Author: Lawyer Enrico Germano

Women of working age in Switzerland prefer part-time work. Statistics show that “in 2020, 79% of employed women between 15 and 64 years of age with children under 15 worked part-time. Most with an employment rate between 20 and 69%”1. By way of comparison, the Federal Statistical Office points out that only 13% of men work part-time.

In contrast, only one in five women between the ages of 15 and 64 with minor children work full-time, which usually corresponds to an employment rate of 90/100%2.

In Switzerland, the father usually continues to work full-time after the birth of a child, while the woman interrupts or considerably reduces her professional activity, as Pro Familia Switzerland has pointed out3. A recurring problem among women during childcare is therefore how they can continue to work even partially or how they can best prepare for a return to part-time or full-time work4.

The return of women into the labor market poses profound problems, with sensible repercussions of not only a financial nature, and entailing important consequences, which Pro Familia Switzerland has listed mainly in its factsheet in:
i. Difficulty re-entering the labor market in the event of divorce or when children have grown up;
ii. Pension significantly lower than that of a man, especially in the second (occupational) pillar of the Swiss pension system;
iii. Difficulty in being able to take up positions of responsibility after returning to work after a break especially for childcare;
iv. Financial dependence on men5.

The Federal Statistical Office has compiled an interesting table on women in management positions, which shows that the share of women as employees who are members of management or in a management function has risen from 29.4 % in 1996 to 37 % in 20216.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, gender continues to play an important role in the choice of profession and field of study, although this difference has diminished over the past 20 years. Men continue to choose technical professions and training such as engineering, manufacturing and construction more frequently, while women prefer training and professions in the health and social care sector7.