Women in the Netherlands have been outperforming men in education for many years now. However, this superior educational achievement does not translate into a better position on the labour market. The labour market participation of women is still lower than of men and women work part-time much more often.
There is a suspicion that these differences between men and women arise at an early stage in their careers. In this study, the focus is therefore on young women and men aged between 18 and 35 years. Our study shows that some differences appear very early in the career of women and men, e.g. far more young wmen than men work part-time in their first job after leaving school. Other differences, e.g. in labour market participation, arise at a later moment in the career. Compared to other European countries the position of young women and men in the Netherlands is not unique but the large difference in working hours between young women and men is rather unusual.
The large difference in working hours between youg women and men can be explained by the different fields of study of women and men (these fields determine the sectors in which women and men start a career), the vulnerable position of starters on the labour market and different preferences of young women and men.
The study was conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) at the request of the Emancipation Department of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. It was funded jointly by the Emancipation Department and the European Commission.
The full report has been written in Dutch: Werken aan de start. Jonge vrouwen en mannen op de arbeidsmarkt.
The summary is also available in English: Starting out.Young women and men on the labour market
Both reports have been uploaded.