Pay gap potential? Women are not willing to travel far to work


Women are less willing than men to travel long distances to work and this may be restricting their career opportunities, according to research using figures gleaned from the state jobs agency UWV.

The research, by ABN Amro economists, shows that women are willing to travel an average of no more than 28 kilometres to work, but men will commute up to 49 kilometres. This means that women are looking in an area a third the size of men for a job.

‘People who want to look for a job closer to home have fewer options to choose from,’ ABN Amro economist Sandra Phlippen told the AD. ‘And research in France shows that women’s unwillingness to travel long distances is responsible for 10% of the pay gap.’

The research team did try to take the fact that ‘typically female jobs’ such as hair-dressing are usually found closer to home, but it did prove difficult, Phlippen told the AD.

In addition, the analysis also showed that people with college and university degrees are, as a whole, willing to travel further to work.

ABN Amro expects travel distances will play an increasingly important part in efforts to encourage people to take up hard-to-fill vacancies in the future. By removing barriers to travel, such as offering home working options and advertising in other areas, employers will be able to expand their pool of potential workers, Phlippen said.

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