Gender and Unemployment

by danielle_harmon on November 6, 2016 - 7:07pm

In the article “Gender and Unemployment” Kathrin Leuze and Susanne Straub have a new way of viewing the questions of ‘why do occupations dominated by women pay less? And how does “female-typical” work tasks and working time arrangements affect the gender was among higher education graduates?’

An occurring problem in society today is gender inequality.  There is a known difference between females and males in education. On average, women participate in higher education more than men do. Women also are more involved in labour marketing now, than ever before. One of the most inequality concerns between men and women is their wage gap.

Many people agree to the wage gap and the occupations dominated by women should be paid less.  According to Hook, most of the people who agree that occupations dominated by women should be paid less, still believes that women still have the responsibility for cleaning the house, taking care of the children at all times, and cooking dinner (2010).  Those who believe that women should be paid less believe that just like before, women stay home while the men go to work. In society, today, most people believe that the “responsibilities of a woman” are the responsibilities of both men and women. Most females enjoy working, this way they do not need to rely on anyone. Budig and England founded that people believe because of parental leave when a mother is due to have a child and part time jobs is the reason for the large wage gap between genders (2001). Although I agree that this may contribute to the gender wage difference, it is still not fair that women dominated jobs pay less. Both men and women jobs should be paid fairly equal depending on the occupation. The difference between the wage gap between genders should be less relevant for higher education graduates at the beginning of their career but they aren’t, this is the reason I believe that this sets a good example for gender inequality. I do believe that it is fair to have a wage difference between higher educated people but not based on gender. I understand men and women sometimes specialize in different subjects of work in different types of occupations but I do not understand why females are being paid less in jobs that they dominate simply because of their gender. England an Li found that according to the “devaluation theory”, women are valued less than men in the culture of other countries mostly in the West, which is why all things associated with woman are valued less. This includes occupations (2006).

Apparently “female-typical” work tasks and working time arrangements affect gender wages. Women who have children often worked less. This is because women must put their priorities first, which is their children. This requires them to work less hours so they can tend to their children. Men tend to make more money because they generally do not need to take time out of work to take care of their children. In conclusion, women work less hours. It is known that working overtime increases wages while working part time decreases wages. This indicates that Occupations dominated by women pay less due to their “female-typical” working time arrangements.


Article: Leuze, K., & Strauß, S. (2016). Why do occupations dominated by women pay less? how 'female-typical' work tasks and working-time arrangements affect the gender wage gap among higher education graduates. Work, Employment & Society, 30(5), 802-820.

Hook JL (2010) Gender inequality in the welfare state: sex segregation in housework. 1965–2003. American Journal of Sociology 115(5): 1480–523.

Budig MJ and England P (2001) The wage penalty for motherhood. American Sociological Review 66(2): 204–25

England P and Li S (2006) Desegregation stalled: the changing gender composition of college majors, 1971–2002. Gender & Society 20(5): 657–77



As a young woman who is soon going to have to find a job in the field I’m studying in, I was immediately interested in your post when I read the title. My gender has never restrained me from doing anything work-related, but surprisingly it is still a big concern for me. I am always scared that I will be refused a job, just because I am a woman. Even though I already knew that some men still strongly believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, I am disgusted with the idea of women being paid less than men. I am not at all surprised with the fact that those who believe that women and men shouldn’t be paid equally are the ones who still believe that a woman’s job is to clean the house, cook for the family and take care of the children. Your post directly relates to implicit and explicit beliefs. An implicit belief can be described as an unconscious belief that your group (race, sexuality, gender etc.) is superior to others while an explicit belief is direct and conscious belief that your group is superior to others. Your post can be seen as either implicit or explicit beliefs, depending on the person because men seem to think that they are better than women. Moreover, we could relate your post to the concept of the “man box.” Tony Porter, in his Ted Talk, describes the “man box” as a system of expectations forcing men to be better and stronger, emotionally as well as physically. If we reverse it, we could say that women are expected to be perfect housewives. This could be a feminine version of it. Overall, your title was simple yet straight to the point and it is what initially drew me to your post. Your post was really well written and easy to understand.

Being that I am a female social science student that is exposed to various social issues like gender inequality in my program; I was particularly intrigued to read your post because of its familiar title. I totally agree with you when you say that women should be paid the same as men for doing the exact same job. I find it absolutely degrading for the women who have to face this kind of situation; and being that I will soon be in the work force myself, it honestly scares me. Although I also disagree with the whole concept of "female tasks" and that a woman is the one that has to cook, clean, and take care of the children; I still believe that women are somewhat more fit ( biologically) to take care of children (when they are newborns) than men are. Maternity leave is a big reason as to why companies do not want to pay women as much as men. Being that many women leave their jobs due to pregnancy, it would be considered disadvantageous for a company to continue paying a woman a high salary who is not even doing her work. Although I do not think that this is necessarily fair because women did not decide to be the ones to carry the child; I think that it can be debatable from the standpoint of businesses. Furthermore, the social issue of gender and unemployment made me think of gender stereotypes and male privilege. Women are often characterized as being weak, sensitive, and dependant; while men are strong, aggressive, and dominant. These gender stereotypes influence how a lot of people view women, and may lead to people thinking that a woman does not hold the traits to be a leader, or do a “man’s job”. As for general remarks, I really appreciated your post as it was a relatable social issue that was very well communicated!

What drew me to the post was the title considering it would be clearly talking about a topic that is still very important today. It is still shocking to see that to this day, some people still believe that women should be stay at home moms and cleaning the house and cooking, I believe it is a very unfair and a shocking point of view. It’s disappointing to see there is still an unfair wage gap between men and women, you mentioned it has something to do with women taking parental leave and men not necessarily having to take it. I really disagree with it and it is really unfair to disadvantage women for the possibility that they may or may not have children in the future and take parental leave. This post could relate to the issue of stereotypes regarding gender and the “man box” as seen in class. The max box is expectations that man should be stronger than women but there are also the expectations that women should be taking care of the family at home and those are problems that are still present in society. Overall, your post was really good and your topic was interesting.

I totally agree with you about the fact that women and men should be paid equally for the same occupation or job, and for having the same skills. In the past centuries, women were associated, like you said, with responsibility for taking care of the whole family, cleaning the house, preparing dinner and welcoming their husband home. This view on women did change throughout the time, but there are still people who think that this kind of responsibility is for women only. I agree that maternity leave for having children for women is one of the major reason of the gender wage difference. However, I do not think that it is enough to explain the wage gap. Nowadays, more and more women are in the workplace. Furthermore, the entry-level of the workplace is equally filled by women and men. However, more it goes up in the corporate ladders, less there are women. This phenomenon is called “glass ceiling”. This invisible barrier prevents women and also visible minorities from getting to the top of the ladder. As you said, women and men should both be paid according to their occupation or their own skills (education, qualifications or achievements), but not based on gender.

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