Women objectification by the advertisement industry has contributed to the association of women with the idea of passiveness and kindness and men with action and agressiveness.
Several industries have tried to produce new perspectives for the way we see and expect women and men to act. Are you familiar with any of these campaigns? If you had the chance to advertise a product for use, what would be your perspective?

52. Showroom of the cotton textile factory “Vasil Kolarov”. Period of State Socialism, 1944-1989. Interactive Museum of Industry, Gabrovo, Bulgaria.


Gender gaps in the industry sector are sometimes justified as women having other preferences and career choices. Can a participation gap of women in certain industry sectors create a vicious circle?

53. Women working in machinery, factory EFACEC – Electrical Machinery Manufacturing Company. 1948-1997. Teófilo Rego Archive, Casa da Imagem – Manuel Leão Foundation, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.

A gender gap resides in the difference regarding levels of participation, access to resources, rights, power and influence, and remuneration and benefits for women and men. In this sense, gender gap has different translations in practice, some examples may be a participation gap, a remuneration gap, and an advancement gap.

While in general terms, the employment rates for women have been increasing since the Industrial Revolution and have increased sharply since the post-Fordism era (from the 70s on) employment rates are still systematically lower for women than for men across the EU, resulting in a gender employment gap, more prominent in specific sectors, including in industry-related areas.

Although the gender gap of access to employment has been shrinking with the increased involvement of women in the labour market this does not result in the elimination of gender inequality or the reduction of remuneration and advancement gaps, at least not in the same measure.

Despite some level of positive change in the European context, women employed in manufacturing earn lower wages than men. In other contexts, as developing countries undergoing intensive industrialisation processes the wage disparity between men and women is even higher in many cases. Gender gaps do not always follow a linear path.

Some of the reasons that might explain why gender gaps assume different contours and speeds are occupational segregation, but also the gender care gap itself, as women still occupy the central role in providing care and unpaid care work to their families, dependents and communities, remaining to be in a disadvantageous situation in terms of overall opportunities, access, participation, and maintenance in the labour market.