EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

International Women's Day 2009

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Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Below is an overview of recent Eurofound publications on women at work, gender and equality issues.

Foundation Findings - Drawing on experience: Older women workers in Europe
Older women workers represent an increasing proportion of the workforce in the European Union, especially in the 55–64 years age group. Employment rates for older women workers have been increasing in Europe. However, older women workers tend to work part time and a higher proportion are on temporary contracts.

Women managers and hierarchical structures in working life
To better understand the progress women have made thus far in the European Union, this report analyses the current situation and the obstacles women face on the way to top managerial positions in more detail. It first examines what the literature tells us about the careers of female managers; then reviews the existing European data on women in managerial positions in the EU, using information from Eurofound's European Working Conditions Surveys.

Women at work: Paths to equality
This brief report summarises reflections on the very broad theme of women and employment from a group of researchers in the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (‘Eurofound’) with an interest in gender and labour market issues.

Living and working in Europe
The European Union, together with its citizens, is undergoing profound change. Demographic change, greater global competition, technological developments and the enlargement of the EU itself are all shaping the lives – both private and professional – of ordinary men and women across the Member States. This overview uses Eurofound’s research findings to capture a snapshot of what it means to live and work in Europe at the start of the 21st century. See also a summary of Eurofound's exhibition 'Living and Working in Europe' at the European Parliament.

Working conditions in the European Union: The gender perspective - Executive summary
Following the 2005 survey, Eurofound carried out further in-depth analysis of its findings on key themes relating to working conditions in the EU. The similarities and differences in men’s and women’s working environments was one of the themes explored. The research looked at many specific aspects of job quality – including working hours, job satisfaction, work–life compatibility and work-related health outcomes – in order to gauge the experiences of women and men in an ever-changing workplace.

Families and childcare services - Conference report
This report presents the conclusions from a seminar on families and childcare services held in Ankara, Turkey, on 5 June 2008. The seminar was organised by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security (Çalışma Sosyal Güvenlik Bakanlığı, CSGB).

Working longer, living better – Women at work
Just as fewer women than men are in paid employment, many more women than men work part time, often in order to fulfil domestic and caring responsibilities. This has implications for women’s income, career prospects and retirement provision, with the risk of women not having an adequate income in later years. This fact sheet forms part of the Eurofound resource pack on Working Longer, Living Better – Europe’s coming of age.

Mind the gap – Women’s and men’s quality of work and employment
Gender mainstreaming is an integral part of the research conducted by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. When labour market participation, working conditions and the resulting labour market outcomes are analysed, the difference in the situation of women and men is evident.

Working in Europe: Gender differences
Data from recent Eurostat publications show that, despite some convergence in employment patterns between women and men, considerable gender differences remain in relation to work. Women have caught up in educational qualifications and increased their employment rate, but family responsibilities are still the main reason for women’s above average inactivity rate.