Report Findings

Gender-sensitive labour market situation in Ankara, İstanbul and Bursa revealed in recently released reports

News | 30 June 2016
Recently published labour market reports have demonstrated potential occupations that offer high potential for women’s employment from the perspective of employers in Ankara, İstanbul and Bursa.

The studies have examined the demographic and economic characteristics of the labour market from a gender perspective in three provinces to develop policy suggestions to boost women’s employment.

The questionnaire of 2014 labour market demand survey of the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) was updated with gender-specific questions to understand the gender structure of employment, labour demand as well as explore gender-based preferences with respect to vacant positions in the enterprises. These studies used the results of these labour market surveys and other available data such as Turkstat Household Labour Force Survey results.

According to the analyses, the occupations with the highest potential in terms of improving women’s employment were hence identified, and the qualifications and skills required for these positions analyzed.

The three occupations with the highest potential for women in Ankara are security staff, sales consultants and cleaning staff, according to the survey. For these occupations, employers generally stated that they had no gender preference.

Employers in Ankara reported a total of 15,103 open positions in various sectors and occupational groups in 2014. Employers’ responses showed that women were preferred for 1,384 (9.2%) of the vacant positions, and men for 8,097 (53.6%). For the remaining 5,622 positions (37.2%), no gender preference was declared, according to the survey.

The “no preference” among men and women option was the dominant choice, with a share of 60% or above, for positions in the education sector, in healthcare and social services, in real estate, in information and communications, in culture, arts and entertainment, and in managerial and support services.

For Bursa, sewing operator, manual worker and coil transfer worker are the major three vacant positions for which no gender preference is stated by employers.

The survey reveals that preferences for women are much less common (11.3%) than for men (47.9%) in the main occupational groups and sectors. However, a large proportion of employers have no specific gender preference (40.3%). This situation indicates that while it is very difficult to alter preferences in those occupations and sectors which are segregated on the basis of gender, the sectors and occupations in which most employers do not state a preference for either women or men are valid candidates for an improvement in female employment.

Between 2010 and 2013, the number of unemployed men in the region declined whereas the number of unemployed women increased. Unemployment affects younger women and those with higher levels of education most severely. Long-term unemployment is also a more critical problem for women.

The study indicates sewing machine operator, sales consultant, call center operator, customer representative, presser, carrier, overlock machine operator and security guard are the most promising occupations where preference for female employees is stronger or where gender preference is not a problem on the demand side in İstanbul.

Gender-based occupational segregation is quite strong in the labour market in İstanbul. Women concentrate in fewer occupations compared to men, the report said. Meanwhile, the fact that employers do not have any specific gender preference for almost half of vacant jobs makes for a potential for boosting women’s employment.

The studies also suggest policy recommendations specific to the three provinces. Women’s employment in the areas where no gender preference was indicated by employers could be promoted through relevant vocational training programs, job counselling and job placements. İŞKUR should likewise direct female job candidates not only to positions for which women are preferred but also to “no preference” positions, according to the study.

Apart from these, another common policy recommendation in all three reports is the improvement of working conditions, through regulations to improve work-life balance, which has the potential to be a major factor to increase women’s employment

The studies have been conducted as a part of the “More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment through Decent Work in Turkey”, which is implemented by the ILO and Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) with financial support by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).