Is crowdwork sex-blind?
Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
In the platform economy, crowdwork is a distinctive form of work that excludes face-to-face interactions between crowdsourcers, workers and platforms. Due to this anonymity, gender attributes and stereotypes technically could become obsolete. However, studies show that a gender pay gap can also be found here and that the increasing flexibility associated with crowdwork may also lead to a higher risk of precariousness, especially for women.
These aspects are rarely addressed in public and media debates about digital forms of work and, in particular, crowdwork. However, depictions of crowdworkers are by no means completely gender-neutral, but gender emerges rather implicitly or is latently present in these discourses. This paper uses two empirical approaches to illustrate how gender is shaped in public discourses and self-descriptions of crowdworkers:
First, the results of a discourse analysis of German newspaper articles provide information about how gender is discursively produced in debates about crowdwork. For instance, some representations of crowdworkers contradict traditional concepts of a masculine breadwinner and depict crowdworkers as dissatisfied secondary wage earners. Data from interviews with crowdworkers then show to what extent these discursively constructed images are reflected in self-attributions and how gender-specific aspects influence the motivation and implementation of crowdwork.
The combination of these methods contributes to a comprehensive picture of the extent to which new and progressive forms of work such as crowdwork influence gender stereotypes and resolve or reproduce inequalities. This leads to a better understanding of whether and, if so, how new digital jobs can affect gender inequalities in the labor market.
Transitions to Vulnerable Employment in the Great Recession: The Case of the UK and Switzerland
1University of Geneva, Switzerland; 2NCCR LIVES
The Great Recession had a significant impact on labour markets in most of Europe and North America. While most of the focus has been on the rise in unemployment, comparatively little research has focused on the consequences of the Great Recession in relation to vulnerable forms of employment. Vulnerable employment is treated as a latent state in which workers may be at risk of being denied their rights, or exploited by their employers. This state is measured using multiple indicators of workers’ objective employment situation (such as type of employment contract, union representation, wages, or working hours) in order to establish a typology of different forms of vulnerable or non-vulnerable employment.
Using longitudinal panel data from the UK and Switzerland and latent transition analysis, we create a classification of types of employment. We show that during the Great Recession, individuals became more likely to transition to vulnerable employment indirectly through experiencing unemployment. Notably we find that, after experiencing unemployment, women and younger individuals were more likely to end up in vulnerable employment in both Switzerland and the UK. While individuals in secure forms of employment were unlikely to transition to vulnerable employment or unemployment, in the UK – contrary to Switzerland – this was not the case for individuals with lower levels of education as they were more likely to transition to vulnerable employment than other educational groups.
Equal in Everything but the Paycheck? Gender Pay Gap among Students and Graduates of First-, Second-, and Third-Cycle Studies in Poland.
1University of Warsaw, Poland; 2SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Poland
The gender pay gap is a well-known social phenomenon that has attracted significantly more attention in recent years. It has become an important part of the public discourse. British requirement for companies to report the data on gender pay gap among their employees is but one example of this trend. However, in Poland, where the overall gender pay gap is reported to be relatively small compared to the other Western societies, the gender pay gap has not been diagnosed thoroughly yet. In this presentation we demonstrate the results of analysis of gender pay gap among students and graduates of first-, second-, and third-cycle studies in Poland. Data in the study come from the Polish Graduate Tracking System (ELA system). ELA combines administrative records from the POL-on system (a register of students and graduates) and the Social Insurance Institution on the entire population of recent students and graduates in Poland. We do not stop on reporting the rate of the gender pay gap. Previous research suggest some of the differences can be associated with the structural factors and are not a result of discrimination. In our analysis we focus on the characteristics of students and graduates associated with the level of gender disparities in the labour market performance. We are particularly interested in the role of the field of study and the sector of economy.