Knowledge and Job Opportunities in a Gender Perspective: Insights from Italy
This paper proposes a multidimensional concept of knowledge, encompassing several formal and informal skills to complement education and on-the-job training, under a gender perspective. By considering the case of Italy, we estimate the impact of such a concept of knowledge on men’s and women’s employment status and wages. Results point out that despite much rhetoric about the fact that women have gradually overcome men in terms of educational attainments, women still lack of the main skills and competencies that can profitably be used on the labor market. In Italy, women’s accumulation of labor market experience is mostly constrained by unpaid work and care work burdens. These activities may be regarded as a source of potential knowledge in terms of social and interpersonal skills, managerial and organizational capacities; but they do not seem to be positively valued by the market, either in terms of employability nor in terms of wages. Gender segregation in education seems to be still a relevant issue, by compressing both women’s employment chances and wages. Thus educational and cultural policies aimed at overcoming traditional gender roles and images among the younger students seem a very sensible policy option.
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