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Trends in female employment

Written by Monika Kiss
© VadimGuzhva / Fotolia

Statistics and research results show that over the past decade, despite the economic and financial downturn, the EU’s labour market has witnessed an increase in women’s employment rates. Women’s employment seems to be more resilient to the economic crisis then men’s.

This is partly due to long-term developments and institutional framework changes, as well as to women’s tendency to work in particular sectors and accept flexible working arrangements (e.g. part-time work, teleworking). Despite the general upward trend, however, women’s employment rates vary by Member State, age, social group, and educational level.

Even though international and EU legislation takes account of women’s situation in the labour market, and the EU dedicates a substantial amount of analytical work to it, a number of challenges remain unresolved. Examples include the need to harmonise retirement schemes taking into account specific characteristics of women’s careers; to better reconcile work and family life through more flexible employment arrangements; but the improvement and recognition of women’s skills, the equal treatment of domestic work and migrant workers, and the further closing of the gender pay gap are likewise important.

Read the complete Briefing on ‘Trends in female employment‘ in PDF.


Employment rate of men and women 2004–2014
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