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What's Sex Got to Do with It? Women and Men in European Labour Markets
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of four empirical studies on women and men in European labour markets.

Study I examines effects of the sex of the immediate supervisor on the time men and women spend in initial on-the-job training (OJT) in Sweden. The results show that men receive longer initial OJT than women do, but men’s time in training is independent of the supervisor’s sex. For women in the private sector, the chances of receiving long initial OJT are higher if the immediate supervisor is a man.

Study II analyses effects of labour market institutions on the quality of part-time work by comparing the skills and autonomy of female part-time jobs in Britain and Sweden. The results show that female part-time employees in Sweden hold positions of higher skill and have more autonomy compared to their equivalents in Britain. Both British and Swedish part-time employees face relative disadvantages when compared to female full-time workers.

Study III examines associations between maternal employment policies and wage penalties for mothers by skill in 10 European countries. The results indicate that, net of variation in female labour force participation, extensive publicly funded childcare is associated with a modest decrease in the motherhood wage penalty, regardless of skill. By contrast, paid maternity leave is weakly associated with a larger motherhood wage gap in less skilled jobs only.

Study IV examines the extent to which women’s opportunities to attain positions of high workplace authority are related to maternal employment policies, such as paid parental leave and part-time work. Based on data from 25 European countries, the results show that a high proportion of women working long part-time hours is associated with a wider gender gap in the attainment of high authority positions, to the disadvantage of women. However, paid parental leave appears to be unrelated to the gender authority gap.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University , 2011. , 36 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 85
Keyword [en]
gender inequality, labour market, country comparisons, skills, work-family balance, part-time, maternity/parental leave, childcare, family policy, Sweden, Europe
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61877ISBN: 978-91-7447-329-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-61877DiVA: diva2:438293
Public defence
2011-09-30, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: In press. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-09-01 Last updated: 2012-02-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Taking Training to Task: Sex of the Immediate Supervisor and Men’s and Women’s Time in Initial On-the-Job Training
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Taking Training to Task: Sex of the Immediate Supervisor and Men’s and Women’s Time in Initial On-the-Job Training
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The importance of applying a firm-level perspective when estimating labor market stratification by gender and ethnicity has been established in the literature. Drawing on theories of homophily, homosocial reproduction, and human capital theory, this study examines the effects of the sex of the immediate supervisor on the length of time men and women spend in initial on-the-job training (OJT). Analyses were conducted using cross-sectional data from the 2000 Swedish Level of Living Survey and matched employer registry data. The results show that men receive longer initial OJT compared with women, but men’s time in initial OJT is independent of the sex of the supervisor. For women in the private sector, the chances of receiving long initial OJT are higher if the immediate supervisor is a man. There is therefore little evidence supporting gender discriminatory practices in line with homophily and homosocial reproduction. The findings are discussed in terms of gender differences with regard to the firm resources available to male and female supervisors and dissimilarities in the skill levels and complexity of the jobs men and women supervise.

Keyword
initial on-the-job training; gender differences, sex of the supervisor
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62069 (URN)
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-09-08 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved
2. The Skills and Autonomy of Female Part-Time Work in Britain and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Skills and Autonomy of Female Part-Time Work in Britain and Sweden
2012 (English)In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, ISSN 0276-5624, E-ISSN 1878-5654, Vol. 30, no 2, 187-201 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most OECD countries have experienced an increase of female part-time employment in the last decades. It has been argued that part-time work may give greater employment flexibility, enabling mothers to reconcile conflicting demands of family and work and thereby facilitating their integration into the wage economy. At the same time, it has been suggested that female part-time work implies segmentation of the labour force into a core and a periphery, with marginalized, low qualified jobs for part-time employees. However, little attention has been given to the possible mediating effect of the institutional context on potential job quality disadvantages of part-timers. We examine this question by comparing the skills and autonomy of female part-time workers in two countries, Britain and Sweden, often considered as representing quite distinct forms of institutional regime. The results show that female part-time employees in Sweden hold positions of higher skill and have more autonomy compared to their equivalents in Britain. Even so, both British and Swedish part-time employees face relative disadvantage when compared to female full-time workers. We conclude that differences in the institutional systems of Sweden and Britain do have a significant effect on the absolute skill level of part-time work. However, the relative disadvantage of part-timers persists despite Swedish policies giving greater salience to improvements in the quality of work.

Keyword
female part-time, job quality, skills, autonomy
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62071 (URN)10.1016/j.rssm.2011.07.001 (DOI)000311914900004 ()
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-09-08 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. Where Do Working Mothers Fare the Worst: A Comparative Study on Wage Penalties for Motherhood by Skill
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Where Do Working Mothers Fare the Worst: A Comparative Study on Wage Penalties for Motherhood by Skill
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In light of the discussion on the difficulties experienced by parents who combine work and family demands, many scholars have examined the wage penalties associated with parenthood for women. Previous research shows that considerable variation exists regarding the strength of the motherhood wage penalty across countries. Scholars have partially attributed these disparities to the differences in the national policies supporting maternal employment. Although such policies are usually understood to be complementary, their effects on employees, especially on those in jobs with diverse skill levels, may differ. Using longitudinal data from the 1994–2001 European Community Household Panel (ECHP), we describe the associations between different maternal employment policies and the wage penalties for mothers by skill. With the important caveat that we only have information for 10 countries, findings from fixed-effect models indicate that, after adjusting for female participation in the labor force, a high proportion of small children in publicly funded childcare facilities is associated with a modest decrease in the motherhood wage penalty, regardless of skill level. By contrast, paid maternity leave is weakly associated with an increase in the motherhood wage gap only for women in less skilled jobs. Our findings highlight the importance of accounting for skill as well as the significance of separating maternity leave and the provision of public childcare when studying cross-country variations in women’ labor market outcomes. 

 

Keyword
motherhood wage penalty, maternity leave, childcare, family policy, maternal employment
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62072 (URN)
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-09-08 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved
4. Attaining Authority: Cross-National Variation in the Gender Gap in High Authority Positions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Attaining Authority: Cross-National Variation in the Gender Gap in High Authority Positions
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Authority positions commonly bring with them significant types of power, for example, influence over setting wages and granting promotions. Hence, equal access for men and women to such positions is of considerable importance. Although Nordic countries are typically depicted as the most gender equal in the world, several studies suggest that they rank low relative to other industrial countries with respect to gender equality in positions of workplace authority and women’s chances of obtaining the highest white-collar jobs. The aim of this paper is to study the extent to which women’s opportunities to attain positions of high labour market authority is associated with maternal employment policies, such as paid parental leave and part-time work. The analyses were conducted using cross-sectional data from the 2005 and 2006 European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for 25 countries. The results showed that a high proportion of women working long part-time hours was related to larger gender differences in the attainment of high authority positions, which disadvantaged women. However, there was no association between paid parental leave and the gender gap in positions of workplace authority.

Keyword
authority, gender differences, paid parental leave, female part-time work
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62073 (URN)
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-09-08 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved

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