Employment and labour markets

Watch the webinar: #AskTheExpert: Reassessing gender inequalities in the labour market: impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Tue, 08/03/2022
Tue, 08/03/2022

Date: Tuesday 8 March 2022 -  Time: 14:00-15:00 GMT/15:00-16:00 CET

To mark International Women's Day 2022, Eurofound and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) hosted a joint #AskTheExpert webinar to reassess gender inequalities in the labour market in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.



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The labour market is generating greater possibilities for women now than half a century ago. But the pandemic has brought gender differences into sharper focus.

Working women continue to shoulder a disproportionate share of unpaid work in terms of domestic tasks and caring for dependents. And persistent patterns of occupational segregation meant that job loss during the early, most severe phase of the 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? 
  • What policies are most likely to contribute to narrowing existing gender pay and employment gaps in line with EU policy commitments?

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


Speaker: John Hurley

John Hurley is acting Head of Unit for Employment at Eurofound since 1 September 2021. He took up the role of research manager in February 2012. He is responsible for the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) events database, contributes to a number of other research projects including the European Jobs Monitor and has authored or co-authored over 20 reports as well as journal contributions and edited collections during his time at Eurofound. His main research interests are in the areas of comparative labour market analysis, restructuring and the changing world of work. John is a graduate of both Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.

Speaker: Lina Salanauskaite

Dr. Lina Salanauskaite is a researcher at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), where she joined in 2016. She leads and conducts analysis on various gender equality issues, ranging from labour market and educational issues to the COVID-19 pandemic impact. Prior to joining EIGE, Lina Salanauskaite has worked in the European Commission and across a few academic institutions. Lina Salanauskaite holds a PhD in Social Economics and Social Sciences from Maastricht (the Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium) universities and has an extensive research experience in the analysis of gender equality and in the analysis of diverse socio-economic issues, including social inclusion trends, effectiveness of social protection policies or labour market development.

Speaker: Sanna Nivakoski

Sanna Nivakoski is a research officer in the Social Policies unit at Eurofound. Before joining Eurofound in 2021, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at University College Dublin's Geary Institute for Public Policy, the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She has worked in many research areas in microeconomics, including retirement income and wealth, pension saving, intergenerational transfers and the financial impact of widowhood. Sanna holds a PhD in Economics from Trinity College Dublin.


Moderator: Dennis van der Veur

Dennis van der Veur is Head of Knowledge Management and Communications Unit at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Dennis has more than 20 years of experience in the area of human rights, strategic communications, and engagement with the EU institutions. He ran dozens of projects on equality and managed teams including for large scale events. He joined EIGE from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, where he was Programme Manager for the Communicating Rights programme. Dennis has also been an Adviser to the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights and a Monitoring Officer at the OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. He holds a Masters degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Amsterdam, as well as a Masters in Human Rights & Democratisation from the European Inter-University Centre in Venice.


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