Working conditions

Gender equality at work

Report
Published
2 March 2020
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Executive summary in 22 languages
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Key findings

  • Men are more likely to work in more demanding physical environments and have relatively worse working time quality than women, but more likely to enjoy better pay. Men report higher levels of quantitative demands (for instance, working to tight deadlines), while women are much more likely to report being exposed to emotional demands (such as handling angry clients, patients or pupils).
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  • Men are more likely to work in more demanding physical environments and have relatively worse working time quality than women, but more likely to enjoy better pay. Men report higher levels of quantitative demands (for instance, working to tight deadlines), while women are much more likely to report being exposed to emotional demands (such as handling angry clients, patients or pupils).
  • In terms of social environment, men tend to receive less support from colleagues and managers, while women are much more likely to be exposed to adverse social behaviours, such as threats, verbal abuse or harassment.
  • Access to training is more limited among less-skilled occupations; within these occupations, women have even less access to it.
  • Variable forms of pay, such as shares in the company or payments based on company performance, are becoming more common. These pay components are increasing more rapidly among men than women and the gender gap is therefore widening. This is a trend that requires further investigation.
  • Mixed occupations – those with the most balanced shares of men and women – not only differ from the male-dominated and the female-dominated occupations but also show better job quality in most, if not all, dimensions. Such occupations also display the smallest differences between men and women.
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Abstract

Gender inequality at work persists across Europe, despite the long standing attention paid and efforts made to tackle it. This Eurofound report presents a closer look at women’s and men’s working conditions, using data from Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and complementing pRead more

Gender inequality at work persists across Europe, despite the long standing attention paid and efforts made to tackle it. This Eurofound report presents a closer look at women’s and men’s working conditions, using data from Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and complementing previous Eurofound research on, among other things, working time patterns, work–life balance and workers’ health. Beyond the general differences in the labour market, it highlights many important gaps in men’s and women’s working conditions and job quality which require specific attention. According to the EWCS data, the reduction of gender gaps in those areas showing improvement over the last 5 to 10 years remains limited. European and national strategies aimed at achieving job quality for all, that seek to mainstream gender equality, could help address persistent inequalities between men and women.

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Formats

  • Report

    Number of pages: 
    102
    Reference no.: 
    EF19003
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-2046-5
    Catalogue no.: 
    TJ-01-20-035-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/934654
    Catalogue info

    Gender equality at work

    Gender inequality at work persists across Europe, despite the long standing attention paid and efforts made to tackle it. This Eurofound report presents a closer look at women’s and men’s working conditions, using data from Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and complementing previous Eurofound research on, among other things, working time patterns, work–life balance and workers’ health.

    Formats

    Cite this publication: 

    Eurofound (2020), Gender equality at work, European Working Conditions Survey 2015 series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

  • Executive summary

    Reference no.: 
    EF19003EN1
    Catalogue info

    Gender equality at work

    Author(s): 
    Eurofound

    Despite the attention that has been paid to gender inequalities in labour markets – and the efforts made to tackle them – they still persist. This report aims to contribute to a better understanding of women’s and men’s working conditions in the EU, based on data from Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS). It follows up on previous Eurofound research on the topic and complements other research based on the same data source. The analysis uses Eurofound’s job quality framework to investigate important aspects of working life as experienced by women and men.

    Available for download in 22 languages

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  • Data and presentation

    Presentation

    Tables and figures

    Tables

    Table 1: Physical environment index and sub-dimensions, by gender, 2005, 2010, 2015
    Table 2: Work intensity index and sub-dimensions, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Table 3: Working time quality index and sub-dimensions, by gender, 2005–2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Table 4: Social environment index and sub-dimensions, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Table 5: Skills and discretion index, by gender, 2005, 2010, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Table A1: Country groups
    Table A2: Sectors of economic activity
    Table A3: Designations of the 20 largest occupations (International Standard Classification of Occupations – ISCO-08, two digits)
    Table A4: Household types by share of employees, 2015 (%)

    Figures

    Figure 1: Conceptual framework
    Figure 2: Overview of job quality indices
    Figure 3: Female employment rate and gender employment gap in full-time equivalents, ages 20–64, by Member State, 2015 (%)
    Figure 4: Change in gender employment gap in full-time equivalents, ages 20–64, by Member State, 2010–2015 (percentage points)
    Figure 5: Employment status, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 6: Distribution of workers according to predominant gender in sector, employees and self-employed, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 7: Sectoral concentration, women, 2000–2015 (%)
    Figure 8: Sectoral concentration, men, 2000–2015 (%)
    Figure 9: Shares of men and women by occupational group, 2015 (%)
    Figure 10: Predominant gender in occupation, by employee gender, 2010 and 2015 (%)
    Figure 11: Share of men and women in the 20 largest occupations, 2015 (%)
    Figure 12: Gender of immediate manager, by employee gender, 2005, 2010, 2015 (%)
    Figure 13: Men’s physical environment index scores and gender gaps in Member States, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 14: Physical environment index scores according to sector, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 15: Physical environment index scores in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 16: Exposure to posture-related risks according to sector, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 17: Exposure to posture-related risks according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 18: Exposure to posture-related risks in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 19: Exposure to ambient risks according to sector, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 20: Exposure to ambient risks in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 21: Exposure to biochemical risks according to sector, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 22: Exposure to biochemical risks in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 23: Work intensity index scores according to sector, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 24: Work intensity index scores in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 25: Quantitative demands in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 26: Quantitative demands according to life stage, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 27: Pace determinants and interdependency in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 28: Men’s exposure to emotional demands and gender gaps, by Member State, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 29: Exposure to emotional demands in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 30: Exposure to selected emotional demands, by gender, 2010 and 2015 (%)
    Figure 31: Men’s working time quality index scores and gender gaps, by Member State, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 32: Men’s working time quality index scores and gender gaps, by sector, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 33: Working time quality according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 34: Working time quality according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 35: Working time quality over life course, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 36: Women’s average weekly hours in main job and gender gaps, by predominant gender in occupation, 2015
    Figure 37: Women’s average weekly hours in main job and gender gaps, by occupation type, 2015
    Figure 38: Average weekly hours in main job in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015
    Figure 39: Long hours according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 40: Long hours according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 41: Atypical hours according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 42: Atypical hours according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 43: Atypical hours in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 44: Autonomy over working time arrangements according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 45: Autonomy over working time arrangements according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 46: Flexibility to take time off in working hours, by predominant gender in occupation and gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 47: Flexibility to take time off in working hours, in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 48: Work in free time to meet work demands, according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 49: Work in free time to meet work demands, in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 50: Social environment index scores according to country cluster, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 51: Social environment index scores according to sector, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 52: Social environment index according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 53: Social environment index according to household composition, by gender (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 54: Management quality, by predominant gender in occupation and gender of manager, 2015 (%)
    Figure 55: Social support, by gender of manager, male and female employees, 2015 (%)
    Figure 56: Social support in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 57: Share of employees exposed to adverse social behaviour, by gender (%)
    Figure 58: Share of employees exposed to adverse social behaviour in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 59: Skills and discretion in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 60: Cognitive dimension in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 61: Decision latitude according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 62: Decision latitude according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 63: Decision latitude in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 64: Organisational participation according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 65: Organisational participation according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 66: Organisational participation in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 67: Training index scores in Member States, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 68: Training index scores according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 69: Training index scores according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 70: Training index scores in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 71: Prospects index scores according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 72: Prospects index scores in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (mean scores, 0–100)
    Figure 73: Share of women reporting good prospects for career advancement, and gender gaps, 2005–2015 (%)
    Figure 74: Good prospects for career advancement, by age and gender, 2005–2015 (%)
    Figure 75: Good prospects for career advancement in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 76: Job insecurity, by age and gender, 2005–2015 (%)
    Figure 77: Employability, by age and gender, 2010, 2015 (%)
    Figure 78: Job insecurity according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2010, 2015 (%)
    Figure 79: Employability according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2010, 2015 (%)
    Figure 80: Job insecurity in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 81: Exposure to downsizing according to sector, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 82: Exposure to downsizing in the 20 largest occupations, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 83: Gender pay gap in unadjusted form, by Member State, 2015 (%)
    Figure 84: Distribution of men and women according to income quintile, by type of household, 2015 (%)
    Figure 85: Share of employees reporting fair/unfair pay, 2005–2015 (%)
    Figure 86: Gender gap in share of employees reporting unfair pay, by country cluster (W–M), 2005–2015 (percentage points)
    Figure 87: Share of employees reporting unfair pay in Member States, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 88: Share of employees reporting unfair pay according to income quintile, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 89: Share of employees reporting unfair pay according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 90: Share of employees reporting unfair pay according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 91: Additional components of earnings from main job, by gender, 2005–2015 (%)
    Figure 92: Share of employees reporting difficulty in making ends meet according to predominant gender in occupation, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 93: Share of employees reporting difficulty in making ends meet according to occupation type, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 94: Share of employees reporting difficulty in making ends meet according to household type, by gender, 2015 (%)
    Figure 95: Original job quality profiles, by job quality indices, 2015 (z-scores)
    Figure 96: Job quality profiles for men, by job quality indices, 2015 (z-scores)
    Figure 97: Job quality profiles for women, by job quality indices, 2015 (z-scores)
    Figure 98: Job quality profiles, 2015 (% of workers)

Research carried out prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, and published subsequently, may include data relating to the 28 EU Member States. Following this date, research only takes into account the 27 EU Member States (EU28 minus the UK), unless specified otherwise.

Part of the series

  • European Working Conditions Survey 2015

    Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2015, the sixth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.

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