Stockholm University
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Workplace Sex Composition and the Transition to Parenthood – Men and Women in Sweden

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posted on 2021-04-01, 19:35 authored by Sofi Ohlsson WijkSofi Ohlsson Wijk
The aim of this study is to examine how the sex composition of the work environment is related to the transition to parenthood for men and women. The existence of such an association has been suggested by previous research, but rarely studied directly. The sex composition of the work environment is expected to shape conditions that influence employees’ childbearing. This study focuses on the workplace because that is where daily social interaction occurs and where work culture, norms, and working conditions are shaped. Multilevel event-history analyses are applied to register data covering nearly all employed and childless men and women of childbearing ages in Sweden in 2002-2006. The main analyses cover workplaces with 5-150 employees because social interaction within larger workplaces is expected to occur in smaller subunits. First-birth risks increase with the share of employees of the individual’s own sex, net of factors such as own earnings, public or private sector employment, occupation, and industry. The role of working in a family-friendly environment is a probable explanation for the finding for women. The possibilities to engage in gender-role socialization or to find a partner at work are also discussed as potential mechanisms for both men and women.


the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE): grant 2008-0782 for the project Welfare, Labor-market Status and Family Dynamics

the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via the Swedish Initiative for research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM): Register-based Research in Nordic Demography, grant 839-2008-7495




Original title

Workplace Sex Composition and the Transition to Parenthood – Men and Women in Sweden

Original language

  • English

Publication date


Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)

  • 310 Sociologiska institutionen | Department of Sociology