ETUC Gender Equality Survey 2018: Young women are the ones most affected by precarious employment


In 2018, the ETUC Annual Gender Equality Survey focused on the position of young women in unions and in the labour market. The survey, formerly known as 8th March Survey, has been conducted by ETUC every year since 2007 aiming to assess the proportion of women in membership and decision-making positions of the trade union movement. ETUCE and its member organisations regularly contribute to the report by responding to the survey.

Regarding the situation in the labour market across sectors, the survey found that young women are more likely to be unemployed or employed on precarious contracts than their male counterparts.

This year, the response rate to the survey is lower than in the past: 39 confederations from 25 countries replied in 2018 compared to 44 confederations from 29 countries last year. With the average proportion of women members in the respondent confederations 46.1%, most confederations reported an increase in the proportion of women in membership. 11 of the 39 confederations have a woman as the key leader and on average, respondent confederations have around 33.5% of women on their key decision-making bodies.

Most of the respondent unions indicated that despite of having a youth committee or similar body, they are failing to recruit younger employees. Regarding the particular situation of young women on the labour market, many confederations recognise that despite the strong educational performance young women often face unemployment or precarious contracts and illegal dismissals during pregnancy. Therefore, confederations are taking actions to tackle these problems through collective bargaining, campaigns and lobbying.

Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director said, “Even though the majority of employees in education are women, there are less women than men in leadership positions in ETUCE member organisations. Education trade unions need to step up their efforts in encouraging more and young women into teaching in higher education and vocational education and training, supporting them in taking up leadership positions and attracting more men into teaching the youngest in our societies. Educators are role models and key to shaping the society of the future. Let’s work together to make gender equality a reality in education.”

To access the full report, please click here.