Policy cycle in employment
In this phase, it is recommended that information is gathered on the situation of women and men in a particular area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, and checking for the existence of studies, programme or project reports and/or evaluations from previous periods.
Examples of gender and employment statistics
The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) provides the main aggregated statistics on labour market outcomes in the European Union. The EU-LFS is the main data source for employment and unemployment. Tables on population, employment, working hours, permanency of job, professional status etc. are included. It provides disaggregated statistics by sex, age groups, economic activity, education attainment and field of education, type of employment (part-time, full-time), type of occupation (temporary) from which it is possible to measure the characteristics of the labour force of women. Starting from 1999, every year the survey has included an ad hoc module on specific topics. In 2005 and 2010, the module was on reconciliation of work and family life.
The European Union Living Conditions Survey (EU-SILC) is the main source for the compilation of statistics on income, social inclusion and living conditions at the EU-28 level. EU-SILC was launched in 2003 in 7 countries under a gentleman’s agreement and was later gradually extended to all EU countries and beyond. The EU-SILC survey has been conducted in 32 countries, i.e. the 28 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey, and tested in 2 further countries (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia). These cover objective and subjective aspects of the themes in both monetary and non-monetary terms, for households and individuals. It contains, among other things, information on wages, incomes, working hours and use of childcare.
Unpaid family work and the use of time. Traditionally, harmonised data on time use are rather scarce. However, the Harmonised European Time Use Survey (HETUS) enables an illustration of how the daily time of European women and men is distributed among different activities, highlighting gender gaps and cross-national differences. HETUS contains harmonised information on the use of time by each member of the household. The list of domestic activities available in HETUS is fairly comprehensive. In 2008, Eurostat released an updated version of the guidelines on HETUS, the purpose of which is to provide a solid methodological basis for countries intending to carry out time use surveys, to ensure that the results are comparable between countries and hence to greatly increase the value of the data.
The European Union Structure of Earnings Survey (EU-SES). The SES is a large enterprise sample survey providing detailed and comparable information on the relationships between the level of remuneration and individual characteristics of employees (sex, age, occupation, length of service, highest educational level attained, etc.) and those of their employer (economic activity, size and location of the enterprise). This is the basis for collecting data on earnings and the gender pay gap in EU-28 Member States. The data collection is based on legislation and data became available approximately 2 years after the end of the reference period. Earnings statistics vary with regard to periodicity of the data collection (biannual, annual and four-yearly), coverage (economic activity, enterprise size) and units of measurement (hourly, monthly or yearly earnings). In particular, SES provides information on annual gross earnings, net earnings and tax rate, gender pay gap and minimum wages. Data are broken down by economic activity (NACE: Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community), form of economic and financial control (public/private) of the enterprise and age classes of employees. Data and indicators are included in Eurostat earnings database.
The European Working Conditions Survey (ECWS). To date the survey, which interviews both employees and self-employed people on key issues relating to their work and employment, has been carried out 5 times. Themes covered today include employment status, working-time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, as well as work and health.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is undertaken every 4 years by Eurofound. It includes questions on how often individuals are involved in any activities outside paid work (e.g. caring for children, housework, caring for elderly, disabled relatives) and how many hours and days individuals are involved in those activities.
The online salary check/wage indicator started in the Netherlands and is now available for 60 different countries. Workers, employers and policymakers can check whether there is equal pay for equal work. The aim is to provide the most reliable wage information for any specific occupation and worker profile. By providing reliable information about empirically observed gender pay differentials, the wage indicator hopes to contribute to a more transparent and equitable labour market. The salary checker calculation uses the gross hourly wage rate computed from gross earnings and the number of hours worked. The wage indicator collects data by means of a strictly voluntary web-based survey available at national wage indicator sites. The wage indicator questionnaire has been translated into 20 languages so far and operates in 60 countries. The survey questionnaire is similar to those used by statistical agencies for standard labour force surveys; it is designed to be easily understood and involves only multiple-choice questions. The collected data are anonymised, and strictly applied measures ensure data security. The wage indicator recognises more than 1,700 different occupations. The classification of occupations is based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) provided by the ILO.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE): The UNECE Statistics Database
This website aims to bring together both gender statistics and policies. Focus is on the production, dissemination and use of gender-related data. In addition to statistics, the website outlines some of the main gender issues relevant to the UNECE region, and provides examples of policies and other initiatives. It also contains thematic pages on topics consisting of important methodologies and examples of survey instruments. The UNECE Gender Statistics Database helps to monitor the situation of women and men in all UNECE member countries. It contains data on employment and unemployment disaggregated by sex.
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
The ILO Database of Labour Statistics (ILOSTAT databases) provides multiple datasets with annual and intra-annual labour market statistics for over 100 indicators and 230 countries, areas and territories.
Examples of studies, research and reports
European Commission, Gender Mainstreaming of Employment Policies: A Comparative Review of 30 European Countries, 2007
This report provides a checklist for effective gender mainstreaming and analyses the most relevant employment policy domains from a gender perspective.
Gender Equality, Employment Policies and the Crisis in EU Member States, 2009
This report analyses the gendered impact of the recession and underlines why it is important to keep gender equality central to responses at both the European and Member State level since losing sight of equality issues risks undermining EU long-term strategic goals. Gender mainstreaming in labour market analyses and policy reactions can be considered an important tool in this time of crisis for effective responses to help both men and women in European labour markets.
European Commission, The impact of the economic crisis on the situation of women and men and on gender equality policies, 2012
This report provides an assessment of the impact of this crisis on the situation of women and men in Europe and on gender equality policies. It covers 27 Member States, the EEA-EFTA countries and 3 candidate countries: Turkey, Croatia and FYROM. The core reference period for analysis of the labour market impact is the (nearly) 4 years between the second quarter of 2008 – when the crisis technically started for the EU as a whole – and the first quarter of 2012.
Tax Deductions for Domestic Service Work in Sweden
On 1 July 2007, household-related services became tax-deductible. The deduction effectively reduces the cost of buying such services by around 50%. One of the aims of introducing tax relief in this area is to enable members of the household to increase their time in gainful employment and to make it easier for women and men to combine family life and working life on equal terms. One of the positive effects of tax relief for household-related services reported by the government in the government bill of 2011 was that a large percentage of those who work and have started working as a result of this deduction were women of foreign origin, who generally have a very weak position in the labour market.
Did you know that EIGE has a resource and documentation centre? Check whether there is relevant information to feed into your analysis.
One of the first steps to take when defining your policy/project/programme is to gather information and analyse the situation of women and men in the respective policy area. The information and data you collect will allow an understanding of the reality and assist you in designing your policy, programme or project. Specific methods that can be used in this phase are gender analysis and gender impact assessment.
Examples of gender analysis
Gender pay gap in Estonia: Empirical analysis & Policy recommendations
This article provides an overview of the development trends of the gender pay gap in Estonia and in the other EU Member States, and analyses the consequent results on the size of the explained and unexplained pay gap. It is accompanied by an article that covers recommendations regarding measures to reduce the gender pay gap for the following topics: a general change in attitudes, a more precise determination of rights and obligations, reconciliation of work and family life, reducing gender segregation in the labour market and education, organizational practices and monitoring the changes in the pay gap.
Examples of gender impact assessments
Gender Impact Assessment and the Employment Strategy, Austria
The report provides a gender impact assessment analysis of the employment policy planned and implemented in Austria until 2000 by Federal Government and PES (Public Employment Services).
Gender Equality Impact Assessment of Recruitment and Selection Policies, Processes and Practices for Internal Staff, the Open University
This equality impact assessment of the recruitment and selection policy for internal staff in respect of gender was sponsored by the Director of Human Resources. One of the OU’s strategic priorities is to diversify its staff base to reflect an increasingly diverse student body. The policy is designed to provide a fair, robust and efficient recruitment and selection process which complies with current legislation and best practice. It operates within the framework of equality and diversity policies to ensure job applicants at all stages of the process are treated solely on the basis of their merits, regardless of age, disability, family circumstance, gender, political opinion, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, trade union membership or other distinctions.
Consider consulting stakeholders (e.g. gender experts, civil society organisations) on the topic at hand, to share and validate your findings and to improve your policy or programme proposal. This will enhance the learning process on the subject for all those involved and will improve the quality of the work performed at the EU level.
Examples of stakeholders that can be consulted
European Network to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship (WES)
The WES is a policy network with members from 31 European countries (the EU-28, Iceland, Norway and Turkey). The delegates represent national governments and institutions. They are responsible for promoting and supporting female entrepreneurship at national level. WES members provide advice, support, information and contacts regarding existing support measures for female entrepreneurs. They also help identify good practices.
European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs
The European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs provides advice and support to women entrepreneurs on the start-up, management and growth of their businesses in the early phases (from the second to the fourth year of existence of a new woman-run and owned enterprise).
The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors
The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors was inaugurated in 2009. It is made up of around 270 entrepreneurs from 22 European countries. The aim of the ambassadors is to act as role models by telling their story to raise awareness and encourage entrepreneurship as a career option for women of all ages.
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies. Eurofound’s role is to provide information, advice and expertise – on living and working conditions, industrial relations and managing change in Europe – for key actors in the field of EU social policy on the basis of comparative information, research and analysis.
International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity. Today, the ILO helps advance the creation of decent work and the economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.
In this phase, it’s appropriate to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality. Gender budgeting brings visibility to how much public money is spent for women and men respectively. Thus, gender budgeting ensures that public funds are fairly distributed between women and men. It also contributes to accountability and transparency about how public funds are being spent.
Example of gender budgeting in employment
Gender-budget analysis of social protection and active employment policies in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The objective of the programme is to initiate the process of incorporation of gender perspectives in the budget policies at national level, leading to proper and gender responsive allocation of resources, and better transparency and accountability of the government’s budget in terms of gender equality.
Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and employment
Analyses often consider the question of employment and the participation rate of women and men without considering the quality of their working situation and the segregation issue. In some circumstances the consideration of only one dimension might give a misleading picture of the situation and lead to the idea that women’s situation in the labour market is better than men’s.
Indeed, as traditional measures of employment rely on headcount measures for employment, they fail to account for women’s over-representation in part-time work. In order to assess the impact of gender norms and women’s and men’s labour force participation with regard to part-time work and self-employment, new indicators have been developed, as explained below.
The full-time equivalent (FTE) employment rate
Employment can be measured in terms of the number of persons or jobs, in terms of full-time equivalent employment or in hours worked. Traditional measures of employment usually rely on headcount measures and as such do not reflect the heterogeneity of working hours among employees, thereby tending to overestimate women’s employment. The full-time equivalent (FTE) employment rate addresses this by accounting for hours worked, which is particularly relevant when addressing gender gaps. It offers a more accurate measure of labour market participation, The full-time equivalent (FTE) employment rate is a unit to measure employed persons in a way that makes them comparable although they may work a different number of hours per week. The unit is obtained by comparing an employee’s average number of hours worked to the average number of hours worked by a full-time worker. A full-time worker is therefore counted as 1 FTE, while a part-time worker gets a score in proportion to the hours she or he works. For example, a part-time worker employed for 20 hours a week where full-time work consists of 40 hours, is counted as 0.5 FTE.
As such it takes into account the higher incidence of part-time employment among women. Headcount measures not only overestimate women’s labour market participation, but also labour market participation in general. The data show that that when accounting for part-time work, employment rates for both men (67%) and women (50%) are well below the Europe 2020 target of 75%. It is therefore important that future targets are disaggregated by sex in order to monitor the progress made in closing the gender gap in access to the labour market.
Part-time employment as a percentage of total employment
Generally, part-time work can be beneficial for all workers, as it allows them to adjust their work schedules to meet their life-course needs. However, part-time work arrangements – if not equally shared between women and men – can be seen as a way of perpetuating traditional gender roles, resulting in disadvantages for career development.
In 2012 in the EU-28, women accounted for 76% of those working part-time, while only about 38% of full-time workers are women. Due to the lower income associated with part-time work, as well as women’s likely inability to move out of part-time work, part-time work can have significant negative effects on women’s economic independence. Moreover, women’s greater responsibilities for care can represent an important source of involuntary part-time work.
Self-employment as a percentage of total employment
Self-employment is not only linked to economic growth, but can also provide more flexibility in terms of work–life balance issues, while maintaining the same hours. However, a clearer differentiation between entrepreneurship and self-employment can aid the implementation and monitoring of policies promoting women’s entrepreneurship. Overall, women are substantially under-represented among self-employed workers, while simultaneously being more likely to be self-employed on their own account. Moreover, self-employment leads to much lower earnings and income for women and can lead to a greater risk of poverty over the life course, as women are more likely to work in more labour-intensive and less profitable sectors than men. The gender pay gap between women and men in self-employment vividly illustrates the disparities, standing at 45% at EU level.
The structural indicator gender pay gap (GPG) in unadjusted form on an annual basis
As an unadjusted indicator, the GPG gives an overall picture of gender inequalities in terms of pay and measures as a concept which is broader than the concept underlying the principle of equal pay for equal work.
As stated by Eurostat, the indicator measures wage discrepancies between women and men, indicating the extent of unequal opportunities in the labour market. To some extent the indicator also reflects the incompatible requirements of career and family as well as the poverty risk of single-parent households, problems which mostly women face.
In the implementation phase of a policy or programme, ensure that all those involved are sufficiently aware about the relevant gender objectives and plans. If not, set up briefings and capacity-building initiatives according to staff needs. Think about including researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers, programme committee members, etc.
Example of capacity-building initiatives about gender and employment
Guidelines for gender-sensitive policing, Women Police Officers Network
Guidelines for gender-sensitive policing with an emphasis on the recruitment, selection and professional development of women in police services from Women Police Officers Network (WPON) has the goal to provide concrete and operational guidelines on how to mainstream gender equality in specific employment policy areas.
Guidelines of good practice in reconciling family and work for workers, employers and policymakers
These guidelines have been developed to help policy decision makers, employers, trade unions, NGO and individual workers that are parents or are planning to be parents to understand and develop their own work and family reconciliation strategies in their particular surroundings and according to their particular needs.
Checklist for gender neutrality in job evaluation and classification, Institute for Equality of Women and Men, Belgium
This checklist was developed to use as a gauge to detect sex discrimination in job classification systems. It consists of 2 parts: a checklist and an accompanying text. The accompanying text provides further explanations and justification about the questions included in the checklist. In addition to being an evaluation instrument, the manual also serves as a recommendation when drawing up evaluation systems.
Equality in the Enterprise, Spain
Equality in the Enterprise is a Spanish government initiative to support enterprises in the design of gender equality plans, or other initiatives, to promote gender equality at work.
Examples of awareness-raising in gender and employment
Equal Pay Day
Raising awareness is also crucial with respect to equal pay. The European Commission introduced a European Equal Pay Day from 2011 so that every year it can visualise how much longer women need to work than men to earn the same amount.
Breaking gender stereotypes in employment: Boys’ Day
In Austria and Germany an annual nationwide Boys’ Day is organised. Its objectives are to increase the number of men in typically female occupations; to break down gender stereotypes; to improve the image of the social work occupations in society; and to support men in developing a positive male identity. On Boys’ Day, boys aged 12 and above learn about new opportunities beyond gender-stereotyped career choices. In parallel, a Girls’ Day is also organised.
A policy cycle or programme should be checked both during – monitoring, and at the end – evaluation – of its implementation.
Monitoring the ongoing work allows for the follow-up of progress and remedying unforeseen difficulties. This process should take into account the indicators delineated in the planning phase and realign data collection based on those indicators.
At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gender-sensitive evaluation should take place. Make your evaluation publicly accessible and strategically disseminate its results to promote learning potential.
Example of gender monitoring and evaluation on employment
The Code of Practice Equality Act 2010, UK
The UK Code of Practice Equality Act 2010 includes a model for carrying out an equal pay audit that may be the most effective method of ensuring that a pay system is free from unlawful bias. An audit should:
- Compare the pay of women and men doing equal work, ensuring this considers work that is the same or broadly similar, work rated as equivalent, and work that can be shown to be of equal value or worth
- Identify and explain any pay differences
- Eliminate pay inequalities that cannot be explained on non-discriminatory grounds.
An equal pay audit is not simply a data collection exercise. It entails a commitment to put right any unjustified pay inequalities. This means that the audit must have the involvement and support of managers who have the authority to deliver the necessary changes. The validity of the audit and the success of subsequent action taken will be enhanced if the pay system is understood and accepted by the managers who operate the system, as well as by employees and their unions. Employers should, therefore, aim to secure the involvement of employees and, where possible, trade union and other employee representatives when carrying out an equal pay audit. The model is built around 5 steps:
- Step 1: Decide the scope of the audit and identify the information required.
- Step 2: Determine where women and men are doing equal work.
- Step 3: Collect and compare pay data to identify any significant pay inequalities between roles of equal value.
- Step 4: Establish the causes of any significant pay inequalities and assess the reasons for them.
- Step 5: Develop an equal pay action plan to remedy any direct or indirect pay discrimination.
Evaluation on Policy: Promotion of Women Innovators and Entrepreneurship, European Commission
The aim of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, utility and constraints on promotion activities across Member States as the basis for policy recommendations to support the contribution of women innovators and entrepreneurship to the Lisbon Agenda.
Evaluation of the European Social Fund’s support to Gender Equality
The European Commission conducted an evaluation of the European Social Fund’s (2007–2013) support for Gender Equality. The evaluation is gathered in one single document, which consists of reports for each Member State and 6 thematic reports on Enhancing women’s access to employment, Vertical segregation, Horizontal segregation, Work and private life reconciliation, Participation of women in enterprise creation and growth and Education and training.