Development and steering of gender equality policy at work


In Switzerland, the various policy measures for gender equality in the world of work have not had sweeping success. This research project will produce knowledge on the dynamics and the interplay of these measures so that state actors can better plan and coordinate gender equality policies in future.

Project description (completed research project)

Despite various gender equality policy measures, the situation has hardly changed for women. Although women’s level of education and rate of paid employment in Switzerland have risen in recent decades, this has not led to greater equality in pay and careers. Women continue to be discriminated at work.


The aim of this project is to acquire basic knowledge on the development and steering of measures to promote gender equality in the world of work in Switzerland. For this purpose the researchers will examine policy measures of the Confederation and the cantons that target equal participation of women and men in paid employment. These measures include anti-discrimination measures (Federal Act on Gender Equality), measures for active promotion of equality by private and public employers, and programmes on reconciliation of work and family life. The researchers will collect and classify existing policy initiatives and measures and conduct in-depth analyses of selected cases through standardised surveys and interviews with affected persons and experts and through document analysis.

The project also includes comparative investigations of Germany and Austria, as gender relations in both of these countries are similar to Switzerland. However, in Germany and Austria the main focus of gender equality policy is on reconciliation of work and family life, whereas in Switzerland there is a stronger focus on anti-discrimination measures.

Original title

Entstehung und Steuerung von schweizerischen Gleichstellungspolitiken zur Erwerbsarbeit

Project leader(s)

  • Prof. Thomas Widmer, Institut für Politikwissenschaft (IPZ), Universität Zürich
  • Prof. Silke Bothfeld, Hochschule Bremen
  • Dr. Andrea Leitner, Institut für Höhere Studien, Wien
  • Dr. Gesine Fuchs, IPZ , Universität Zürich
  • Sophie Rouault, Hochschule Bremen
  • Christine Zollinger, IPZ, Universität Zürich