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New work: Old barriers but new opportunities for women


  • Cecilia Castaño
  • María Caprile
  • Carlos Iglesias


Many studies have pointed out that the dissemination of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) is leading to profound changes in economic activity and employment. The dissemination and large-scale use of ICTs has led to an increase in the rate of organisational and technological innovation, the development of knowledge-intensive services, and higher qualification requirements for many sectors of the employed population. There are also signs that this new labour context may offer new opportunities for women. Several studies have considered the relative advantage of women in terms of their level of education and labour flexibility, and the emergence of greater possibilities for achieving work-life balance. Based on the literature on this subject, this paper pursues two objectives. Firstly, it makes a comparative analysis for the EU based on an exhaustive review of the most important statistical sources. It determines the extent to which the dissemination of ICTs is associated with a greater presence of women. The conclusion is positive, though inequalities in working conditions do persist. Secondly, it makes a specific analysis for Spain, identifying the reasons why these activities favour the position of women in employment. It applies shift-share techniques to a battery of variables associated with female employment. It concludes that employment in ICTs, beyond the fact that its composition is particularly favourable to certain characteristics of female employment, and shows some trends that are conducive to greater feminisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Castaño & María Caprile & Carlos Iglesias, 2008. "New work: Old barriers but new opportunities for women," Working Papers 05/08, Instituto Universitario de Análisis Económico y Social.
  • Handle: RePEc:uae:wpaper:0508

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
    2. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
    3. Goldin, Claudia, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family," Scholarly Articles 2943933, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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