Gender-specific inequalities in the working environment: political-institutional factors


Project description (completed research project)

Women continue to be disadvantaged in the working environment. They have lower labour force participation rates than men and are usually paid less than men. They are overrepresented among people in precarious employment and among the non-registered unemployed and underrepresented at higher management levels in large companies. Similar patterns can be found in other areas: unpaid family work and housework, care work and helping relatives and neighbours. Also in volunteer work, women mainly perform basic tasks, whereas men often assume leadership roles with greater prestige.


Up to now there has been little research on differences between the cantons with regard to discernible inequalities in working life or to the political, institutional and social structural factors responsible. In addition, there are few comparative studies that consider paid employment, unpaid family and housework, and volunteer work. The project aims to close these research gaps. First, the researchers group the cantons based on an analysis of inter-cantonal differences. In a further step, they examine the influence of individual and context features on the gender-specific inequalities. Using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) they also seek to identify historical and institutional factors that can explain cantonal inequalities in the working environment.

Original title

Geschlechtsspezifische Ungleichheiten in der schweizerischen Arbeitswelt: Politische und institutionelle Einflussfaktoren

Project leader(s)

  • Prof. Michael Nollert, Departement Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Freiburg
  • Dr. Ruedi Epple, Departement Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Freiburg
  • Dr. Sebastian Schief, Departement Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Freiburg
  • Martin Gasser, Departement Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Freiburg
  • Sarah Kersten, Departement Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Freiburg



Further information on this content


Prof. Michael Nollert Departement Sozialwissenschaften Universität Freiburg Route des Bonnesfontaines 11 1700 Freiburg +41 26 300 77 90

Products of the project