If the gender gap in labour force participation rates were halved in the next 20 years, the annual growth rate of GDP per capita would increase by 0.3 percentage points
In 2010, on average across OECD countries 65% of women participated in the labour force, compared with 79% of men. If participation rates for women were to reach those of men by 2030, there would be a 12% increase in GDP. [Figure 1.2] Higher employment rates for women do not hamper fertility rates: countries with low female participation in the labour force often have low fertility rates.
During the crisis gender gaps in employment first narrowed but then widened again
In the early years of the crisis, in most OECD countries gender gaps in employment shrank mostly due to heavy job losses in male-dominated sectors. In many cases, women were able to increase their hours of work, especially if they were working part-time. However, from 2009 onwards, unemployment continued to increase for women while it declined or rose at a slower pace for men. [Figure 19.4] Cuts in public-sector employment will further worsen women's position.
More than 80% of women, but less than 60% of men, work in the service sector
In OECD countries, on average, one in three women employed in the service sector works in sales, hotels and restaurants. The highest proportions of women work in health and community services (78%) and the education sector (70%). [Figure 11.3]
In OECD countries 24% of employed women work part-time, but only 8% of men
Mothers are generally more likely than women without children to work part-time. In the Netherlands and Germany, for example, more than 60% of women with children work part-time. [Figure 12.1] The prevalence of part-time work tends to be greater in countries with high childcare costs such as Japan, Switzerland and the Anglophone countries.
Women earn on average 16% less than men in OECD countries
The wage gap has closed nearly four percentage points between 2000 and 2005, but progress has been limited since. [Figure 13.1] Do pay gaps reflect discrimination? Education and career choices explain a considerable part of the gender pay gap. The fewer hours worked by women explain one-third of the gap in the OECD. Working in different occupations and sectors from men is another important explanatory factor.
In OECD countries less than three out of ten senior managers and one out of ten board members are women
With the introduction of quota legislation in 2006, Norway has reached the 40% mark in the representation of women on company boards. [Figure 15.1] Important gender gaps remain in senior position also in the public sector, although women constitute about 58% of the public sector workforce. In the European Union, for example, women occupy 33% of the highest-level positions in socio-cultural ministries, but only 22% in the ministries with economic and key strategic functions.
Women devote, on average, more than twice as much time to household work as men
When both partners work, women still spend more than 2 hours per day extra in unpaid work. [Figure 17.3] This gap is due to the fact that many women work part-time, but it hardly narrows when both partners work full-time. Even in female-earner couples men only do as much housework as women.