Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN14_02: Work History and women's progression
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Fatima Farina, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, ITALY
Location: UP.4.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Fourth Floor Oxford Road

Session Abstract

Employment and occupational aspects of women's market and non-market work.

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Sociological and Economic Reasons for the Decline In Market And Non-Market Work Among Females In Rural India

Amaresh Dubey1, Wendy Olsen2, Kunal Sen3

1Jawaharlal Nehru University; 2Mancheter University; 3UNU WIDER

We present a comparison of various determinants of female labour force participation in rural India, considering both market and non-market work by women. The sociological issues include whether the ‘components’ of a decomposition are additive, or overlay each other; and which factors are dominant for different types of women. Here, we decompose the changes in rural female labour force participation from 1983 to 2011/2012 using individual level data from the nationally representative National Sample Survey Employment and Unemployment Surveys. We show the size of the characteristics effect and the coefficients effect for three measures of women’s work: first a narrow measure conforming to Western notions of labour markets; secondly a standardly defined ‘medium’ measure, and thirdly a ‘wide’ measure that includes subsistence activities. 72%of the decline in female labour force participation over 1983-2012 can be explained by the characteristics effect, and 28% by the coefficient effect. The reduction in women’s participation was not caused by wealth, but by a change in the household labour status, with a decreased propensity to work most prominent among agricultural labourers and self-employed agricultural households.

The Role of External Agents/Agencies in the Progression of Women in Employment: A Relational and Multilevel Perspective in the UK

Nosheen Jawaid Khan

Newcastle University, United Kingdom

To improve gender equality in employment, the UK has embraced voluntary approach, laws, and workplace and welfare policies. To progress, there is a need for a ‘collaborative approach’ amongst various stakeholders. This study explores the role of organisations that operate to enhance women’s participation and progression in employment by affecting the individual, work, or organisational outcomes: external gender equalities agents/agencies (EGEAs). It uses a Bourdieusian framework to examine the strategies of EGEAs affecting gender equality in relation to their specific context. Using a realist approach to gender equality, the study highlights how and to what extent these strategies impact practices at national, organisational, and individual levels.

Part of ongoing PhD, the research is currently in the second phase, i.e. data collection and analysis. 35 semi-structured interviews will be conducted, and organisational documents analysed. To date, 17 respondents from 12 organisations have been interviewed, mostly in Northern England and Scotland. The preliminary findings provide a taxonomy of EGEAs based on their resources, approach, objectives, scope, activities and impact. Findings show that national and institutional contexts shape and differentiate EGEAs’ objectives and strategies; and that EGEAs face a common challenge: a lack of an analytical approach in measuring the impact of their practices. By identifying best practices, the study aims to inform organisations that seek to progress women’s career interests.

Career Trajectories And Occupational Downgrading After Childbirth In The UK: What Are The Factors Associated With Women’s Careers Stalling?

Susan Harkness1, Magda Borkowska2, Alina Pelikh2

1University of Bristol, United Kingdom; 2University of Essex, United Kingdom

This paper examines the employment trajectories of men and women up to five years following the birth of a child, and the ways that individual, family and pre-birth employment characteristics influence career outcomes. Evidence shows that across countries women with children suffer large pay penalties (Harkness & Waldfogel, 2003) and occupational downgrading is one potential explanation for this since the competing demands of work and families are greater in some jobs than others.

Using 2010-2017 Understanding Society data, we examine what evidence there is that women – by opting out of employment, moving to part-time work or moving to lower status occupations- ‘downgrade’ their careers following childbirth.

First, we use sequence analysis to produce a rich descriptive picture of the typical pathways by which occupational (up)downgrading occurs. Second, we examine how a broader range of job characteristics (working hours, sector, etc.) influence post birth outcomes.

The results show that most change takes place 3 to 5 years after birth rather than immediately. Most women who return to work go back to the same occupation after childbirth but the longer the period since birth the more women tend to withdraw from full-time employment and switch to different occupations. Staying with the same employer is associated with lower risk of downward mobility but also with lower chances of occupational upgrading. Similarly, working in the public sector or in health or education industries is linked with the ability to maintain the same occupational grade but lower chances of up(down) grading.

The Gendered Division of the Labour Market and Occupational Transitions in Austria

Bernd Liedl1, Nina-Sophie Fritsch2, Gerhard Paulinger1

1University of Vienna, Austria; 2Vienna University of Economics and Business

The gendered division of the labour market is prevalent across Europe and has been a remarkably persistent characteristic of Western societies. In this context, female employees still tend to be overrepresented in service occupations or in health and social services, while men are more likely to be active in technical occupations. Alongside this stability, research highlights the growing importance of dynamics especially within the last years, accelerating the ongoing processes of flexibilization and deregulation. As a result, of these recent developments employment biographies are infiltrated by different episodes of career interruptions and occupational transitions become an indispensable demand.

Against this background, we endeavour to shed light on gender-specific labour market mobilities in Austria by contrasting occupational transitions where gender boundaries have been overcome or where still unimpaired. The Austrian welfare state is particularly interesting in this regard, since gendered division of the labour market is quite pronounced and flexibilisation reforms are gaining increasing relevance. Thus, we pursue the following research questions: How can we describe occupational transitions in Austria between 2007 and 2017? And which factors determine gender(un)typed occupational transitions? For our empirical analysis we use Austrian Micro Census data from 2008 to 2017. First, we describe the development of transitions to explore gender(un)typed specific trends. We then examine predictors of different occupational transitions using multinomial logistic regression models. First results indicate, that we can observe a decrease in occupational transitions in general, and among these transitions an increase of the share of gender-typical changes and a stagnation of atypical changes across gender-boundaries. Depending on the type of transition, our preliminary models suggest that gender has an effect on typical/atypical transitions.

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