Gender equality in Europe’s labour market

18 Feb, 2021 | newstoday | No Comments

Gender equality in Europe’s labour market

Gender equality


Gender equality in Europe’s labour market has sparked a serious debate in the recent past. With many European nations struggling to ensure gender equality in many fields a lot is yet to be achieved. The severity of gender disparity in the labour market in Europe varies with each country.  Gender inequality in the European labour market is still evident despite the efforts of these nations to combat the issue.  Much needs to be done before the gender equality gap is fully closed in the United Kingdom and the European labour market at large.

Horizontal gender inequality in the United Kingdom labour market relates to the different treatments subjected to men and women in terms of the type of jobs offered (Leathwood, 2017). Most sectors in the United Kingdom’s labour market exhibit horizontal gender segregation. Fields like construction are made up of more men than women. Although more women than men graduate from higher learning institutions in the United Kingdom most of them end up in health and humanity related fields while men concentrate in scientific and technical fields. Engineering is another highly segregated field in the United Kingdom. By June 2018 women only made up 21% of the total workforce in the engineering sector while men took the remaining 79%.

Vertical gender inequality in the United Kingdom labour market is also evident where women are disadvantaged as further as revenue and access to supervisory roles is concerned. As by June 2020, only 30% of the employed women in the United Kingdom were in supervisory positions compared to 52.8% of the employed men who were in the same roles. There is also considerable gender pay gap in the United Kingdom. The current gender pay gap currently stands at 18.4%. Most companies pay men workers higher wages than women in the United Kingdom. Although the gap has been steadily reducing the current gender disparity in the labour market is still worrying. (Azmat, 2015).


The current gender gap in United Kingdom’s labour market contradicts the current studies that show women are more learned than men in most European nations. This may mean that women are better in performance when compared to men in the labour market (Castellano, et al., 2019).  This also means solving the gender equality puzzle in the United Kingdom labour market could boost the economy of the country. Several factors are responsible for the occupational segregation being witnessed in the labour market.  Issues like occupational choices and caring for children explain the segregation.

In conclusion, indeed, most European countries including in the United Kingdom European labour markets are still significantly stratified by gender. Horizontal gender segregation is still evident as fields like engineering are still dominated by men. Vertical gender segregation is on the other hand still a problem as more men hold supervisory jobs than women. Although the gap is likely to keep reducing, it will take a considerable amount of effort before equality is achieved and these gaps closed. Existing policies should be improved to focus more on encouraging family-friendly employment to help curb this issue.

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