Why are there fewer women in manual occupations?

Margarita Torre, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

When joining the world of employment, women have taken up manual jobs in a lower proportion than men. Furthermore, within this group, the female presence continues to be particularly low in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as mining, industry, construction and plant maintenance.
Key points
  • 1
       In Europe, nearly two out of every three workers in manual occupations 64.6%) are men.
  • 2
       Segregation by gender does not decrease in countries where vocational training is more widespread. In fact, vocational training has not been capable of integrating women into typically male-dominated jobs; in contrast, this has been achieved by tertiary education in disciplines such as medicine, law and architecture, where today there is a greater gender balance.
  • 3
       Segregation by gender in the labour market is very much related with individual factors, such as education level and occupation of parents, and, therefore, it originates in the aspirations formed in childhood and adolescence.
Male domination of manual occupations
Male domination of manual occupations

In Europe, the presence of men and women in management and professional occupations is very balanced. However, women have accessed in a much higher proportion jobs in the administrative, commercial and services sectors, and with lesser intensity, manual jobs.

The children of parents with manual jobs have more probability of ultimately doing the same kind of work. In contrast, the daughters of mothers who had prestigious positions are less likely to work in manual occupations than others, but once they do access such positions, it is more probable that they will break with gender stereotypes and occupy posts traditionally occupied by men, which usually offer better employment conditions.

Classification

Tags

Thematics

Related contents

Article

Long-Term Care following the Great Recession in European countries

Economic crises bring with them numerous political decisions that affect healthcare systems. In this article by the Social Observatory of “la Caixa”, we analyse the effects of the crisis on the reform of the long-term care system in European countries.

Article

Employment situation and family background in Europe during the crisis: we are not all equal

What is the relationship between social background and quality of employment? We analyse whether, independently of education, family background is a conditioning factor in finding a good job and whether the crisis has influenced this situation.

Article

Women and men, consumption and production over the life course. An unequal relationship

A large difference exists between the productive activity of men and women, especially when the latter are mothers and devote considerable time to managing the household and caring for children and dependent elders.

Article

Comparative Evolution of Child, Youth and Elderly Poverty in Europe

Has the protection of children and young people decreased over the last decade? In many European countries the child poverty rate is higher than the poverty rate among people aged over 64 years. This divergence is especially pronounced in Spain.

Article

The challenge for the Youth Guarantee

Numerous diagnoses exist relating to the increase in youth unemployment caused by the economic crisis. The article reflects on the effectiveness of policies generated according to these diagnoses and, especially, on the European Recommendation of the Youth Guarantee.

You may also like

Report

Reforzar el bienestar social: del ingreso mínimo a la renta básica

Reforzar el bienestar social: del ingreso mínimo a la renta básica

Social Inclusion

Este informe recoge el análisis sobre la situación social en España y sobre la capacidad de las ayudas y subsidios existentes para garantizar unos ingresos mínimos a todos los ciudadanos, con el objetivo de reducir la pobreza y la desigualdad.

Report

Housing

Housing

Social Inclusion

What social challenges does decent housing represent in Spain? This report analyses three challenges in this field: access, conditions and energy needs.

Dossier

Housing: right or commodity?

Housing: right or commodity?

Social Inclusion

The seventh Dossier from the Social Observatory of ”la Caixa” focuses on the residential insecurity faced by society’s most vulnerable groups, and access to housing for young people.