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Occupational Segregation by Sex in Nordic Countries: An Empirical Investigation

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Abstract

The Nordic countries are commonly associated with strong political commitment to gender equality. But the reality is more complex. Examining data for some 200 occupations over the period 1970-90, the authors find that one-third of all workers in Finland, Norway and Sweden would have to change occupation to eliminate occupational segregation by sex, which is substantially higher than that found in other OECD countries. Often working in female-dominated occupations or part-time employment, women are under-represented in senior positions and typically earn less than men. The underlying segregation impairs not only gender equality but also overall economic efficiency.

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... Therefore, information on gender segregation usually refers to industrial sectors (agriculture, industry, service). In virtually all countries, women are overrepresented in the service sector, whereas men are overrepresented in the industrial sector (Eurostat 1998a, Melkas & Anker 2001). Especially in Nordic countries, the level of horizontal occupational segregation is high compared to other industrialized countries, due to the fact that a high percentage of women are active in female-dominated occupations (Melkas & Anker 2001). ...
... In virtually all countries, women are overrepresented in the service sector, whereas men are overrepresented in the industrial sector (Eurostat 1998a, Melkas & Anker 2001). Especially in Nordic countries, the level of horizontal occupational segregation is high compared to other industrialized countries, due to the fact that a high percentage of women are active in female-dominated occupations (Melkas & Anker 2001). In East European countries before the political turnover, there were more women active in the industrial and agricultural sectors than in Western countries, which implies that the occupational structure was less segregated (Van der Lippe & Fodor 1998). ...
... Moreover, women have less authority in the workplace than men (Wright et al. 1995). In Nordic countries, the gender gap in earnings is somewhat smaller (Melkas & Anker 2001), and in the United States, Australia, and Canada relatively many women occupy managerial positions (UNDP 1998). In Eastern Europe, too, the gender gap in earnings was substantial during the socialist period; the same goes for the difference in authority levels (Sørensen & Trappe 1995, Van der Lippe & Fodor 1998). ...
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Women's employment has been widely studied in both Western countries and Eastern Europe. In this article, the most frequently used measurements and descriptions of women's paid work are given, namely, participation rate, number of hours worked, gender segregation, and the gender gap in earnings. Next, three approaches used to study women's employment are discussed: 1. the macro-level approach, which gives a thorough understanding of the influence of the institutional context on women's work; 2. the micro-level approach, which compares individual-level results in a number of countries; and 3. the macro-micro approach, in which the relative importance is shown of institutional and individual level factors. Finally, a review is given of the hypotheses and outcomes of both the institutional level, with welfare regime and family policy playing an important role, and the individual level, which shows that being a mother has an important effect on women's employment in the different countries studied.
... Large gender differences have been detected in vocational interests, raising many concerns about the career development of women and men (Hansen, 1988;Su, Rounds, & Armstrong, 2009). In spite of Iceland high rank on international indices of gender equality (World Economic Forum, 2018), the labor market is, as in other equalitarian Nordic countries, one of the most gender segregated in the world (Jarman, Blackburn, & Racko, 2012;Melkas & Anker, 2001) and educational choices are gendered (Nordic council of ministers, 2015). In economically advanced countries with liberal values emphasizing individual choice (Schulstok & Wikstrand, 2020;Stoet & Geary, 2018), preferences are likely to play important role in vocational decisions. ...
... One distinctive feature of relevance to vocational interests is Iceland's extensively gender-segregated labor markets. This trend started in the 1970's, when women entered the work force, mainly the expanding female-dominated occupations (Melkas & Anker, 2001) and educational programs (Charles & Bradley, 2009). ...
... The large, female-dominated public sector characterizes the labor market in the Nordic welfare societies and represents 25-30% of all jobs, compared to 15% in the USA (OECD, 2015). In Iceland, 45% of employed women work in public administration, education, health, and social services (Hagstofa Íslands, 2018a; Þingskjal 701/2015-2016) This statistic indicates that the traditional roles of women in the home have been moved into the public sector of care work (Melkas & Anker, 2001) and is one of the reasons the Nordic countries are above average on measures of labor market segregation. ...
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Iceland ranks highly on international indices of gender equality, but the labor market is among the most gender segregated in the world. Gender differences in vocational interests play an important role in explaining these disparities, as interests are highly related to career and edu- cational choices. In this quantitative review, we examine gender differences in both Holland’s RIASEC categories and basic interest scales using data from 10 studies in Iceland. The studies contained populations ranging in age from 13–60 years (N = 9494). Both imported (SII, SDS) and indigenous (Bendill) interest inventories were used to measure interests. First, we found that that the RIASEC scales in the inventories conform to Holland’s structural model both for women and men, except in the youngest age group. Second, and most importantly, the results show the same pattern and extent of mean gender differences that have emerged in other countries. The largest gender differences are in Social interests, which favor women, and Realistic interests, which favor men. Women are also higher on Artistic interests, and men are higher on Investiga- tive and Enterprising interests. These gender differences reflect the gender segregated labor market and educational choices. We discuss the possible influence of sex-role socialization, gender identity, and gender essentialist ideologies on the development of interests and career choices in Iceland.N = 9494). Both imported (SII, SDS) and indigenous (Bendill) interest inventories were used to measure interests. First, we found that that the RIASEC scales in the inventories conform to Holland's structural model both for women and men, except in the youngest age group. Second, and most importantly, the results show the same pattern and extent of mean gender differences that have emerged in other countries. The largest gender differences are in Social interests, which favor women, and Realistic interests, which favor men. Women are also higher on Artistic interests, and men are higher on Investigative and Enterprising interests. These gender differences reflect the gender segregated labor market and educational choices. We discuss the possible influence of sex-role socialization, gender identity, and gender essentialist ideologies on the development of interests and career choices in Iceland.
... management were 13.87 and 13.84%, respectively in 2005, while 8.14 and 13.11% were recorded for women directors and top managers, respectively in 2006, representing a slight decline of their involvement in the succeeding year (Goldstar, 2006(Goldstar, , 2007. Anker (1997), among several scholars, conducted studies on women's participation in the formal sector of the economy and attested to the fact that not only is women's participation in the formal sector low, but that women are being discriminated against in terms of occupational segregation. This could be horizontal segregation, that is, women being engaged in lower paying and lower status jobs; or vertical segregation, that women occupy non-strategic positions in workplace. ...
... The Gender Theory is a valuable contribution towards explaining occupational segregation by sex. It shows how closely the characteristics of female occupations mirror the common stereotypes of women and their supposed abilities and behaviour in the work place (Anker, 1997). 'Positive', 'Negative' and 'Others' stereotypes were identified as factors affecting the workplace behaviour of women. ...
... Access to organizationally sponsored training and development schemes, and to educational opportunities is often unequal between the sexes. The human capital model is frequently adopted to justify differential treatment towards male and female employees with respect to training and educational opportunities (Anker, 1997). The model stressed that employers tried to maximize profits by minimizing costs to the extent possible. ...
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This study investigated the barriers faced by women managers in the public and private organizations in moving to the topmost level of their managerial career. A sample of three hundred and ninety-seven (397) women managers spread across major relevant sub-sectors of the Nigerian economy (that is, manufacturing, banking, insurance sub-sectors and the public service sub-sector) and an additional sample of fifty (50) male respondents who were top managers from public and private organizations in Nigeria were exposed to statistically validated questionnaires and oral interviews that measured their perceptions on the barriers faced by women managers. It was discovered that a significant relationship existed between the gender stereotype of a woman manager and her career aspiration, and that women managers possessed all the attributes for top management, but what affected them were the individual factors (gender-imposed) and organizational factors within their context of operation. Suggestions were on how the barriers could be broken and they include: gender-sensitivity in the organization, leadership training and development for women, women education /education of the girl child and mentoring, among others. Also, the development of relevant skills in management was recommended for women, to make them effective leaders and managers.
... The Nordic countries are widely known for their commitment to gender equity and to policies enhancing women's integration in various spaces within public life (e.g. Melkas and Anker 1997). Female participation in higher education and working life is a salient feature of the Nordic states' policy and equality. ...
... Men and women favour different fields of study. They are also placed in different occupations and occupy different positions (Einarsdottir 2007;Melkas and Anker 1997). ...
... This is surprising, given that studies from other contexts indicate that females and males with same educational levels tend to achieve different kinds of employment quality and status in working life (e.g. Melkas and Anker 1997;Smyth 2002). There seems to be a good reason to argue that studies that do not take into account gender factors are likely to produce a somewhat simplified picture of graduate employment. ...
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This article examines the employment and placement in the working life of Finnish higher education graduates (i.e. graduates from universities and polytechnics), focusing on gender equality. It reports a study on gender segregation in higher education and working life, considered in relation to Nordic gender equality policies. The data were gathered via a questionnaire administered to graduates in business and administration (n = 1067) and in technology (n = 1087), three years after their graduation. The results showed that men were able to secure permanent and full-time employment more often than women, and men achieved better correspondence between their degree and their employment. However, gender divergence manifested differently in polytechnics and universities; thus a higher (Master’s) university degree seemed to have a compensating influence on the effect of gender. Despite Nordic equality policies, female and male graduates were placed in the labour market according to tendences of gender segregation.
... One may say that the labour market in cleaning is horizontally segregated, and that it includes structures of labour market segmentation as well. The notion of horizontal segregation generally refers to gender segregation in the labour market, but it can also apply to segregation of other socially categorised groups, for example foreign born workers (Melkas and Anker 1997;Anker 1998;Bettio and Verashchagina, 2009). If the labour market is characterised by established sub-groups with different wages and working conditions with little social mobility between these groups, we may also talk about labour market segmentation (ibid. ...
... On the other hand, female team-leaders and managing directors are far more common in the cleaning industry than in the industrial world as a whole (Almega Serviceentreprenörerna 2014). This is another aspect of horizontally segregated labour markets (Melkas and Anker 1997). ...
... Women could help fill in these positions. On the other hand, segregation impairs the overall economic efficiency of a country (Melkas and Anker, 1997) and affects companies' competitiveness around the world (Ahuja 2002) it is bad for business if mostly men plan, design, and develop IT as it is not only men who use it; more viewpoints are needed for developing compelling and useful products. Our digital environments are currently largely constructed by men and, as the significance and effect of digitalisation in our lives grows all the time, we are in a dire need of more diverse views to what kind of 'digital life' we could and should have. ...
... Women's underrepresentation in IT is caused by unconscious behaviour, which occurs in the gendered ways that children are raised, female stereotypes, biases women face, problems working in male-dominated environments, and sexual biases in language (Spertus, 1991). Domestic responsibilities can constrain women's possibilities to achieve high-level positions, since managerial work requires long hours (Melkas and Anker, 1997). Traditional work role expectations in women's efficacy persist in IT, and if organizations want to attract and retain women, they must address gender role biases and create work environments that build self-efficacy expectations for both genders (Michie and Nelson, 2006). ...
Conference Paper
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The low number of women in the Information Technology (IT) field is a concern of European Information Systems (IS) research, among other disciplines. Despite a vast body of research generated during decades, the problem still persists. That is a challenge for the society and detrimental from the viewpoint of IS workforce. It is an issue that needs attention from IS education as well. This narrative literature review aims at offering a fresh perspective on this old yet cur-rent topic by inquiring what seems to affect whether senior high school girls end up studying in the IT field. We consider IT education and career as important choices to build young women’s capabilities to leave their marks and take powerful actions in the digital society. Using nexus analysis as our theoretical lens we focus our analysis of literature on discourses, different actors and interaction between them, and histories; all of those affecting the girls’ choice of career. Our results show that various cultural norms and assumptions still influence the choices. Based on our findings, we call for in-depth qualitative analyses on girls’ life world and targeting girls, their parents, and teachers, as well as better linking our efforts to girls’ everyday life.
... Since the 1980s, strategies in terms of equality of access (such as AA) and substantive benefits (such as welfare) have been in place. A social democratic welfare approach with state policies designed around a weak breadwinner model and a strong commitment to gender equity has been adapted (Esping-Andersen, 1990; Melkas & Anker, 1997). Yet, despite Norway's focus on equality , the labor market is highly segregated, both horizontally and vertically. ...
Article
Manuscript TypeEmpiricalResearch QuestionIn the context of the recent introduction of gender representation regulations (quotas) for boards in public limited companies (PLCs) in Norway, this article explores how gender quotas designed to increase the share of women in senior positions are rationalised and/or justified by those who benefit, and asks: what arguments do the beneficiaries of quotas tend to use when discussing their usefulness?Research Findings/InsightsDrawing on qualitative interview data from 19 female non-executive board members, the article illustrates how women draw on utility, mainly the ‘business case’, and individual justice arguments both in support of quotas and to justify their use in helping women attain board positions. Further, it highlights how issues of merit and of gender are entangled with these arguments in often contradictory ways. In so doing the article challenges and complicates some of the key critiques of gender quotas often found in the public and academic debates.Theoretical/Academic ImplicationsThis article advances theory around the intersection of justice and utility arguments in relation to the use of quotas to increase diversity on boards. Moreover, this article provides empirical support by demonstrating how ‘the first wave’ of women affected by quotas are legitimizing their role on boards in a context in which their role is in question. In addition, this article advances the literature regarding women on boards by demonstrating the need for a discourse about political strategies, such as quotas on boards, that goes beyond the narrow understanding of the business case that has until now dominated public, political, and academic debates. In particular, this article argues for the need to build on both utility and justice logic when making a case for increasing the share of women on boards.Practical ImplicationsWith the current focus on how to increase diversity and the share of women on boards, this study highlights the importance of regulation as well as the importance of reframing the debate using utility and justice lines of arguments rationalized by merit arguments.
... As such, its aim was general redistribution of income and welfare, implying a stronger commitment to full employment (Anker, 2001). Alongside the development of Sweden as a welfare state were changes in the conception of gender norms and roles. ...
Article
In the decades that followed World War II, the Japanese economy grew at a surprising rate, placing the nation among the ranks of the most developed in the world. Nonetheless, women – particularly married women – were largely confined to positions outside of the labor market due to traditional gender norms and subsequent lack of opportunities. While the absence of half of the Japanese population was negligible in eras of high growth, it is no longer a healthy option for an aging Japanese economy that has been struggling with deflation for fifteen years. Structural reform is needed, and more women must be invited to be active participants in the labor market. This paper studies the status quo of female labor force participation in Japan and compares its family policy, taxation, and flexible working arrangements to those of Sweden and the United States to draw meaningful policy recommendations for Japan. It is clear that Japanese policy falls short of correcting existing gender norms and policy must be reformed so that it reflects a more egalitarian stance.
... Then, c) if information technology solutions such as e-courses and educational games are becoming increasingly important in more traditional establishments -educational and commerce alike -presenting developers with the challenge of providing both gaming and pedagogical experience, would it not make sense to involve teachers on a greater level, even training them and involving them in programming activities? In Nordic countries teaching professions, and particularly those of early childhood education, are primarily female dominated (Melkas & Anker 1997), meaning that there is increased likelihood that the pedagogical developers (teachers) would be female. Finally, d) if information technology skills such as programming and information architecture will increasingly be in demand in the future, would it not be a good idea to create games which encourage children and young people -of both genders -to develop their programming abilities? ...
Conference Paper
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While many industries are dwindling, one area is on the increase, gaming. Nordic countries are experiencing growth in start-up companies and revenue. Despite growth in the games industry, and potential for development in educational games, numbers of women involved still lag. This is interesting considering women outweigh men in compulsory educational teaching. This issues paper reflects on discussions and developments of women in technology. It raises concern regarding unequal gender figures in the games industry, and proposes two points: 1) more teachers play an active role in game development – more women take part in content generation, pedagogical usability and technical realization; and 2) if learning solutions promote 21 st century skills, technical skills such as programming should be in focus. All students, male and female, should be encouraged to learn the basics of programming, for opportunities to enter games and similar industries, and/or create their own companies and solutions.
... It is commonly perceived that Nordic countries an established approach to gender equality due to their advanced social policies and early adoption of quotas enforcing equality for women (Loutfi, 2001). However, the STEM industries are increasingly important to Norwegian policy makers because there is a higher occupational segregation by sex than expected (Melkas and Anker, 2001; Danilda, 2011). Danilda (2011: 7) further emphasizes that Norway " must be able to utilize all of its capabilities [in order] to attract and keep a highly skilled workforce " . ...
Thesis
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This exploratory study focuses on measuring the economic impacts of gender equality initiatives that target female representation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries. The overall purpose of this report is to contribute to the literature on the gender disparities in STEM industries and to explore whether policy intervention focused on increasing the number of women in STEM industries improves a country’s competitive advantage. The overarching theoretical framework utilized throughout this report to illustrate the significance of policy intervention in these gender-segregated industries is Nussbaum’s capabilities approach (CA). In this report, the cause-effect-benefit (CEB) model is created to measure the supply- and demand-side barriers causing gender gaps in the STEM industries internationally and illustrate the connection to occupational segregation theories and the gender-relevant concepts, the leaky pipeline and the glass ceiling. Both equity and efficiency indicators are presented in the CEB model to quantify the results of policy intervention on a micro- and macro-economic scale. Ultimately, the concept of national innovation systems (NIS) is proposed as the key economic performance indicator (KEPI) for the CEB model. The intention of this study is to prove whether increased female representation in STEM improves a country’s competitive advantage through increased innovation.
... Pohjoismaissa miesten ja naisten erot työmarkkinoille osallistumisessa eivät ole yhtä suuret kuin Keski-Euroopassa, mutta myös Pohjoismaissa monet ammatit, toimialat ja sektorit ovat joko mies-tai naisvaltaisia (esim. Melkas & Anker 1997). ...
... In order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of gender segregation in occupational sectors, one can investigate the gender composition of the employed labor force by focusing on gender-dominated sectors where the percentage of either male or female workers is so high that they could be considered to be male-dominated or female-dominated occupations. A few well-known research studies have typically used around 60 percent female for defining "female" occupations and around 80 percent male for defining "male" occupations (Anker, 1997(Anker, , 1998Melkas & Anker, 1997. However, this paper uses the sex ratio of the employed labor force of a given sector to decide whether or not an occupational sector is male-dominated or female-dominated. ...
... One of the reasons for this difference in Sweden is that the Swedish labor market is highly gender segregated both vertically and horizontally. Women work foremost in the service sector with responsibilities for caring and teaching, whereas men are mostly found within the private industries and in higher managerial positions (Statistics Sweden, 2012;Melkas & Anker, 2001). Consequently, men and women are exposed to different work-related factors (Messing, Punnett, Bond, Alexandersson, Pyle, Zahm et al., 2003;Bekker, Rutte, & van Rijswijk, 2009). ...
... Researchers have adopted the terms "horizontal" and "vertical" gender segregation to point out the multidimensional nature of these distribution patterns. In this context, "horizontal segregation" is primarily used to describe a difference that does not obviously or immediately lead to a form of inequality, whereas "vertical segregation" tends to denote differences in rank of prestige or earnings (e.g., Blackburn, Jarman, and Brooks 2000;Charles and Grusky 2004;Melkas and Anker 1997). When it comes to the labour market, the particular ways in which men and women are distributed across different occupations, firms and industries, are usually considered to constitute a horizontal axis of segregation. ...
Thesis
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This dissertation critically reviews the idea of meritocracy from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Based on a discussion of classical texts of social philosophy and sociology, it is argued that meritocracy as a concept for social stratification is best compatible with the sociological tradition of status attainment research: both frame social inequality in primarily individualistic terms, centring on the role of ascribed (e.g., gender, social background) and achieved (e.g., educational qualifications) characteristics for determining individuals’ socioeconomic rewards. This theoretical argument introduces the research problem at the core of this dissertation: to what extent can the individualistic conception of social stratification be maintained empirically? Fields of study and their interaction with educational attainment levels play a prominent role in the analysis of this question. Drawing on sociological versions of segmented labour market theory, it is assumed that fields of study may channel individuals into heterogeneous political-economic contexts on the labour market, which potentially modify the socioeconomic benefit individuals derive from their qualification levels. The focus on fields of study may also highlight economic differentials between men and women that derive from the persisting segregation of men’s and women’s occupational and educational specializations rather than direct gender discrimination on the labour market. The quantitative analyses in this dissertation consist of three research articles, which are based primarily on Finnish data, but occasionally extend the view to other European countries. The data sources include register-based macro- and microdata as well as survey data. Article I examines the extent and the patterns of gender segregation within the Finnish educational system between 1981 and 2005. The results show that differences between men’s and women’s field specializations have for the most part remained stable during this period, with particularly high levels of gender segregation observed at lower educational levels. The focus in Article II rests on the effects of gender-segregated fields of study on higher education graduates’ occupational status. It is shown that fields of study matter for accessing professional jobs and avoiding low-skilled positions in Finland: at the early career stage, particularly polytechnic graduates from female-dominated fields are less likely to work in professional positions. Finnish university graduates from male-dominated fields were more likely than their peers with different specializations to work as professionals, yet they also faced a greater risk of being sorted into lowskilled jobs if they failed to make use of this advantage. Article III proceeded to analyse the joint impact of educational qualification levels and fields of study on young adults’ median earnings in Finland between 1985 and 2005. The results show that qualification levels do not confer a consistent benefit in the process of earnings stratification. Advanced qualifications raise median earnings most clearly among individuals specializing in the same field of study. When comparing individuals with different field specializations, on the other hand, higher-level qualifications do not necessarily lead to higher median earnings. Overall, the findings of this dissertation reveal a heterogeneous effect of education for achieving social positions, which challenges individual-centred, meritocratic accounts of social stratification and underlines the problematic lack of structural and institutional dimensions in the dominant account of social status attainment.
... 4 Calonico and Nopo (2007) on Mexico, Castro andReilly (2011) on Colombia, Oliviera (2001) on Brazil. number of studies adopt a cross-country perspective (Blackburn et al 1993, Charles and Grusky 1995, Melkas and Anker 1997, Semyonov and Jones 1999, Anker et al 2003and Deutsch and Silber 2005, of which only two consider experiences in developing countries 5 . ...
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This paper provides a unique analysis of the evolution of gender and racial occupational segregation in Brazil from 1987-2006. Drawing on a novel dataset, constructed by harmonizing national household data over twenty years, the paper provides extensive new insights in the nature and evolution of occupational segregation over time, while also providing important new insights into the forces driving these changes. The results presented here expand upon existing research in the developing world in several directions. First, the new dataset constructed for this study allows the analysis to cover a longer time period than has previously been possible. Second, the analysis explores both gender and racial segregation side by side. Third, all of the analysis is conducted for the labour market as a whole, and disaggregated into the formal, informal and self-employed labour markets. Fourth, the paper decomposes the key driving forces that lie behind trends in occupational segregation. The paper presents three major findings: first, gender segregation is always considerably greater than racial occupational segregation, but racial segregation has been more persistent over time and has several features that make it comparatively worrisome; second, while occupational segregation is declining by both gender and race, the decline has been greater in the formal labour market. Third, the decomposition of segregation measures over time reveals that changes in the internal gender and racial composition of occupations has driven improvements over time. These important differences between formal and non-formal labour markets provide preliminary insights into the possible importance of formal labour market policies and institutions in shaping outcomes. for their useful comments. All errors are my own.
... However, there is a large variation within the EU countries regarding the labor market participation of women; for instance, in Sweden the female employment rate is 70% and the male employment rate is 74% (Eurostat, 2010). Similar to Sweden, the female employment rates in Denmark, and the Netherlands are found to be higher compared to other European countries with around 70% of the women compared to approximately 80% of men working in relation to other countries such as Italy with a female employment rate of around 45% and male employment rate of around 70% (Acker, 1994;EU, 2010;Eurostat, 2010;Melkas & Anker, 1997). There has been an overall growth in female work participation of 7.1% in the EU over the last decade (Eurostat, 2010), which is a positive sign for gender equality. ...
... Pohjoismaissa miesten ja naisten erot työmarkkinoille osallistumisessa eivät ole yhtä suuret kuin Keski-Euroopassa, mutta myös Pohjoismaissa monet ammatit, toimialat ja sektorit ovat joko mies-tai naisvaltaisia (esim. Melkas & Anker 1997). ...
... Miehet sijoittuvat yleisesti ottaen työelämässä naisia parempiin asemiin ja ovat paremmin palkattuja (mm. Kivinen & Nurmi 2009;Vuorinen & Valkonen 2007;Melkas & Anker 1997). Tämä koskee kuitenkin tutkinnon suorittaneita. ...
... Numerous studies have been conducted so far on women's position in leadership and decision making/managerial positions, which have a special place in social gender analysis. The general opinion is that there are social roles and stereotypes and politics and bureaucracy are observed to be 83 male-dominated (Morrison, White and Van Velsor, 1987;Adler and Izraeli, 1994;Melkas and Anker, 1997;Greenhaus and Parasuraman, 1999;Eagly, Wood, and Diekman, 2000). The research findings on women's career barriers have shown parallelism with suggestions of Social Gender Theory. ...
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Aim: This study aimed to carry out in order to determine the career impediments of career barriers of women managers in sports organizations. Material and Methods: Interview method as a qualitative research technique was used in the research. Semi-structured interview form was preferred for this purpose. Sample consists of a total of 12 people who accepted the interview request, of which 6 women executives who work as branch managers and chiefs in Central Organization of Youth and Sports General Directorate and 6 women executives who work as presidents and members of board of directors in Sports Federations. The themes and codes are determined by performing content analysis on the data obtained via “Nvivo 8”. Results: As a result, it is found that sports organizations are subject to prejudices as well like other institutions and it is observed that organizational barriers are more prominent than others as career impediments. Conclusion: These findings have shown that gender-oriented behaviours are valid for the sport organizations as they are for the other organizations. Accordingly, individual, organizational and social improvements are deemed necessary in context of career barriers.
... With segregation we mean "the tendency for men and women to work in different occupations" [9]. This segregation impairs the overall economic efficiency [40] and affects companies' competitiveness around the world [2]. With gendering, we refer to "integrating the gender perspective in the understanding and construction of persons, phenomena, reflections, things, relationships, sectors of action, societal subsystems and institutions" [59]. ...
Conference Paper
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It is an enduring problem that girls are not interested in careers in Information Technology (IT). Our aim is to understand girls’ perceptions and understanding of the IT field as well as factors shaping them, to find ways to get more girls interested in IT/Information Systems careers. As senior high school is the last opportunity to influence girls’ major and career choice we inquired Finnish senior high school students about their future plans and factors affecting their choice. Using nexus analysis as a sensitizing device, we focused on various discourses circulating around, different actors and their relations, as well as experience and background related matters that affect girls’ career choice. Surprisingly gendered understandings of the IT field and career choices were still prevalent among the studied young people, and this supports educational and occupational segregation.
... It is not always easy to avoid a hierarchical element, but horizontal segregation refers to the content of occupations rather than their vertical ordering. As such, for gender segregation, job tasks are socially coded on a scale from masculine to feminine (Melkas and Anker, 1997;Nermo, 1999). Men and women are, typically, differentially sorted into occupational positions both along vertical and horizontal lines; women are less likely to be in highly ranked positions and are more likely to be in feminine occupations. ...
Thesis
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This thesis examines two aspects of social inequalities in health with three empirical studies that are based on the Swedish Level of Living survey (LNU): The relationship between accumulated occupational class positions during adulthood and health and the class-specific nature of gender differences in health. Previous research continuously finds that there are health differences by class and gender, but less is known about the extent to which accumulated class experiences in adulthood are related to health or how gender differences vary by class. The overall conclusion in this thesis is that occupational class experiences matters for health, both as historical and current experiences. Furthermore, the results highlight the importance of taking class into consideration when examining health differences between men and women, as the mechanisms that underlie the gender gaps in health are not necessarily the same for all classes.
... Sweden might be especially well-suited for investigating the evolution of occupational gender segregation, as it has been widely noted for being at the forefront of gender egalitarianism according to international assessments (World Economic Forum, 2013, 2014. Paradoxically, however, the Swedish labor market remains one of Europe's most horizontally segregated, a development largely attributed to a disproportionate share of Swedish women joining already predominantly femaledominated occupations during a rapid increase in female labor force participation between 1970 and 1990's (Melkas and Anker, 1997). It is therefore of much interest to investigate the recent changes in occupational gender segregation in a Swedish environment where measures to achieve gender equality have been predominantly targeted vertical, but not horizontal segregation. ...
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Sweden consistently ranks at the top of international assessments of gender equality, but paradoxically exhibits marked horizontal gender segregation in the labor market. By combining administrative and respondent-collected data, this study investigates whether occupational attributes are associated with sex distribution in Swedish occupations over a 10-year period between 2002 and 2011. Results show that the proportion of women was higher, on average, in occupations high in people orientation and verbal demands and lower in occupations high in things orientation and numerical demands. Mixed linear models showed a trend for desegregation during this period, as the proportion of women in people-oriented occupations has declined and a trend for an increase in the proportion of women in numerically demanding occupations was observed. Occupational attributes aid the understanding of gender segregation but patterns of segregation seem to change over time.
... According to Melkas and Anker (1997), gender-based occupational segregation is one of the most important factors that contribute to inequality between men and women in labor markets around the world. This inequality further reflects actual female workers' experiences. ...
... Usually, the gender segregation occurs in industry sectors (such as agriculture, industry, and services). In many countries, a single mother working attributable to the service sector while men are attributable to the industrial sector (Eurostat 1998a;Melkas and Anker 2001). This scenario reflects the occurrence of such a clear gender segregation in employment. ...
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Abstract Gender is a difference between women and men in the same household and in the culture in which socially and culturally formed through changing times. These differences have an impact on the roles, responsibilities, coverage and access to resources, wealth, opportunities, needs, and perceptions of others are held by women and men. Thus, gender is not something that is synonymous with women but is a consideration for both genders between men and women and interconnected between dependence. This study aims to determine the role of gender in the workplace from the point of view of the reality of life for single mothers in Penang, Malaysia. Qualitative research approach was carried out on single mothers working in Penang. This study takes an approach interpretivist using abductive strategies and methods of phenomenology. Samples were selected through purposive sampling. Data was collected through observation and interviews participates in depth with informants within six months. Interviews were conducted using an interview guide and a tape recorder. Data were analyzed using NVivo software that aims to build the category and theme and was followed by a subsequent interview. The study found the role of gender in the workplace is different (in terms of the types of jobs and skills); and the role of gender in the workplace are the same (in terms of workload). The study is expected to help the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development Malaysia in formulating an action plan to help to help single mothers and ensure continued social support. Keywords: role of gender in the workplace, single mother, Pulau Pinang.
... With segregation we mean "the tendency for men and women to work in different occupations" [9]. This segregation impairs the overall economic efficiency [43] and affects companies' competitiveness around the world [2]. With gendering, we refer to "integrating the gender perspective in the understanding and construction of persons, phenomena, reflections, things, relationships, sectors of action, societal subsystems and institutions" [63]. ...
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Girls’ disinterest in Information Technology (IT) careers is a persisting problem. We wanted to examine girls’ perceptions of the IT field as well as factors shaping their career choices, to find ways girls might see IT/Information Systems careers as more interesting. For this purpose, we interviewed Finnish senior high school students, as senior high school is the last opportunity to influence girls’ career choice in higher education. In addition, we asked senior high school IT teachers about IT education and their perceptions of students’ relations to IT. Using nexus analysis as a sensitizing device, we focused on various discourses circulating around, different actors and their relations, as well as experience and background related matters that affect girls’ career choice. Surprisingly gendered understandings of the IT field and career choices were still prevalent among the studied young people, and this supports educational and occupational segregation.
... This difference may be related to the phenomenon of occupational gender segregation. Although in Iceland -a Nordic country-gender equality levels (in the labor market and the family) are greater than in Spain -a Latin country-, in Iceland (and in Nordic countries in general) there are high levels of occupational segregation by gender, with a relatively high concentration of women employed in sectors related to the services of the welfare state (Ellingsaeter, 2013;Melkas & Anker, 1997). For instance, according to OECD (2012), in 2009 the proportion of degrees awarded to women (at the tertiary level of education) in the health and welfare fields was 75.9% in Spain and 85.4% in Iceland; and in education 78.7% in Spain and 84.5% in Iceland. ...
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Young women still have a lower entrepreneurial inclination (EI) than young men in both a Latin society (Spain) and in a Nordic society (Iceland). Our data come from a survey conducted among university students who attended the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Iceland. After constructing a set of variables and indicators that served as explanatory variables, and after conducting a statistical and regression analysis, this study provides evidence about the determinants of this gender gap in EI. The EI of male students was more sensitive to having higher self-confidence than in the case of female students. In turn, the EI of female students was more sensitive to both positive (enrichment) and negative (conflict) perspectives about the work-family interface than in the case of males. Additionally, the EI of students was positively related with entrepreneurial family antecedents, and with the level of parental income; and it was negatively related with their tolerance for risk. Some cross-cultural differences were also found between the Spanish and Icelandic samples.
... Women could help fill these positions. On the one hand, segregation impairs the overall economic efficiency of countries (Melkas and Anker, 1997) and affects companies' competitiveness (Ahuja, 2002) it is bad for business if mostly men participate in the planning, designing and development of IT as more viewpoints are needed for developing compelling and useful products. The Internet, for example, has an impact on everyone's lives and studies have found gender differences in how we use it (Colley and Maltby, 2008;Holmberg and Hellsten, 2015;Shao, 2018). ...
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Purpose-The low number of women in the information technology (IT) field is a concern. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors behind the exclusion of girls from the IT field. Design/methodology/approach-The present work includes a narrative literature review and an exploratory interview study with ten girls and six study guidance counsellors (GCs) from Finnish senior high schools. Using the nexus analysis as a theoretical lens, the authors examined the exclusion of girls from IT. Findings-Earlier literature directed attention to the cultural norms, assumptions and stereotypes still prevalent in society and the lack of role models and positive media as factors contributing to girls excluding themselves from the IT field. In this research study's data, the authors not only found evidence of the unintentional exclusion of girls from IT by others but also by the girls themselves. Findings of this research study illustrate the various discourses, actors and their interactions, their background and history-related factors affecting girls' career choices. The novelty of this study is in approaching high school as a site of exclusion, where problematic discourses, interactions and histories come together, reproducing exclusion of girls from the IT field. Originality/value-The authors contribute with a literature review of the research study on gender and IT and the inclusion/exclusion dynamics around IT. Using the nexus analysis, the authors identify the exclusion dynamics in this complex social issue. Several decades of research have shown that the inclusion of women remains low in IT disciplines. In this study, high schools are viewed as sites of exclusion, engendering a prevalent lack of information and education on the field. The authors offer novel insights into the role of curriculum, GCs and online information excluding girls from the IT field.
... It can be seen in most of precedent papers that female leaders are found to be more risk-averse and less willing to make decisions on behalf of their groups (Ertac and Gurdal, 2012;Eagly and Karau, 2002). This finding is recorded not only in the US but also in other developed countries (Melkas and Anker, 1997). However, Appelbaum et al. (2002) show that there should be no difference in effectiveness of leadership behaviour performed by men and women. ...
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... Despite the empirical evidence, the pipeline phenomenon -which identifies unequal practices throughout one's working life and follows the female career at every level, gradually increasing the probability that women, more often than men, will leave the job market -still persists in the countries of the EU (Melkas & Anker 2001, Ceci & Williams 2007, Weyer 2007, Lippa, Preston & Penner 2014). ...
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The focus of this article is on how a “gender perspective” becomes lifted to the headlines as a solution to an organizational problem. The purpose of this article is to problematize how a gender perspective was employed in the everyday practices of an occupational health project in a Swedish municipality. The project's stated aim was to construct and implement a new model for occupational health, targeting the municipality's employees, and gender equality was seen as one means of reducing sick leave among the staff. Our focus was the participants’ perceptions of their participation and their reflections on the content and practices of the program. The information was gathered from focus-group interviews with participants in a management training program (MTP) and a rehabilitation program (RP) and from documents produced within the project. Drawing from feminist writings on gender subtexts defined as a set of concealed power based processes (re)producing gender distinctions in organizations, we have explored how power structures are created based on socially constructed differences. Our results demonstrate how gender knowledge could reproduce inequality and hierarchical distinctions between people in different positions in working life.
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This paper examines the evolution of gender segregation indexes by occupation in the urban labour markets of Colombia between 1986 and 2004 and presents a decomposition of their changes over time using a technique proposed by Deutsch et al. (2006). We find that a substantial proportion of the reduction in segregation indexes for this country is driven by changes in both, the employment structure of occupations and the increasing female labour participation observed over these years while changes in the gender composition of occupations have favoured mainly government employees and those with university education.
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This paper provides descriptive evidence for declining occupational sex segregation on the German labor market, especially concerning the regional differences between the former East and West Germany. I use segregation measures and long-run social security data for the decade of 1992 to 2004. While segregation has declined over time, it remains higher for the eastern part of Germany. Although this finding is observable for full-time and part-time work, segregation is always lower in part-time employment.
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This paper examines the evolution of gender segregation indexes by occupation in the urban labour markets of Colombia between 1986 and 2004 and presents a decomposition of their changes over time using a technique proposed by Deutsch et al. (2006). We find that a substantial proportion of the reduction in segregation indexes for this country is driven by changes in both, the employment structure of occupations and the increasing female labour participation observed over these years while changes in the gender composition of occupations have favoured mainly government employees and those with university education
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Norway was the first country to propose gender representation regulations by means of gender quotas for public limited boards. The law was ratified by the Parliament in 2003 and implemented in 2006 with a two-year grace period. In this chapter, we describe some of the contextual factors and processes that were important leading up to the introduction of the quota law in Norway. We contend that the law is, to a certain extent, in line with the history of equality and the use of policies in the labour market in Norway. Moreover, we argue that politicking and a wide range of actors, in particular women politicians, played an important role in the process leading up to the introduction of the law. In addition, we comment on some of the effects, consequences and lessons learned since the introduction, building on the voluminous body of research that has emerged in the post-quota period. In particular, we show that the law is effective as boards are now gender balanced. Nevertheless, the results of creating more diversity (or equality) beyond the boardroom are less clear. Nonetheless, we argue that the most important effects of the quota law in Norway have possibly been those beyond the country’s border. We contend that if the law had not been introduced in Norway, we would most likely not have seen the trends that are now taking place in Europe (and beyond), where the use of quotas and targets have become natural in diversity discussions at both the political and organisational levels.
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This paper comments on the lead symposium article, “Reaching the Top?—On Gender Balance in the Economics Profession,” by Christina Jonung and Ann-Charlotte Ståhlberg. Jonung and Stahlberg demonstrate that the economics profession recruits few women even in (or especially in) western Europe. This comment presents an alternative explanation, called preference theory, based on women’s greater propensity to prefer work-life balance, in contrast to men’s greater propensity to prefer work-centred lifestyles. Intellectual ability alone does not predict success in a career. Relevant life goals and motivation matter greatly.
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Die Erwerbstätigkeit von Frauen steigt nach wie vor an, Frauen haben auch bei der Bildung massiv aufgeholt. Trotz dieser Anpassungsleistungen von Frauen an die Anforderungen der Erwerbsarbeit sind Meldungen über den hohen geschlechtsspezifischen Einkommensunterschied noch immer an der Tagesordnung (z.B. Rechungshof 2004; Stadler 2003; Gregoritsch et al. 2002). „Geschlechtsspezifische Disparitäten“1 gibt es nicht nur in Bezug auf das Einkommen, sondern ziehen sich durch alle Bereiche am Arbeitsmarkt und darüber hinaus (Verteilung der Hausund Betreuungsarbeit, politische Partizipation…).
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Analyzing 1055 female- and 2207 male-owned businesses in Germany, we find that the former underperform the latter in terms of employment growth and firm innovativeness. Controlling for endogeneity, i.e. feedback effects between employment growth and innovation, we show that the lower employment growth in womenowned businesses is mainly due to women’s lower commitment to product and process innovations, a phenomenon which is referred to as “female-male innovation gap” in this study. The female-male innovation gap goes apparently back to occupational sex segregation, with women occupying occupations and choosing fields of study or apprenticeship training which are less technical or technology-oriented and thus less likely to provide them with important resources (e.g. technical know-how) and favorable conditions needed for the development and implementation of product and process innovations.
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Purpose This paper examines how decisions to undertake organisationally-assigned expatriation are influenced by employers’ international assignment compensation and benefits policies, seen through the lens of female expatriate breadwinners working in the male-dominated oil and gas exploration and production industry. Design/methodology/approach A triangulated qualitative research approach draws upon: policy analysis in two oil and gas firms; interviews with two International Assignments Managers in Human Resources; and in-depth interviews with 26 female expatriates with experience of a variety of assignment types. Findings The paper identifies premiums that uplift salary, housing quality, access to health care, travel and leave arrangements, dual careers and children’s education as women’s main deal makers. Research limitations/implications Longitudinal studies and comparisons of men’s and women’s views on policy aspects that support assignment acceptance and cause assignment rejection are needed across a range of industries. Practical implications Housing quality is a key factor in women’s assignment acceptance. Good communication prior to expatriation can help build confidence in healthcare provision. Employers should consider how travel and leave policy can be implemented flexibly. Assistance with seeking work visas for partners and coordinating dual career couples’ assignments can facilitate female expatriation. Originality/value This article provides new knowledge on how the content of organisations’ international compensation and benefits policies influences female expatriate breadwinners’ assignment acceptance set within the theoretical framework of compensating differentials. It proposes a model to depict financial and non-financial deal makers to women’s assignment acceptance.
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ASSESSMENTS OF WOMEN'S AND MEN'S CAPACITY FOR WORK NEED TO BE QUALITY ASSURED The Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate (Inspektionen för socialförsäkringen, ISF) is an independent supervisory agency for the Swedish social insurance system. The objectives of the agency are to strengthen compliance with legislation and other statutes, and to improve the efficiency of the social insurance system through system supervision and efficiency analysis and evaluation. The ISF’s work is mainly conducted on a project basis and is commissioned by the Government or initiated autonomously by the agency. This report has been commissioned by the Government. BACKGROUND The Swedish Social Insurance Administration (SSIA) has developed a new model for the assessment of an individual’s capacity for work, called the AFU. This is the second and final report of the ISF’s scrutiny of the AFU. The first report was published in August 2015 (2015:8). OBJECTIVES The objective is to examine how the AFU may result in unwarranted differences in the assessment of insured persons’ ability to work on the basis of gender or circumstances related to gender. METHODS The study sample included cases of sickness benefit (n=350, whereof 65 per cent were women), where an AFU had been carried out during a 12-month period. For each case, information was retrieved from the AFU documents—i.e. self-rated capacity for activity and the physician’s assessment. In addition, the SSIA document describing the development of the AFU (2010–2013) was reviewed. FINDINGS There were no systematic differences on the basis of gender regarding which cases were selected for an AFU. Likewise, there were no systematic differences on the basis of gender concerning the processing, evaluations and decisions in cases of sickness benefit where an AFU had been carried out. There are, however, significant deficiencies in the quality assurance of the AFU in terms of the reliability of the assessments and the AFU’s prognostic validity. The first deficiency refers to both the reliability of the assessments made by the investigating physicians and the reliability of the decisions made by the officers at the SSIA. The second deficiency refers to if the officers at the SSIA, with the AFU as a decision support, may distinguish insured persons with reduced work ability from those that may be able to return to work. RECOMMENDATIONS/CONCLUSIONS The AFU needs to be quality assured with regard to the reliability of assessments and decisions as well in terms of prognostic validity. It is a matter of legal certainty in the assessments of the right to allowance through the sickness insurance system. The analysis of such tests should ensure that reliability and validity do not distinguish between different types of cases or different groups of the insured—for example, between women and men.
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This article employs census data of 1982 and 1990 to investigate the recent trends in occupational sex segregation in urban China. The relative impacts of the changes in the employment structure (i.e., the mix effect) and in the gender composition of jobs (i.e., the composition effect) are evaluated. Additionally, the concentration of women and men in the occupational structure is also examined. It is found that economic reforms in China, which subtly affected the employment opportunities of women and men workers, have brought about an increased degree of occupational sex segregation in the urban labor markets. Further, the composition effect is found to play a more important role than the mix effect. Lastly, some policy implications and future research directions are discussed.
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Die Entwicklung der Frauenerwerbstätigkeit in Österreich zeigte in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten Muster, wie sie in allen industrialisierten Ländern zu finden waren: Die Erwerbsbeteiligung der Frauen ist kontinuierlich gestiegen, Frauen sind in neue und mittlerweile wohl auch alle Berufsfelder mehr oder weniger eingedrungen, sie sind im Management und in Führungspositionen tätig, und sie teilen auch die Schattenseiten der Arbeitsmarktentwicklung wie Arbeitslosigkeit und atypische Beschäftigungsverhältnisse mit ihren männlichen Kollegen. Auf der Ausbildungsebene haben Frauen in den jüngeren Kohorten mit den Männern gleichgezogen, sie teilweise sogar überholt, die Mehrheit der Studienanfängerinnen in Österreich ist weiblich. Weniger Frauen bekommen relativ weniger Kinder, was zur Folge hat, dass in der Gesamtbetrachtung Berufsunterbrechungen aufgrund familiärer Verpflichtungen seltener und kürzer werden. Die gesetzlich verankerte Gleichbehandlungspolitik und, wenn auch noch zögerlich, betriebliche Frauenfördermaßnahmen unterstützen diese Eroberung aller Bereiche des Arbeitsmarktes durch Frauen.
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Child labour is pervasive and has been escalating over the last decade. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are approximately 250 million working children between the ages of 5 and 14, of which at least 120 million are involved in full time work that are both hazardous and exploitative. Driven by public outrage, and the adoption of the ILO’s 1999 convention C182, the exploitation of child labour has received increasing attention, and efforts to combat this phenomenon has gained momentum, yet solutions remain elusive.
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Resumen En esta introducción se reflexiona sobre las contribuciones seleccionadas para el presente monográfico del centenario de la Revista Internacional del Trabajo (RIT) dedicado a las mujeres y la igualdad de género. Se pone de relieve la tendencia a subestimar el trabajo que las mujeres tradicionalmente han realizado tanto en el ámbito doméstico como en el mercado laboral. Asimismo, se hace hincapié en las diversas iniciativas destinadas a remediar estos inextricables problemas.
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This paper builds on the idea that any further development of the concept of 'welfare regime' must incorporate the relationship between unpaid as well as paid work and welfare. Consideration of the privateldomestic is crucial to a gendered understanding of welfare because historically women have typically gained entitlements by virtue of their dependent status within the family as wives and mothers. The paper suggests that the idea of the male-breadwinner family model has served historically to cut across established typologies of welfare regimes, and further that the model has been modified in different ways and to different degrees in particular countries.
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Postwar trends in the degree of occupational segregation are investigated. Segregation is found to have increased slightly between 1950 and 1960 as predominantly female clerical and professional jobs grew in relative size. Changes in occupation mix were neutral in impact during the 1960-70 period, but an inflow of men into female professions and of women into male sales and clerical jobs produced a modest drop in segregation. This decrease fell far short of what could have been achieved by "sex-blind" hiring. On the basis of past trends, little progress in reducing segregation is expected for the 1970-85 period.