A4 Conference proceedings

Gender Segregation in the Occupations of Finnish Engineers

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Naukkarinen Johanna, Bairoh Susanna, Putila Sanna
Publication year: 2021
Language: English
JUFO level of this publication: 1
Permanent website address: https://peer.asee.org/37221
Open Access: Open Access publication


The Finnish labor market is among the most gender segregated in Europe.
Women head for professions in care, whereas men opt for technology.
Within different fields, the segregation shows as differences in
occupations, wages, and career paths. Research has shown that the
careers of women and men diverge upon labor market entry and continue to
diverge along the career. Much of the divergence reflects the
horizontal segregation in educational choices, but also the career paths
of women and men with the same educational background differ in many
respects. This vertical segregation has not been studied extensively in
This paper sheds light on the vertical gender segregation in engineering
by looking at the gender distribution in occupations of people with
master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering and architecture. The
analysis is based on national data about the population in employment in
Finland in 2017. Understanding the gender differences is necessary to
design effective measures to reduce the vertical segregation and promote
equality in the engineering profession.
In general, the percentage of women in employment in 2017 is slightly
smaller than the proportion of degrees obtained by women between 2000
and 2019 regardless of the degree and the engineering discipline. Women
with a master’s degree are overrepresented in clerical and educational
occupations and somewhat underrepresented in leadership and management
Women with doctoral degrees are underrepresented among the research and
development managers and directors, but the under- or overrepresentation
in other occupations varies between different disciplinary groupings.
Another interesting difference between the holders of master’s and
doctoral degrees relates to the educational occupations, where women
with a doctoral degree are slightly or heavily underrepresented. This
indicates that although women often end up in teaching, the most
prestige positions—such as professorships—are relatively more often
occupied by men.

Last updated on 2021-05-08 at 08:53