Inequalities are measured, discriminations are lived
The French law adopted in 2018 on the freedom to choose a professional future seeks to shift from an obligation of means to an obligation of results in terms of the gender pay gap. It is based on the notion that discriminations can be measured, providing quantification as a means to steer action. The article recalls that in fact, this goal is unachievable from a statistical point of view, coming back to the two most widely used approaches: “all other things being equal” statistical analysis and statistical testing. It explains why these tools cannot quantify the scope of discrimination, without denying their broad usefulness. The lack of measurement does not mean giving up on the need for action. Rather, it should open the path for ways of thinking and interdisciplinary approaches that do not rely on numbers for proof.
Keywords: gender inequality, discrimination, wages.
The plural territories of labor market intermediaries
Jean-Marie PILLON, Delphine REMILLON and Carole TUCHSZIRER
The article takes a fresh look at the role of local regions in French employment policies, focusing on the activity of local labor market intermediaries. It explores the relationship between such intermediaries and local regions, analysing the contacts between two major stakeholder categories, municipal structures and local Pôle Emploi job centers. It draws on data from a qualitative survey of two areas to demonstrate that local regions are at the same time sites where macro, meso, and micro stakeholders apply employment policies, bases for economic, political, and administrative understandings of territoriality, and geographical spaces with their own economic and social dynamics that partly determine the relevant scale of intervention. The range of approaches raises the issue of the best coordinating bodies to oversee the multiplicity of ways of understanding the territory as a variable. Each area surveyed revealed a convergence of interventions by intermediaries, albeit on distinct geographical scales reflecting local specificities. The synchronization of interventions is at times thrown off kilter by employment policy reforms that stoke competition locally.
Keywords: territories, labor market intermediaries, employment policy, reform, scale of intervention, regulation of public policies.
Women and union representation, from signing up to taking on responsibilities: A process of socially selective inclusion
Based on data from the survey on professional relationships and business negotiations (REPONSE) led by the DARES and the Statistics on Resources and Living Conditions Survey (SRCV) led by the INSEE, this article explores the impact of equality policies and changes in the union sphere on women’s engagement since the late 1990s. Despite a relative feminization of union members, women were still under-represented in trade unions in 2010. In a legislative context that now requires women to be included in various spheres of activity (particularly political and militant) and the strengthening of the model of multiple union mandates, the article reports an ambivalent effect on the presence of women in the trade union institution, given that placing limits on union commitment remains difficult: female managers and professionals are better represented, but manual workers and employees are less well represented.
Keywords: women, union representation, inclusion, social selection.
The link between employment and housing: trade union handling of housing issues in a changing labor and employment landscape
This article explores the question of employee housing from two distinct points of view. It first looks at how the issue is handled at various levels in the CFDT union and the new forms of housing-related action that have developed over the past two decades in France in response to the emergence of new social needs at the juncture between employment and housing. The article demonstrates how such actions reflect the logic of updating the finalities and modalities of public interventions on housing. It also seeks to understand the link between employment and housing insofar as it measures trade union actions against the new risks related to changes in the labor market, such as the increased insecurity of waged work and the increasing requirement for geographical mobility, and the concomitant need to create new means of providing security in housing and employment.
Keywords: the link between housing and employment, trade union organization, changes to the labor market.