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Following lives from birth and through the adult years www.cls.ioe.ac.uk Paper for Women and Employment Survey 25th Anniversary Conference Shirley Dex,

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Presentation on theme: "Following lives from birth and through the adult years www.cls.ioe.ac.uk Paper for Women and Employment Survey 25th Anniversary Conference Shirley Dex,"— Presentation transcript:

1 following lives from birth and through the adult years Paper for Women and Employment Survey 25th Anniversary Conference Shirley Dex, Heather Joshi and Kelly Ward Institute of Education, University of London Changes in Womens Occupations and Occupational Mobility over 25 years

2 following lives from birth and through the adult years Introduction Focus on womens occupational mobility over their lifetime Movements between occupational categories Part of IoE Gender Network project – using 1946, 1958, 1970 birth cohorts This paper is a specific attempt to replicate earlier WES analyses, for better or worse - same categories, definitions of vertical occupational mobility, and analyses - new data

3 following lives from birth and through the adult years Overview of the presentation What did we learn about womens employment in 1980 from WES? How are we going to examine change? Focus mainly on childbirth – last job before birth to first job after Gender comparisons added, not possible with WES Conclusions

4 following lives from birth and through the adult years What did we learn about womens employment in 1980 from WES? Most mothers returned to employment after childbirth Gap between first birth and return to work beginning to shorten 68% of returns to employment after first child were to part-time jobs Likelihood of downward occupational mobility over childbirth - lower at top end of occupations - Higher as duration out of employment increased - Higher if return to a part-time job

5 following lives from birth and through the adult years 1980s At the time WES was collected in sex discrimination legislation Statutory maternity leave introduced from 1973 Since then, improved maternity leave and pay

6 following lives from birth and through the adult years NCDS and WES The National Child Development Study - census of babies born in a certain week of 1958 in Great Britain - 6 main interview waves up to 2000 retrospective histories of employment and fertility - womens and mens occupational histories women, 5617 men up to wave 6, age 42. WES - employment and occupation histories for 5320 women

7 following lives from birth and through the adult years Method of examining change DataYear of birthUp to ageN WES1922 – WES NCDS

8 following lives from birth and through the adult years Defining vertical occupational mobility 1. Professional 2. Teacher 3. Nurse, medical and social occupations 4. Intermediate non-manual 5. Clerical and secretarial 6. Skilled 7. Semi-skilled factory 8. All other semi-skilled, shop assistant, child care and unskilled

9 following lives from birth and through the adult years Occupational Categories Per cent downwardly mobile Born Born Born 1958 Nursing, medical and social41%26%22% Clerical45%46%36% Skilled48%41%43% Semi-skilled factory work42%44%35% Last job before birth and first job after

10 following lives from birth and through the adult years Downward occupational mobility by occupation Predicted probabilities of downward occupational mobility across first childbirth for WES and NCDS mothers by pre-birth occupation Based on a standard individual working full time, one year out of labour market

11 following lives from birth and through the adult years Downward occupational mobility by return hours Predicted probabilities of downward occupational mobility across first childbirth for WES and NCDS mothers by whether the first return was a full or part-time job. Based on a standard individual, one year out of labour market

12 following lives from birth and through the adult years Downward occupational mobility by timing of return Predicted probabilities of downward occupational mobility across first childbirth for WES and NCDS teachers by years before first return to work. Based on standard individual working part time and a teacher

13 following lives from birth and through the adult years Most recent job compared to first job is: WES with children* WES Without children** NCDS With child NCDS Without child NCDS men Higher Same Lower Total100 N Gender comparisons –first job to most recent Occupation level of most recent job compared with first occupation in working life.

14 following lives from birth and through the adult years Conclusions Improvements over time in womens occupational mobility Reduction in downward occupational mobility Penalties worse for 1958 women than in the past (WES) if they return part time or after longer break Men have plenty of downward occupational mobility Interesting to see most recent cohort to see if part time work less of a problem now, after Part-time Directive


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