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Gender Inequalities at Labour Market Entry: A Comparative View from the eduLIFE Project

Gender Segregation in Vocational Education

ISBN: 978-1-78560-347-1, eISBN: 978-1-78560-346-4

Publication date: 18 November 2015


This chapter provides an overview of the results from a cross-nationally comparative project analysing gender differences and inequalities at labour market entry. Women’s relative gains in educational attainment and the expansion of the service sector suggest that gender inequalities in occupational returns are diminishing or even reversing. In assessing gender differences at labour market entry, we look at a phase of the life course when women’s family roles are still of minor importance. Conceptually, we distinguish between horizontal segregation and inequalities in vertical outcomes. The project was based on 13 in-depth case studies contributed by a network of scholars analysing countries with different institutional, socio-economic and cultural settings. The findings demonstrate that occupational gender segregation is still relatively marked among recent cohorts, though it is slightly decreasing over time in several countries. In terms of vertical inequalities, the case studies consistently revealed that while women enter more prestigious jobs than men in most countries, there is a female disadvantage in economic returns among recent labour market entrants. In addition, we found mixed evidence on the variations of gender equality at labour market entry across countries with different institutional characteristics.



The research leading to these results received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement No. 269568. We thank all of the authors, as listed in the paper, who contributed a study to our project. Additionally, we would like to thank the editors and two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions.


Triventi, M., Skopek, J., Kosyakova, Y., Buchholz, S. and Blossfeld, H.-P. (2015), "Gender Inequalities at Labour Market Entry: A Comparative View from the eduLIFE Project ", Gender Segregation in Vocational Education (Comparative Social Research, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 25-51.



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