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Quantifying gender distances in education, occupation and employment

Maria Symeonaki (Department of Social Policy, Panteion University of Economic and Social Sciences, Athens, Greece)
Celestine Filopoulou (Department of Social Policy, Panteion University of Economic and Social Sciences, Athens, Greece)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of gender in education, occupation and employment in Southern Europe and more specifically in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The goal is to provide measures that can trace gender differences with respect to their educational and employment features in these countries, explore whether these differences converge over time and compare the patterns observed in each country given their socio-economic similarities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses raw data drawn from the European Social Survey (ESS) for the decade 2002-2012. It provides a method for quantifying gender differences in education, occupation and employment and their evolution over time based on distance measures.

Findings

The results reveal that gender distances in education have gradually subsided in these countries. However, occupational choices differ steadily over the years for all countries. The paper provides, therefore, solid evidence that equalizing the level of education between men and women during those years did not result in a decrease in the occupational distances between them. Moreover, based on the latest round the findings suggest that men and women are equally likely to having experienced unemployment within the last five years.

Research limitations/implications

Further research could be done to include results based on raw data from the seventh round of the ESS. This may provide valuable information for Spain and Portugal who did participate in this round.

Social implications

This research implies that more needs to be done to accelerate progress in order to achieve gender occupational equality in Southern Europe.

Originality/value

This paper draws attention to issues concerning gender differences in education, horizontal and vertical segregation and employment for which it provides distance measures and evidence of how they have evolved over time, based on raw data analysis from the ESS.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study has received no funding. Ethical approval: this paper does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. This paper uses raw data drawn from the European Social Survey (ESS). ESS subscribes to the Declaration on Ethics of the International Statistical Institute (ISI, www.cbs.nl/isi/ethics.htm).

Citation

Symeonaki, M. and Filopoulou, C. (2017), "Quantifying gender distances in education, occupation and employment", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 340-361. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-11-2016-0106

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited