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Discrimination due to “risk of career break”

Translated Saturday 21 August 2010, by Helen Robertshaw and reviewed by Helen Robertshaw

Carried out by Dominique Meurs and Ariane Pailhé of INED [1], and Sophie Pontieux of INSEE [2], the study published by OFCE [3] focuses on women in the 39-49 age category. It shows that “men earn on average 17% more than women who haven’t interrupted their career for family reasons”.

Only 30% of this gap can be explained by “differences in observable characteristics” (less part-time work among men, who occupy higher-ranking positions, in better-paid sectors). And 70% is due to the behaviour of employers who penalise the mere “risk of a career break”.

[1National Institute for Demographic Studies

[2French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies

[3French Economic Observatory

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