Page last updated at 02:16 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 03:16 UK

Women dominate 'high status' jobs

A female doctor
Predominantly women have moved into non-manual jobs, the study says

More women than men in the UK now work in high status professions, research by the University of Cambridge has shown.

But men are still paid far more than women, the report into employment and pay in 10 European countries reveals.

The changing nature of women's work and better education had led to a "quiet revolution in the workplace", the study of 300 occupations found.

UK women are only just pulling ahead in professions such as medicine and law, the researchers noted.

Gender pay gap

The other nations studied were Sweden, Germany, Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

The report author, Dr Robert Blackburn, analysed data on several million European workers using official censuses and labour force surveys.

Dr Blackburn said: "Formerly women were more likely than men to be in manual occupations, but as manual work has declined, it is predominantly women who have moved into non-manual jobs.

"Initially... women tended to be employed in low-level non-manual occupations, especially clerical work. More recently, they have contributed to the expansion of professional employment."

He said jobs defined as higher status like nursing and teaching did not always pay better than the dirty and dangerous manual work, usually carried out by men.

Men also tended to be better paid than women because within each occupation, men were generally more senior.

Dr Blackburn used a recognised independent scale to measure the attractiveness and status of the occupations in his study.

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