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Understanding womens employment in Europe: the importance of class and gender. Tracey Warren.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding womens employment in Europe: the importance of class and gender. Tracey Warren."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding womens employment in Europe: the importance of class and gender. Tracey Warren

2 Research focus Gender and class In Britain, women in lower level occupational classes Work time Economic well-being of women at the bottom of the occupational hierarchy in Europe objective subjective

3 Economic well-being A The level of living perspective social policy approach - poverty Sociology sociology of work and employment: w ages B Subjective indicators of quality of life satisfaction

4 Womens work time and EWB in Britain Women employed in lower level part-time jobs Negative repercussions for Having. low hourly wages low monthly wages. low independent financial assets. financial worries

5 Work time and EWB The British work time regime: a polarisation between a female-dominated part-time labour market and a long hours male-dominated full-time labour market. Fagan (2001) a distinctly family-unfriendly and class bound system. Generalisability of the weak British situation?

6 Data Wave 7 of the Users Database of the European Community Household Panel Survey. The sample aged 25-55 Work time - 1-29 hours (in the main job including any overtime); and more hours. Occupation in current job A four cell matrix : PT Manager/professional/associate professional; FT Manager/professional/associate professions; PT clerical/manual; FT clerical/manual.

7 Economic well-being: employees relative earnings (current gross monthly); satisfaction with their earnings; assessments of own financial positions; assessments of household economic positions.


9 Occupational location of female part-timers? Working short hours did not mean being concentrated in low level occupations over-represented in manual/elementary and in clerical/service category (Britain and Austria) concentrated in manual/elementary jobs (Finland, France, Luxembourg and Spain). clerical/service work (Denmark). manual, clerical and higher level occupations (Ireland and the Netherlands) women in high level jobs were more likely to work part-time (Greece and Italy and Portugal behind them).

10 Monthly wages? Women in low level jobs working 1-29 hours a week lowest monthly wages of female employees in each country Relatively more wage-advantaged in Denmark and the Netherlands (63% and 61% of the median for female employees) more wage-disadvantaged in Portugal and Finland (36% and 40%).

11 Earnings satisfied PT low level workers? Denmark most wage satisfied group Austria, Ireland and the UK similarly wage satisfied to other groups of women. Question - links between actual wages and feelings about those wages? Greece Low wage satisfaction. Italy and Spain too similarly dissatisfied as part-timers in managerial jobs. PT/FT rather than class?

12 Households: have anything to save? Part-time low level disadvantage common Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, UK. In many countries, similarly disadvantaged as full-time low level workers France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK Class not work time?

13 Households: find it difficult to make ends meet? Part-time low level disadvantage common –Austria, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Close behind were full-time clerical/manual workers Exceptions? Denmark and Finland

14 Conclusions Part-time low level workers had the lowest monthly wages, relative to their compatriots, but the intensity of wage disadvantage varied substantially. Subjective: No universal correlation between womens relative wage positions and their earnings satisfaction More prevalent association at the level of household economies.

15 Conclusions: individuals and households Individual or household level analysis of economic well- being? bringing the household back in? members of households as financial buffer a more detailed consideration of the households of women needed class Indicators of a nations economic prosperity socio-economic structures and welfare regimes offer buffers/ cushions to those in the weakest economic positions. Denmark and Finland

16 Conclusions: EWB Researching women workers economic well-being Wage levels and wage satisfaction Objective and subjective indicators of Having material resources. Subjective measures - adaptations, aspirations and expectations. satisficing reflections on outgoings and not just incomings aspirations and situation Economic well-being in research into gender, class, family and employment

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