12 Apr 2023 at 00:00
Women more often work part-time in the years after obtaining their MBO, HBO or university diploma than men with the same degree. Women with a full-time job also switch to part-time more often than men, especially if they live together. After the arrival of a child, that difference becomes even greater. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on Wednesday.
We are European champions in part-time working (less than 35 hours a week) in our country. Women in particular are less likely to work full-time. “Our economy and labor market are set up for this. Many sectors and employers make use of it. Abroad you see that women either work or don’t work. In our country there is a choice, for example, to combine care and work. You see the same thing, for example also in Germany and Austria,” says CBS demographer Ruben van Gaalen.
The statistics office looked at the first nine years on the labor market of men and women who left education with a diploma in the period 2007-2009.
Then you see that men and women had paid work about as often a year after graduation, but that men more often start their career with a full-time job. Women were twice as likely to work part-time a year after graduation as men. In the years that followed, that difference became even greater, because men started working part-time less and women more.
Less than 10 percent of male employees went to work part-time nine years after graduation. Over the years, women have been more likely to work part-time. The share of female part-timers had risen after nine years to 40 percent among women with a university degree, to 67 percent among those with an MBO diploma.
Women are more likely to follow part-time studies
The differences in part-time are caused by the fact that women more often follow studies that prepare for work in sectors where part-time jobs are common. Think of education or healthcare. But even if this is taken into account, women were less likely to have a full-time job one year after completing their education.
According to Van Gaalen, it is not the case that Dutch women are doing nothing. Due to the shortage on the labor market, the question is often asked whether it is not a good idea for part-timers to work more hours. “If we work more full-time, including as women, it will generate more work elsewhere. In the sense that more people are needed in childcare, for example.”
Women who worked full-time at the start of their careers also switched to part-time jobs more often than men in the first nine years after graduating. This was true for women across all levels of education and regardless of whether they lived at home, were single, or lived together. Cohabiting women more often exchanged their full-time job for a part-time job than women living alone or at home.