Immigrants help to reduce gender segregation in working life

NurseNurse.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / SCANPIX

The labour market in Norway is still gender-divided, shows a new study. Young workers, and non-western immigrants, however, help to balance the differences.


According to a comprehensive new research report provided by the Institute for Social Research (ISF), 85% of employees in Norway work in a female or male dominated profession.

Women are overrepresented in the public sector, while men more often work in the private sector, and the differences have increased over the past 20 years.

However, the report launched on Friday, shows that younger workers choose more untraditional profession paths. Several women now work in traditionally male-dominated professions, such as finance and industry.

Also, immigrants from outside the EU are helping to level the differences. This is because men from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania, work in traditionally female-dominated professions such as cleaning. The gender balance is also affected by the fact that there are fewer female immigrants employed than male.

However, the researchers behind the report believe the changes are taking place slowly. In healthcare, and care services, which account for 14% of the Norwegian labour market, women filled nearly 82% of positions.

‘If we want a less gender-divided labour market, it doesn’t just help to encourage women to become programmers or engineers. We also need more men to choose nursing or care professions, or to take up other female-dominated occupations,’said ISF researcher, Kjersti Misje Østbakken, who has main responsibility for the report.

On Thursday, Research Forum reported that it could be easier for men to enter into female-dominated education such as medicine, dentistry, and psychology. The higher quota of men will become law in higher education from the New Year


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today