ONLY 26 percent of company directors and 28 percent of political figures are women, while 80 percent of part-time job contracts are taken by women.
The National Institute of Statistics has produced a paper on women and men out at work, which was included in its last edition of Social Indicators in Spain 2003. The paper suggests that the scarce presence of women in specific professional activities doesn't represent population distribution or qualifications. For example, only 34.2 percent of university teaching staff who held posts in the 1999-2000 educational year were women.
The labour market is deeply biased by the variability in type of profession, adds the study. It highlights the fact that in positions classed as active and sought after, men claim the highest percentage of contracts. Conversely, women are often registered as being qualified in categories of the labour market where there is little or no current activity. According to the research carried out by the National Institute of Statistics, most company directors are men, 73.5 percent, as against 26.4 percent of such positions held by women. Furthermore, examining statistics of professional occupation according to socio-economic conditions, is where inequality amongst the sexes is most noted. Of 19 categories analysed, women only predominated in two: lower ranks of business and administration staff and subordinate staff in public service areas. In growth rates of work activity, there are also notable differences. In the case of men, there is a stable growth rate during the last decade for all age groups, while the rates for women show rising tendencies in different degrees for all age groups, except for young people (aged between 16 and 19 and between 20 and 24) where there is a downward trend.
Figures point as well, towards a drop in the level of activity correlative to the growth in a woman's age, from 25 to 64 years.
This scenario shows the gentle but growing incorporation of women into the workplace, although it is unequal in terms of categories of profession.
On the other hand, a substantial number of women leave the workplace when family life starts to take priority, following marriage or the birth of a first child, and in many cases, they never return to their jobs. The statistical study, also describes the gradual growth of the presence of women in government. During the government term of office between, 1982 to 1986, only 4.57 percent of political figures were women but today, the present government counts on a 28.9 percent female presence. In six regions of Spain, the percentage of women in local government is higher than 20 percent: the Balearics (23%); Castilla y León (25%); Madrid (27%); Castilla-La Mancha (30%); Extremadura (30%) and Andalucia (43%). There has furthermore been a slow increase in the percentage of women civil servants in the last few years, rising above the 50 percent mark in 2002. This suggests that women are proportionately represented in population terms, in positions of public administration. At the other end of the scale, the participation of women in positions of senior responsibility in government is very rare; not more than 16 percent.
In the area of positions connected to the legal profession, the percentage represented by women (39.7%) is low in terms of their population distribution. Senior judicial posts also reflect this trend with only 34.7% of jobs held by women. Regarding wages and salary, the National Institute of Statistics reveals that in the lowest income bracket (up to 397 euros a month) 13.4 percent of this category is attributed to homes where the major bread winner is a woman and 2.8 percent where the major bread winner is male. In the category of highest salaries (more than 2'380 euros a month) the proportion is 10.7% and 18.9%, respectively.