Easier for men with children to find job than for women

90.0%  of men aged 25 to 54 who had children were employed. Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.

90.0%  of men aged 25 to 54 who had children were employed. Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.

Men with children are more likely to be employed than women who have kids but also their offspring-less male colleagues, data released by Eurostat shows.

A report by the EU statistics office shows that 90% of men aged 25 to 54 with children were employed in 2020, while only 72.2% of women in the same age bracket with children had a job. For women without children the employment rate was higher (76.8%) while men without children were less likely to be employed than those with kids (80.9%). 

In Luxembourg, only around three quarters of women with children held jobs, compared to around 80% of women without children. The employment rate for men with children approached 90% while men without children still outranked childless women at around 85%. 

“Gender-specific data is extremely important for gender policy,”  Taina Bofferding (LSAP), minister for equality between men and women said in March during the launch oa monitoring body for gender equality. The tool collects national and international data to help formulate policy initiatives to promote equality between the sexes.

The pandemic has highlighted a lack of data in some fields, Bofferding said at the time, with little official information available on the impact of the crisis on women’s employment, for example.

And the Eurostat report, too, does not indicate whether the covid-19 pandemic can be linked to the gender disparity. But the crisis has been blamed for pushing women out of the workforce as they took on childcare and home schooling duties during months-long lockdowns.

Elsewhere in the EU, the highest shares of employed women aged 25 to 54 with children were recorded in Slovenia (86.2%), Sweden (83.5%), Portugal (83.0%), Lithuania (82.6%), Denmark (82.2%), the Netherlands (80.7%) and Finland (80.3%). The lowest employment rates were reported by Italy (57.3%), Greece (61.3%) and Spain (66.2%) where less than two thirds of women with children were employed. 

While women with zero to two children had an average employment rate of about 74%, women with three or more children had an average employment rate of 59.1%. 

Men with children were employed the most in Czechia (96.5%), Malta (95.7%), Slovenia (95.0%), Sweden (93.9%), the Netherlands (93.7%) and Poland (93.5%)

Italy and Greece recorded the largest gender gaps between men and women, with 28.9 percentage points in Italy and 27.2 pp in Greece. The lowest gender gaps for people with children were found in Lithuania (6.8 pp), Slovenia (8.8 pp) and Portugal (9.3 pp).