V. MAIN CONCLUSIONS
Conclusions

Concerning the profile and the education of tourism graduates and students in Portugal, this study confirmed that there are more women with academic degrees in tourism or enrolled in higher education degrees in this field. Although men prevail in highest academic degrees (master and doctorate), the majority, in absolute terms, of the qualified and specialised labour-force is composed of women. Women also reveal better academic results, in all academic degrees considered in the study. Whereas tourism higher education supply in Portugal is mostly provided by polytechnic institutions, graduates who reveal more entrepreneurial skills completed their academic degree in universities.

Regarding tourism graduates' professional situation in Portugal, it was observed that women reveal more constraints when entering the labour market. Among women, unemployment is higher; contractual situations are more precarious; the unemployment situation lasts longer; and the average number of jobs is lower.

Although pattern choices of work schedules are not determined by gender, it was confirmed that women work more in part-time jobs and, thus, work less hours than men.

Regardless the field of work, the regions of birth and residence, or academic education, women always exhibit lower salaries than men. In fact, on average, women earn 16.8% less than their counterparts. There were also unveiled territory patterns concerning salary, through the use of exploratory statistical techniques.

Although the willing to pursue management or leadership positions is similar, there is a clear prevalence of men on the highest hierarchical positions in the organisations, namely in management and supervision positions. On the other hand, among graduates who work in organisations with a code of conduct for gender equality, the gender gap in the occupation of management or leadership positions is clearly lower. It was also found that maternity has a negative influence on women's desire to pursue these more demanding positions. Also, the gender pay gap was more attenuated among graduates in the highest hierarchical positions.

As attenuating factors, it was observed that pursuing tourism postgraduate degrees leads to access to better conditions in the labour market and attenuates gender inequalities, namely the gender pay gap. In addition, a greater mobility in the beginning of the professional career showed a positive impact both in career advancement and wage development.

The analysis of the organisational practices concerning work and family balance revealed that there are a significant number of organisations with no measures for equal opportunity or work-family balance. Also, the average number of equal opportunity measures implemented in the organisations (where respondents were employed) is higher than the average number of measures of work-family balance, increasing proportionally with the size of the organisation. On the other hand, tourism graduates employed in organisations with more implemented measures (both equal opportunities and work-family balance measures) show higher levels of job satisfaction. Men reveal more apathy to equal opportunities in organisations and give more preference to measures concerning work schedule and place flexibility, while women emphasise measures related to family support. It was also observed that the more important measures identified by tourism students were the less frequently implemented by the organisations.

The analysis of the discrimination feeling in professional life of tourism graduates showed that, while women feel more discriminated concerning marital status and gender, men highlight ethnicity and nationality as the factors that generate more discrimination feelings in career advancement. In fact, respondents belonging to minorities always expressed higher discrimination levels. It was also observed that women generally feel more disadvantaged in all factors except for the number of working hours and the flexibility of working hours.

Analysing the dynamics and conflict between professional and family lives, it was found that women with children work less hours than women with no children, while among men the opposite was confirmed, i.e., those who have family responsibilities tend to work more hours per week. Also, most of male graduates in management positions have children while, among female graduates who fulfill these positions, the majority do not have children. In fact, being a parent reveals different professional constraints for men and women. The children factor increases the gender gap concerning employment rates, vertical mobility, entrepreneurial profile, willingness to pursue management or leadership positions, work schedule and salary, causing a restrictive effect among women and a catalyst effect among men. Analysing family responsibilities and domestic work, data show an unequal distribution of tasks among spouses, with the majority being delegated to the woman.


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