Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Gender roles since 1970 How work has evolved for Switzerland’s women and men

We take a look in graphics at how gender patterns have evolved in Switzerland’s labour market.   

The Swiss labour market is the most discriminatory in Europe in terms of gender equality, according to British magazine The Economistexternal link. It puts Switzerland 21st out of 21 European countries and 26th out of 29 OECDexternal link countries. The main reasons are traditional views of gender roles and women’s difficulties reconciling family and professional life. 

Changes in gender proportions

But the situation is far from static. We looked at the data for more than 500 professions over 50 years to see which ones saw the biggest changes in gender patterns. 



Although many professions have become more diversified in less than 50 years, gender segregation nevertheless remains widespread. A 2013 international survey found that Switzerland was the country with the most professional gender segregation. The graphic below shows the professions most strongly dominated by one gender.

graphic gender steady


This situation brings up problems with regard to equal pay for men and women. Traditionally, female professions like nursing and teaching young children carry less social status, offer fewer prospects for advancement and are not well paid.

In addition, sectors of activity dominated by one sex that lack qualified personnel could benefit from more gender diversity, the survey found.

Follow the author of this article onTwitter @duc_qnexternal link

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters

WEF 2018

WEF Teaser 2018