Employment and labour markets

International Women’s Day: Eurofound and EIGE reassess gender inequalities in the labour market following COVID-19 in LIVE webinar

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Eurofound and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) are hosting a joint #AskTheExpert webinar on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender inequalities in the labour market. The interactive webinar takes place today at 14:00-15:00 GMT/15:00-16:00 CET.

Register here to join the debate.

Working women continue to shoulder a disproportionate share of unpaid work in terms of domestic tasks and caring for dependents. Persistent patterns of occupational segregation meant that job loss during the early, most severe phase of the COVID-19 crisis was highest amongst women employed in low-paid services jobs. Women were also more likely than men to have shifted to working from home during the crisis or to have reduced their paid working hours, in part as a response to school and care closures.

The pandemic has shown that informal care remains a much more inflexible work-life balance factor for women than for men. When informal care becomes more intense, men are more able to get external support in order to keep paid working hours intact. Women must carry on the increased care duties irrespective of changes in their paid working hours. When exhausted from physical and mental load, they can only quit the paid work.

The prospect of an increased incidence of remote working post-crisis may be attractive for many women but it also raises questions about workplace ‘visibility’ and possibilities for professional advancement for those who avail of it:

  • How can we avoid extended work arrangements putting more pressure on working women?
  • What can be done to loosen the stereotypes or working cultures that orient men and women to take up different jobs?
  • How can deep-rooted gender gaps in unpaid work be narrowed?
  • What are good practices in EU Member States in this regard? and
  • What policies are most likely to contribute to narrowing existing gender pay and employment gaps in line with EU policy commitments?

The webinar is moderated by Dennis van der Veur, Head of Knowledge Management and Communications Unit, EIGE. Speakers John Hurley, acting Head of Unit, Employment unit and Sanna Nivakoski, Research Officer, from Eurofound together with Dr Lina Salanauskaite, Researcher, EIGE will draw on recent research to discuss these and related questions. 

More on Eurofound's work on gender equality

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