Some kinds of jobs, occupations and sectors are dominated by men, and others by women. This is known as occupational segregation and is one of the main reasons why women earn less than men in the UK.
Traditionally, ‘women’s work’ has been considered to be unskilled and inferior and has been undervalued. The result of this is twofold: firstly women are more likely than men to be employed in jobs that are undervalued, and secondly they are more likely to be paid less than men for the same efficiency within the same job.
Women need to be able to work flexibly or part-time so they can balance work and family caring responsibilities. But there are few opportunities for this except in certain occupations which are often low-skilled and low-paid.
Women can easily become trapped in low-skilled and low-paid work and are often working well below their skills levels and their potential. This has a long-term negative impact on their income and contributes to the fact
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