Career entry and wage discrimination (BELODIS)


Project description (completed research project)

Women continue to earn 20-30% less than men. Statistically, 50% of the differences in pay between men and women can be explained by differences in work experience and qualifications that arise in the course of working life. This means that no differences should be found at the time of career entry. Yet there are indications that there is a wage gap already when men and women enter employment, even with the same education and training. A question that has not been studied before is whether and to what extent there is a discriminating wage gap between men and women in Switzerland even at career entry and at what point in time this gap arises.


The project studies gender inequalities during a formative phase of life: the transition from school to work. The focus is on pay differences between women and men who have com-pleted vocational education and training and enter the labour market for the first time. In addition, the project examines whether the wage gap is explainable or discriminatory (that is, based on gender alone).

With the aid of TREE (Transitions from Education to Employment), the first national longitudinal survey on the transition from school to work, the researchers seek to find out whether the differences in pay are the result of people’s own decisions to select a specific training position and/or due to the allocation of such positions by the company providing vocational training. The researchers also conduct a survey of companies to discover whether female candidates for well-paid jobs are discriminated against despite equal qualifications.

Original title

BELODIS - Berufseinstieg und Lohndiskriminierung – neue Erklärungsansätze zu einer Schlüsselphase für geschlechtsspezifische Ungleichheiten

Project leader(s)

  • Dr. Michael Marti, Ecoplan, Bern
  • Kathrin Bertschy, Ecoplan, Bern