This study untangles the complex interplay of individual and contextual factors shaping cross-national differences in horizontal and vertical occupational sex segregation. It relates the individual factors affecting occupational decisions to the broader social and economic context within a given society. Following this approach, Stephanie Steinmetz provides a comprehensive overview of the development and causes of cross-national differences in occupational sex segregation. She offers insights into the positioning of 21 EU Members States, particularly of former CCE countries. Based on advanced multi-level models, the study shows that institutional factors, such as the organization of educational systems, post-industrial developments, social policies, and the national gender culture, play a crucial role in shaping sex segregation processes apart from individual factors. The author clarifies that a distinct set of institutional factors is relevant to each of the two dimensions of occupational sex segregation and that these factors operate in different directions: some reduce horizontal segregation while at the same time aggravating the vertical aspect. Finally, the study assesses the empirical findings from a political perspective by addressing the future contextual challenges of EU Member States seeking to attain higher gender equality on the labour market.

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