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Gènere i inserció laboralAQU Catalunya, with the support of the Institut Català de les Dones (the Catalan institute that designs, promotes and coordinates policy concerning women in society), has produced the study Gènere i inserció laboral. Dones i homes deu anys després de graduar-se, iguals o diferents? (Gender and graduate labour market outcomes), based on the analysis of the data obtained in the survey on graduate labour market outcomes carried out in 2011 by AQU of the 2001 graduate cohort, which reflects the job situation of the students in this graduating year ten years after graduation.

As in the 2008 survey (on the graduate population three years after completing their studies), the degree, rather than gender, is the key element in the process of transition to the labour market and job quality. This means that there were no significant differences in job quality between males and females who had taken the same degree, and the variable that best explains the quality of entry into the job market is the degree taken.

In some of the indicators analysed, however, a trend can be seen that is systematically favourable to males, such as the percentage of the graduate population in positions of responsibility over others, and the percentage of the graduate population that had received promotion.

A new development detected in this survey is a certain level of gender-based segregation in the labour market between males and females with the same degree. There was a higher percentage of females in areas of economic activity that reconcile professional, private and family life, for example, education.

PDF PDF Gender and graduate labour market outcomes

PDF PDF Gender and graduate labour market outcomes - ANNEX


Job situation (in employment, looking for work and the rate of employment)

93% of the respondents were working at the time of the survey, 5% were looking for work and 1.2% were inactive (not seeking employment for a variety of reasons). The highest unemployment rate was among graduates in Geography and History (12.5%), followed by Agricultural Science (5%).

In terms of the rate of employment, the differences between degrees within the same gender are greater than male-female differences in the same degree. The maximum difference between degrees was, for females, 13 percentage points between the rate of employment in Medicine (99%) and History (86%), and for males, 18 percentage points between the rate of employment in Medicine (100%) and History (82%); the maximum difference between males and females in the same degree was 6 percentage points in Chemical Engineering, in favour of males (90% females, 96% males), followed by 5 percentage points for the rate of employment in History, in favour of females (86% females, 81% males).

The unemployment rate was low for both genders. There were also no significant differences between genders. For both males and females, the rate of employment and unemployment were directly associated with a person's degree.

The rate of inactivity due to family care reasons (percentage of people not looking for work due to family reasons, such as maternity, paternity or caring for dependent family members)

The rate of inactivity due to family care reasons for those surveyed was 1% for females and 0% for males. There was no variation in the results from the 2008 survey. In total, out of the 1,101 respondents, only eight were inactive because of family care reasons. Taking this data into account, together with the fact that 44% of all respondents had young children, the evidence is that the group analysed did not give up its professional activities when starting a family.

Type of contract

73% of the respondents had a permanent contract, and 19% had a temporary contract.

The differences between degrees were greater than the differences according to gender. The percentage with a permanent contract between Chemical Engineering and History ranged from 18 points for females (83% and 65%, respectively) and 20 points for males (84% and 64%, respectively). On the other hand, the maximum differences between males and females was 12 percentage points in favour of males in Chemistry (71% for females and 83% for males), and 11 percentage points in favour of females in History (65% for females and 54% for males).

The temporary employment rate also shows differences that are higher according to degree than for gender. The differences between History and Economics and Business Administration and Management were 22 percentage points for females (31% and 9%, respectively) and 26 percentage points for males (35% and 9%, respectively); on the other hand, the maximum difference in the same degree was in Chemistry in favour of males (25% for females and 16% for males).

The gender differences as regards the two rates (temporary employment and stability) are not significant in either of the two cases.

Full-time/part-time employment

91% of the respondents were working full time, with the percentage ranging between 84% in History and 96% in Chemical Engineering. The differences in this rate are again higher between degrees for the same gender than between genders for the same degree, and they are not significant in terms of either gender or degree.


71% of the respondents working full-time had a gross annual salary of more than 24,000 euros. Only 8% were earning less than 15,000 euros.

According to degrees, Medicine and Economics and Business Administration and Management had the highest percentage of people earning more than two thousand euros a month (92% and 81% respectively). On the other hand, the percentage of those earning two thousand euros a month in History was 42%.

In terms of gender, there are significant differences in around three fifths of the degrees surveyed. The proportion of females who were earning over two thousand euros a month was lower than that of males in Chemistry, Medicine and Chemical Engineering.

Education-job match

55% of graduates had jobs that were degree-related, 29% had jobs that were not degree-related, but which were of a university level, and the remaining 15% had jobs where their degree was not relevant. The degree with the highest match was Medicine, and the lowest was History.

According to gender, there were only significant differences in Chemistry, where 12 females and one male stated that their jobs did not require a university degree.

Achieving positions of responsibility

38% of the respondents affirmed they had managerial responsibilities, with a range of between 56% in Economics and Business Administration and Management and 14% in Medicine. Individuals may have had a managerial role (for example, in project management) although not in business management, so it does not necessarily imply a position of leadership in relation to others.

According to gender, the biggest difference was 29 percentage points between graduates in Chemical Engineering in favour of males, although the difference was in no case significant.

Responsibility over others. Only 14% of the respondents held a position of responsibility at managerial level. On the other hand, more than half of these had to supervise others in different ways (head/chief of section, head of department, office manager, etc.).

Consistent with the previous indicator, the influence of the sector is key and to the same extremes, ranging from Economics and Business Administration and Management (high) to Medicine (low).

Promotion. Two out of every three graduates had changed their job since graduation. The degree with the lowest level of mobility was Medicine, with 51%, whereas Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Agricultural Science had mobility percentages of around 70%. According to gender, there were practically no differences except for Medicine, where females had a lower level of mobility than males. 

Job satisfaction

On a scale from 1 (not at all satisfied) to 7 (highly satisfied), the respondents gave a rating of 5.4 for their satisfaction with their current job. The highest satisfaction was with job content, and the lowest with the level of salary.

Satisfaction with job content and overall satisfaction were highest in Chemistry and lowest in Chemical Engineering, although the differences were less that half a point.

Economics and Business Administration and Management had the highest means for job prospects (with the lowest in History) and salary (with the lowest in Medicine).

There were greater differences with regard to satisfaction in terms of reconciliation (a balance between professional, private and family life), with those in Medicine being the most unsatisfied, and those in History the most satisfied.

Concerning the differences according to gender, these were only significant in Medicine, in terms of overall (general) satisfaction, where males were more satisfied than females, and Economics and Business Administration and Management, in terms of job content satisfaction, where females were more satisfied than males.

Survey characteristics

Survey carried out in: 2011

Participating universities: UB, UAB, UPC, UPF, UdG, UdL, URV, UVic and UOC

Reference population and sample: 1,778 / 1,101

Degrees were chosen where the proportion of males and females was similar in order to allow for statistical testing according to gender. This means that the resulting population was not so representative of the graduate population as it would have been if degrees with a higher volume of graduates had been chosen (such as Education and Industrial Engineering); in these degrees, the low proportion of one of the two genders would not allow for significant statistical testing.

The degrees that were chosen had a survey volume of graduates that was higher than thirty (30), in order to allow for statistical testing.