Discrimination against women increases shortages

Educator with daycare children

The shortage of skilled workers is particularly great in female-dominated professions.

(Photo: dpa)

In August, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) published a list of the “top ten” occupations in which the shortage of skilled workers was particularly great on average in 2021/22.

The list is headed by the female-dominated social and health professions. This includes the professional group of social work and social education, in which 20,578 positions could not be filled. The number of vacancies for educators is almost as high. Elderly care and nursing as well as physiotherapy also appear at the top of the list of professions with the greatest shortage of skilled workers at the moment.

However, there is also a lack of skilled workers in typical male occupations such as sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology, which are indispensable for a successful energy and climate change, for example for the installation of solar systems or the optimization of heating systems.

Things are looking just as bleak in the IT industry: Of the more than 13,600 vacancies, nine out of ten positions in Germany were recently not suitably qualified.

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

The IW’s recommendations on how to tackle the problem seem rather helpless and narrow in perspective. The high level of gender segregation in the women’s professions (social work, education, geriatric care) on the one hand and men’s professions (crafts, IT) on the other hand must be counteracted by breaking down gender role stereotypes when choosing a career, it is said, preferably already during careers orientation in schools.

Uta Meier-Gräwe

Until 2018, Uta Meier-Gräwe held the chair for private household economics and family science at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen and was an advisor to the federal government.

(Photo: Freiburg Equal Opportunities Office)

We have known for a long time from other studies that there are quite a few young men who are interested in working in (care) professions. However, as long as the wages and working conditions there are so much worse than in the typical male professions, such calls are completely useless.

More Handelsblatt articles on the subject of a shortage of skilled workers:

And there is something else that should give the German Economic Institute and companies something to think about: Of the women in Europe who have an IT university degree, i.e. who have fought against social prejudices and successfully completed their studies, nine out of ten in Europe leave the industry again in the course of their working lives – and forever. Only 20 percent of women who have an IT degree are still working in the field by age 30, compared to just 9 percent by age 45.

It’s simply not enough to succinctly call for a better work-life balance or to hope for more qualified immigration. If you want to tackle the problem of the shortage of skilled workers in a way that is rooted in the causes, you have to put toxic male corporate cultures and subtle discrimination structures with overly long working hours to the test.

More: Shortage of skilled workers: IT specialists in Frankfurt, geriatric nurses in Dresden: Applicants have the best chances in these cities

source site-11