Improving women’s employment? | Article

In an interview, I was asked about the fact that women are the main source of the recent growth in employment in the country. This is confirmed by data from the National Survey of Employment and Employment (ENOE). However, to assess this situation we must take into account the reporting period and the basis from which we start. Based on the above, although it is true that women show progress in employment, the magnitude of their contribution decreases when taking into account dynamics during a pandemic. Moreover, despite the positive developments, recent developments must be viewed in light of the structural basis on which they are based. We still have a long way to go.

In addition to income levels becoming the means to achieve our goals in life, work—in this case formal work—is also key to accessing a range of services and benefits that help us weather adversity such as illness and build savings for retirement. In terms of intergenerational social mobility, which helps us capture a more comprehensive dimension of people’s fulfillment in life, which, among other things, has a lot to do with their career path, Mexican women are more likely than men to experience a phenomenon known as stickiness gender, meaning they are less likely to overcome their starting position at the bottom of the social ladder. Besides the above, we also know that women born at the top of the social ladder lose that position more often than they do.

In principle, recent employment dynamics suggest more opportunities for women to achieve. The question is whether these dynamics imply more structural changes. According to ENOE data for the population aged 15 to 64 years, in fact, of the 5.3 million increase in the employed population observed from the first quarter of 2021 to the third quarter of 2023, the majority (about two thirds) are women. However, it is also true that of the 1.6 million decline in the employed population observed during the pandemic between the first quarter of 2020 and 2021, 1.2 million (almost 77 percent) were also women. That is, there is less progress online.

To measure the magnitude of the observed flows, we must also consider the basis from which we start. Of the total 55.6 million people employed in the third quarter of 2023, just over 41 percent are women. From the above, it follows that the gender composition of the employed population has changed by approximately one percentage point since the first quarter of 2020, when women accounted for 40 percent. This also results in an increase in the share of women in employment relative to their total number from 47.5 to almost 50 percent over the same period. However, the gap between men and women remains almost the same, as it only decreased from 30.7 to 29.7 percentage points.

Without taking into account the dynamics and structure of labor force exclusion, as well as access to social security, in short, although occupational data indicate an improvement in the space for women’s work and its potential impact on social mobility, to confirm We will have to wait for time to pass and the observed short-term trend will consolidate. Meanwhile, we must recognize that the gender gap is huge and that there are many social and institutional organizations dedicated to reducing it.

*Executive Director of CEEY. X: @robertovelezg

Source: Aristegui Noticias