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More men in higher skilled jobs than women, ONS report finds

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Men are more likely to be employed in higher skilled jobs than women, according to a study published today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The study showed between April and June 2013 37% of men were employed in upper middle skilled roles, such as skilled trade jobs and associate professional and technical occupations, compared with 18% of women.

It also showed 46% of women were employed in lower middle skilled roles, such as teaching assistants, care workers and administrative roles, compared with 24% of men.

This trend is also the same for female graduates, the study found. In 2013, 27% of female graduates compared to 13% of male graduates worked in lower middle skilled jobs.

A slightly higher percentage of men (53%) were in high skilled jobs than women (49%). At the other end of the skill scale, there were very few graduates in low skill jobs, just 4% of men and 3% of women.

The Women in the world of work report looks at employment rates, occupations, skill levels and pay for women, and compares this with men.

Employment levels

The ONS study showed a rise in the percentage of women aged 16 to 64 in employment over the past 40 years, and a decrease in the number of men.

In April to June 2013 67% of women were in work, an increase from 53% in 1971. The percentage of men during that period fell to 76% from 92% in 1971.

In the past 40 years a number of key pieces of legislation have impacted on the employment rate for women. These include: the 1970 equal pay act, 1975 sex discrimination act, 2008 lone parent income support changes and the 2010 increase in state pension age for women.

Archaic attitude

The study found men make up the majority of workers in the top 10% of earners but the gap is lower for those under 30.

For the younger age groups of 16-24 and 25-29 the top 10% of earners were more evenly split, however the study showed when women reached 30 the percentage of the top 10% that were female decreased.

Ann Pickering, O2's HR director, told HR magazine: "Today's report is further evidence of the work still needed to get women better represented at higher levels of businesses.

"One striking example I've come across is women who, on returning from maternity leave, have been advised not to talk about their children at work.

"This kind of archaic attitude has absolutely no place in a modern business. A truly diverse workforce is not just about what's proper and fair, it is also crucial to business success.

"Today's results are a wake-up call for businesses to act to ensure they don't miss out on the valuable contribution made by women at all levels, whether that's by providing better flexible working policies, childcare facilities or mentoring programmes to empower the female talent within their organisation."

The full ONS report can be found here