This study examines the gender dimension of occupational exposure to contagious diseases spread by the respiratory or close-contact route. It shows that in Europe, women are more exposed to contagion, as they are more likely than men to work in occupations that require high levels of contact and physical proximity at work. Women are also less likely to be able to work remotely, which contributes to their increased exposure. The study finds that gender is a more important factor in workers’ exposure to contagion than their education or age. This gender difference in exposure can be largely attributed to patterns of sectoral segregation and to the segregation of women within sectors into occupations that require more interpersonal interactions. Finally, results reveal heterogenous cross-country patterns in gender gaps in exposure to contagion in the workplace, with Nordic, Continental, and Baltic countries showing relatively large gender gaps to the disadvantage of women.
Lewandowski, P., Lipowska, K., & Magda, I. (2021). The gender dimension of occupational exposure to contagion in Europe. Feminist Economics, 1-18.