Men occupy positions of command while women take care of children and the sick. Those were the two extremes of the Spanish labor market in 2011 and they remain so, with little progress since that date, the first year available to analyze the evolution of the professions. Men account for 60% of management jobs, the highest paid, while in the three professional categories with the worst salaries more than half of their workers are women.
But seven categories or families professions escape from this dynamic. With salaries above the average of the 174 available in the Active Population Survey (EPA), women have achieved parity in them, reveals an analysis of microdata of the INE prepared by EL PAÍS based on the work of employment technician Enrique Negueruela, who will soon publish Comisiones Obreras. They are agricultural engineers, chemists, financial analysts, sales professionals of technical and medical products, professors of VET, among others.
Women do not manage to gain access to management and management positions, the highest paid, even in those professions where they are the majority. In the care of the elderly or the sick there are 92% of women, but the management positions are for them in 63% of cases. A similar situation occurs in the media, a very feminized profession: in the 30 largest communication companies in Spain there are 268 management positions and in 75% of them the chair is occupied by a man. In general, in management and management positions in Spain there are 260,000 men compared to 143,000 women.
Yes, there are professions where women have taken an important step towards parity for the last seven years in the highest categories, directors and managers, that is, they occupy between 45% and 50% of the total. This is the case of financial managers, human resources and planning policies, following the description of the INE, where they are 47%, ten points more than in 2011. This jump has also been given in other categories with salaries above the national average: insurance agents, analysts and finance specialists, sales professionals of technical and medical products, agricultural biologists and engineers, professors of vocational training and the triad of physics, chemistry and mathematics.
Why these professions and not others? The experts consulted do not have a clear answer. Enrique Negueruela emphasizes that the economic crisis has mixed the cards of the game: "It has been a time in which many workers have moved to other jobs, leaving, at least for a time, a gap."
Each professional category has its nuances. In the case of financial analysts, where women are already 52%, "this is a sector that comes from family tradition offices, where women's work was always normal," says José Manuel Sánchez Morán, president of the Spanish Association of Tax Advisers and Tax Managers (ASEFIGET). Even more important, a roof has been broken: "Before, the owner or main partner of the office was always a man, now there are more and more members".
These financial specialists have multiplied by two in seven years. It is an important fact since the profession is part of the second category with higher salaries, according to the Statistics of Salary Structure of the INE.
The statistics also do not include nuances in the field of scientific subjects. Yes they are identified by Adela Muñoz, president of the Association of Women Researchers and Technologists (AMIT) in Andalusia and professor of inorganic chemistry. "In chemistry, women have gained great visibility over the years and that helps at the work level, for example, the president of the CSIC, Rosa Menéndez, is a chemist." In the discipline of physics improvements are noted, but there is still more to go, says Muñoz, although the worst scenario is in mathematics: "Since this career is more related to technology and less to teaching, there are fewer and fewer women " It has become "boys thing", hence the amount of programs for boost the female presence in this sector.
In the years of the crisis, a lot of employment has been lost in typically masculine occupations, such as unskilled jobs in the construction sector. If the situation of 2011 is compared with that of 2018, it is found that in 53% of the professions, which are mostly female, there are more men. An example: among the caregivers of children, men have increased by 14%, while women have decreased by 9%.
The employment technician Enrique Negueruela interprets the current scenario: "No exits have been sought for the men expelled from the construction. Hence, they have gone to feminized professions where high levels of education are not needed, such as the health service as a whole or the care of people. "Thus, he adds, the range of male-majority jobs opens up the one with the female majority closes.