In many OECD countries, women are underrepresented in the highest status, highest paying positions and overrepresented in the lowest status, lowest paying positions. One potential reason for this inequity is the "motherhood penalty," where women with children face more roadblocks in hiring and promotions. This research investigates occupational segregation among mothers and fathers and analyzes whether gender gaps in occupational status are more extreme for immigrant populations. Using data from the Luxembourg Cross-National Data Center, I compare changes in gender occupational segregation from 2000 to 2016 in Germany and the United States among immigrant and native-born parents. Multinomial logistic regression models and predicted probabilities show that despite instituting policies intended to reduce gender inequality in the workforce, Germany fares worse than the US in their gendered occupational outcomes overall. While the gap between mothers' and fathers' probabilities of employment in the highest status jobs is shrinking over time in Germany, particularly for immigrant mothers, Germany's gender gaps in professional occupations are consistently larger than gaps in the US. Likewise, gender gaps in unskilled work participation are also larger in Germany, with immigrant mothers having a much higher likelihood of working in labor/elementary occupations than any other group--including US immigrant women. These findings suggest that work-family policies--at least those implemented in Germany--are not cure-all solutions for entrenched gender inequality. Results also demonstrate the importance of considering the interaction between gender and other demographic characteristics--like immigrant status--when determining the potential effectiveness of proposed work-family policies.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Park, Paige N., "Cross-National Analysis of Mothers' Occupational Status in Germany and the United States: Before and After Germany's Work-Family Policy Changes" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9633.
gender, immigrant, occupational status, occupational inequality, policy