Horizontal Segregation in Labour Market

The horizontal segregation by gender (division into the feminized and masculine occupations) has a negative impact on the situation of women in the labor market, especially in case of ​​remuneration. Women clearly dominate in occupations related to services, sales, education, social assistance, health care and administrative services. Men predominate in occupations related to construction, industry, telecommunications and information, machinery and equipment operation and transport.

The average wage of women is lower than for men in almost all occupations and sectors of the economy. The largest, over 30% difference in salaries of men and women occurs in a group of the industrial workers and craftsmen, where women account for less than 12% of employees. The heavily feminized professions are at the same time the lowest paid ones, e.g. hairdressers, beauticians, waitresses, female clothing workers, dietitians, medical and pharmaceutical technicians. Earnings of women in the most feminized sectors of economy – healthcare, social assistance and education, where most employers have a university degree, are not higher than the average national salary. Although in masculine occupations there are often significant wage disparities between women and men, women’s earnings are higher here than in feminized occupations.

In 2015, the most vacancies were recorded in two strongly masculinized groups: Industrial workers and craftsmen (15,1 thousand places) and Operators and assemblers of machines and equipment (11,2 thousand places). In the sectors of the economy, the largest number of vacancies occurred in the masculinized sector of industrial processing, and the least in the feminized sectors – other service activity, healthcare and social assistance, and education.

From the perspective of economic independence and availability of work, it seems reasonable for girls to choose to learn the mechanics and machines operating in vocational schools, and avoid the selling and personal services classes as  these professions are poorly paid and with high unemployment rate. This is particularly important when one takes into account the fact that the choice of a basic vocational school by girls is very often related to economic coercion (the need to take up work as soon as possible after graduating from grammar school).

More about the problem of horizontal segregation you will find in the analysis (only in Polish): Segregacja pozioma kobiet i mężczyzn na rynku pracy. Przedstawienie zjawiska na podstawie danych statystycznych oraz badań Koalicji Karat (2017)