EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Gender and career development — Lithuania

About

Country: 
Lithuania
Author: 
Inga Blaziene
Institution: 
Institute of Labour and Social Research

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Though no special surveys have been carried out in Lithuania, the traditional career model seems to be more characteristic for women than for men. Despite quite active women’s participation on the labour market, their situation is considerably worse compared to men: a gender pay gap is nearly 20% in Lithuania; women are underrepresented in top management positions, politics, etc.

1. Changing concepts of careers

a) Is the traditional career model appropriate to your country? How have women’s careers complied with this traditional model?

There basically have been no surveys carried out in Lithuania to give a direct answer to the question regarding the appropriateness of the traditional career model to our country and how women’s careers have complied with this traditional model.

Evaluation of some indirect indicators only leads to an assumption that the traditional career model should be still prevailing in Lithuania, because indicators of both labour mobility and (domestic) territorial mobility of the population still remain quite low in Lithuania. As the traditional career model is more characteristic for the public sector and women are more often employed namely in the public sector (see Table 1), the traditional career model is probably more characteristic for women than for men in Lithuania.

Table 1. Employment by sector in Lithuania in 2005 (in absolute terms and %)
Sector Men Women Total

in absolute terms

Public sector

143,000

265,000

408,000

Private sector

608,000

458,000

1066,000

Total

751,000

723,000

1,474,000

%

Public sector

19.0

36.7

27.7

Private sector

81.0

63.3

72.3

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: Lithuanian Statistics

b) Please provide research evidence on whether the traditional concept of a career in your country is changing or whether it remains largely entrenched. Are traditional careers changing as new forms of employment are introduced? If there have been recent changes, what types of changes are occurring?

Currently there are extremely many discussions and publications on a new career model in Lithuania (particularly, at the academic level). This model is called career without borders, modern career model, etc. The new career model can be described as follows:

Table 2. Characteristics of the modern career model
New career model

Flexible, non-homogeneous structure, not enshrined in an organisation

Career success criteria

Satisfaction of self-actualisation, personal freedom, individual approach to success

Career perspectives

Difficult to predict, relating to person’s competency in respect of chosen goals

Social (financial) safety

Relative, depending on a numerous personal and social factors

Required personal qualities

Innovation, initiatives, creativity in non-defined work environment; necessary career “portfolio” (career competency when specific and universal skills are combined)

Source: Stanišauskienė V. Career educating at school: how to help the student to acquire modern career competency?

It should be noted, however, that most of published articles on this issue are more “theoretical” than “practical” in their nature. In Lithuania, there still are many efforts aimed at mere presentation of these topics to the public, though analyses and researches on them appeared in Western European countries considerably earlier.

Researches and articles known to the author of this report on women’s careers, that have been recently carried out/published in Lithuania, in most cases deal with such problems as factors or conditions determining successful or unsuccessful women’s careers. However, as it was mentioned above, in Lithuania there are hardly any researches giving grounds to unambiguously answer the question regarding currently prevailing career patterns in Lithuania and especially how women’s careers have complied with those (traditional or new) patterns.

Recent Lithuanian researches analysing peculiarities of women careers leads to a conclusion that patterns of both tradition and modern career models are characteristic in women’s careers; in addition, career paths change within time. According to A.Zdanevičius (2004):

The analysis of women’s lives leads to a conclusion that at the onset of women’s careers there prevail models of continuous or flexible career concepts, which are replaced with linear or spiral career models in time. [...] At the beginning of the career path, the concept of woman’s career is flexible. Women mostly work according to their qualifications, but seek for re-skilling and do not avert from odd jobs that either give them more financial powers or simply add professional experience, which is useful in other career stages later.

2. Data on segregation and mobility

a) Please provide details of employment for men and women by industrial sector and full and part time work for 2005 and also for men and women by socio-economic classification 2005.

Table 3. Employment by industrial sector in Lithuania in 2005 (%)
Industrial sector Men Women Total
A Agriculture, hunting and forestry

16.3

11.3

13.9

B Fishing

0.3

0.1

0.2

C Mining and quarrying

0.3

0.1

0.2

D Manufacturing

17.9

18.2

18.1

E Electricity, gas and water supply

2.8

0.8

1.8

F Construction

16.0

1.7

9.0

G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods

14.8

16.9

15.8

H Hotels and restaurants

0.9

3.6

2.2

I Transport, storage and communication

9.1

3.5

6.4

J Financial intermediation

0.6

1.6

1.1

K Real estate, renting and business activities

4.6

3.9

4.2

L Public administration and defence; compulsory social security

6.0

5.1

5.5

M Education

4.7

15.6

10.0

N Health and social work

2.3

11.2

6.7

O Other community, social and personal service activities

3.3

6.4

4.8

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: Lithuanian Statistics

Table 4. Full and part time employment in Lithuania in 2005 (%)
Type of employment Men Women Total
Full-time employment

94.9

90.9

92.9

Part-time employment

5.1

9.1

7.1

Source: Lithuanian Statistics

Table 5. Employment by socio-economic classification (occupation) in Lithuania in 2005 (%)
Type of employment Men Women Total
Legislators, senior officers and managers

8.9

6.9

7.9

Professionals

11.7

23.3

17.4

Technicians and associate professionals

5.1

12.5

8.7

Clerks

1.9

6.4

4.1

Service workers and shop and market sales workers

6.5

16.7

11.5

Skilled agricultural and fishery workers

12.7

9.9

11.3

Craft and related trades workers

26.2

10.6

18.5

Plant and machine operators and assemblers

16.0

2.5

9.4

Elementary occupations

10.3

11.2

10.8

Armed forces

0.6

0.0

0.3

Total

100.0

100.

100.0

Source: Lithuanian Statistics

b) Please provide details of any survey evidence which shows the percentage of women in management and senior management positions by industrial sector.

Actually, there are not many surveys in Lithuania enabling explicit evaluation of the number of women employed in management and senior management positions. On 24 August 2006, Lithuanian non-governmental organisations [basically representing women’s interests] addressed the Prime Minister of Lithuania in order to attract his attention to the problems of equal opportunities in men and women in Lithuania and to ask him to take necessary measures at the governmental level to tackle such problems. To this address to the Prime Minister there was enclosed information about the women’s situation in the country (including, in the labour market). An excerpt from this address is presented below.

There is observed a strong vertical segregation in the Lithuanian labour market. Women’s career opportunities are not adequate to their education. […] Women are underrepresented in management positions – economic and political decision-making links. Women’s representation at the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania does not meet the demographic proportions and they are absent at all in the management board of the Seimas. Over the latter 15 years, women’s representation in the Government has not exceeded 7%; in municipalities women account for 20% and only three women are city/town mayors. [...] 48% of all individuals participating in scientific research activities are women, but there are only 14% of them among habilitated doctors. Many women are employed in small and medium business in Lithuania, but there are extremely few of them managing large businesses. [...] All this shows that there do exist structural and institutional obstacles for women to seek career and engage in business. There is a widespread ‘glass ceiling’ effect when, irrespective of laws, women are not created equal opportunities in real life.

A main data source enabling some evaluation of the hierarchic employment distributions of men and women is Lithuanian LFS information about employed population by occupation and sex (see Table 6).

Table 6. Employed population by occupation in Lithuania in 2005 (%)
Type of employment Men Women Total
Legislators, senior officers and managers

57

43

100

Professionals

34

66

100

Technicians and associate professionals

30

70

100

Clerks

24

76

100

Service workers and shop and market sales workers

29

71

100

Skilled agricultural and fishery workers

57

43

100

Craft and related trades workers

72

28

100

Plant and machine operators and assemblers

87

13

100

Elementary occupations

49

51

100

Armed forces

98

2

100

Total

51

49

100

Source: Lithuanian Statistics

In 2001, the Open Society Fund – Lithuania funded a research Democracy and women: academic women on Lithuanian and EU labour market. The present and perspectives’. The objective of the research was to disclose a status of a modern woman scientist and situation in Lithuanian higher schools and academic institutions. The main conclusive finding of the research was as follows:

[...] Despite quite weighty women’s representation in science – one third of scientists in Lithuania are women – women scientists often stand on lower steps in the hierarchy of academic statuses. Statistical data shows that in the Lithuanian scientific community there exists informal practice of impeding professional career of women scientists, and this practice manifests not so much in the procedure of acquiring a higher scientific degree, but rather in the practice of conferring higher academic statuses and positions. Obvious decrease in the number of women scientists holding educational ranks over the last decade leads to an assumption that women are discriminated on the Lithuanian labour market of higher education. [...] The roots of women’s discrimination first of all lie in the patriarchal Lithuanian culture, which manifests in the way of approaching woman’s role in social life. Associating women first and foremost with their duties to their families is one of the most important subjective and objective reasons impeding professional career of women, including in science.

3. Data on training and qualifications

a) In the Gender Perspectives Annual Review 2000, data was collected on the education levels of men and women across the member states. For new member states we would like to collect equivalent figures.

Please refer to the 2000 annual review for more details (www.eiro.eurofound.europa.eu/2001/03/update/tn0103201u.html).

Table 7. % of employed population with a higher education and secondary education only in Lithuania in 2005
Educational attainment Men Women All
Employed population with a higher education

19.7

27.8

23.7

Employed population with secondary education only

21.1

20.9

21.0

Source: Lithuanian Statistics. ‘Higher’ education includes ‘higher university’ as well as ‘higher non-university’ education.

b) Please provide information on the amount and duration of training provided by employers for men and women employees in 2005, by part time and full time work.

At the moment, there is no data in Lithuania on the current status of the amount and duration of training provided by employers for employees. In 2006, the Lithuanian Statistics carried out two researches, which would provide, inter alia, with information on the employees’ training provided by employers (the data is being processed now). The first research was intended to evaluate the situation about adult education (its results are anticipated in the 1st quarter 2007) and the second – to evaluate the situation about vocational training of enterprise employees (its results are anticipated in the 3rd quarter 2007). The last research, which generated information on training provided by employers for employees, was carried out in Lithuania in 2000.

4. The social partners and gender and careers

a) What are the views and opinions of the social partners in your country with regard to:

i) gender segregation;

Views and opinions of the social partners in Lithuania with regard to gender segregation significantly differ – all three central trade union organisations (Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (Lietuvos profesinių sąjungų konfederacija, LPSK), Lithuanian Labour Federation (Lietuvos darbo federacija, LDF) and Lithuanian Trade Union ‘Solidarumas’ (Lietuvos profesinė sąjunga ‘Solidarumas’) maintain that the gender segregation problem is badly expressed in Lithuania, while the LPSK even has established a women centre with one of its tasks ‘to represent women rights in order to reach equal opportunities at work, in the society, in the policy and, in the family as well as to fight against discrimination, exploitation, and sexual harassment’. On the other hand, two central confederations of employers (Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (Lietuvos pramonininkų konfederacija, LPK) and Lithuanian Business Employers’ Confederation (Lietuvos verslo darbdavių konfederacija, LVDK) say ‘they don’t face’ this problem.

Basic trends of trade unions’ activities in this area are related to educational, training, consultation, information and editorial activities.

ii) training and qualifications to promote equal career opportunities amongst men and women;

All central confederations of the social partners said their views are positive with regard to all training and qualification incentives to promote equal career opportunities amongst men and women, but they didn’t take any particular actions in this area.

iii) tackling gender discrimination in careers; and

All central confederations of the social partners said they negatively approached gender discrimination in careers, but they didn’t take any particular actions in this area.

iv) encouraging the adoption of policies on gender and careers at company level?

With the view of implementing the principle of equal remuneration for equal work in Lithuanian enterprises and organisations, on 13 June 2005, the national associations of employers and employees signed the first national bilateral agreement in Lithuania on the application of ‘The Methodology for the Assessment of Jobs and Positions’ in enterprises and organisations (LT0507102N). The parties agreed to recommend executive officers and trade unions applying the Methodology in practice and setting it forth in collective agreements.

b) What policies have the social partners developed to promote career opportunities for women within their own organisations (internal)?

All social partners’ organisations said they didn’t face the gender segregation problem internally and therefore didn’t take any policies to promote career opportunities for women within their own organisations.

c) What policies have the social partners, either individually or jointly developed to promote career opportunities for women in other organisations (external)?

As already mentioned, employers’ organisations do not perform any actions in order to promote career opportunities for women in other organisations, while main activities of trade unions in this area are related with educational, training, consultation, information and editorial activities. Trade unions hold seminars for their members, provide consulting in particular cases of gender discrimination, and keep their members informed in other forms about their rights and duties in implementation of the gender equality principle in the labour market.

d) Are there any other examples of social partner activities directed at improving career opportunities for women, generally or specifically (for example, EQUAL)?

Social partners organisations often partake in various projects, including those directed at improving career opportunities for women. Currently, central trade union organisations share (together with trade unions of other EU and CEE countries) in a project aimed at evaluating the scope, causes and consequences of discrimination at work (results of this project should be published on November 2006).

Some social partners organisations participate (partner) in EQUAL projects which are now in progress:

  • LPSK participates in development partnership ‘Forward! Family and work reconciliation development’. The objective of the partnership is using international experience to create and test two new models for reconciliation of professional activities and family duties, one of which is for city community and the other is for rural community.
  • LVDK participates in development partnership ‘Give me a hand’. The main goal of the partnership is to develop a Social Mentoring Network (model) in the area of employment and provide an opportunity for the women who have been out of work for an extensive period of time to reintegrate into the labour market by taking over the experience of women, who have successfully overcome the employment problems simultaneously overcoming the discrimination
  • Šiauliai City Trade Union Confederation participates in development partnership ‘Family universe: family friendly organisation’. The main aim of the partnership is to create and to test innovative methodology and means for educational institutions and organizations, starting to reconcile family and professional life and trying to change stereotypical gender roles in the family and in the work, by forming family-friendly study and work environment in Šiauliai University.
  • Entrepreneurs employers confederation of Vilnius town and county participates in development partnership ‘The way for you’. The main goal of the partnership is to find out the most effective tools of young women support mechanism of entering or re-entering a labour market. These tools should become the background creating national action plan and measures implementation plan.

5. National Centre view

In Lithuania, same as in other post-Soviet countries, women as a rule are actively participating on the labour market (current employment rate for women in Lithuania is 61.1%), they are usually higher educated than men. Yet, the gender pay gap remains high in Lithuania (currently it is 18%), women are underrepresented in top management positions. Though the gender equality principle is fully incorporated in valid Lithuanian legislation, in practice there is a lack of knowledge, competency and experience regarding implementation of advanced work organisation and skill-management schemes, and this often determines insufficiently objective evaluation of employees and, concurrently, their career opportunities. In addition, the schemes promoting gender equality (e.g., employment quotas, more favourable work conditions for women, etc.) are not applied in Lithuania at all.

Inga Blažienė