this value has a negative effect on the choice of a flexible employment for women, it has no effect on the choice of men. This is explained by the anticipation of family demands by women but not by men.

The higher the extrinsic occupational value, the higher the probability to choose a flexible employment. Because we expect higher extrinsic values for men, this might explain why women chose a flexible employment less often.

We estimate regression models using the data from the Socio-Economic Panel (individual questionnaire waves 2011 and 2015; youth questionnaire waves 2010-2015).