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The current Conference time is: 14th Aug 2022, 11:27:04pm CEST

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Parallel session - I.10 Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Thursday, 03/June/2021:
2:15pm - 4:30pm

Session Chair: Gabriella Seveso
Session Chair: Lisa Brambilla
Session Chair: Brunella Fiore
Location: Room 10

Session Panels:
I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic

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ID: 605 / THR-PRL-E1-I.10: 1
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Panels: I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords: women, children, pandemic, school, social disadvantage


Valentina Guerrini

University of Florence, Italia

The health emergency and the restrictive measures adopted by our country to deal with the consequences of Covid 19 are risking to compromise important results achieved so far in the field of gender equality. Job is certainly the area on which the impact has been greatest; however, the pandemic has reinforced critical issues present in other areas such as sharing the burden of care, violence, entrepreneurship, education and poverty.

In particular, school closures and distance learning have had strong repercussions on the educational practices and daily routines of kindergarten and primary school, requiring the help and supervision of adult figures. Often mothers have found themselves having to work at home but at the same time having to follow their children in online education, or working outside and having to find a solution for the management of their children, or even worse, losing their jobs.

According to some research, women, regardless of age and geographical area, are in fact the main economic and social victims of the pandemic: 1 in 2 has seen their economic situation worsen in the last 12 months. In particular, the worst condition is for unemployed mothers (We world, 2021) The data sheds light on a situation that is alarming, to say the least: it was mainly women who lost their jobs and economic independence. Women with children and without work have found themselves facing an enormous economic, psychological and caregiving burden, the social effects of which will be evident in the future. In addition, the pandemic has also had a strong impact on undeclared work, especially domestic care/assistance. From an interview of 1,000 women conducted at the end of January 2021: 3 in 10 unemployed women with children due to Covid give up looking for work. 38% say they cannot afford an unexpected expense, a proportion that rises to 46% among mothers with children. As far as family load is concerned, care work is almost entirely on the shoulders of women: despite family aid, distributed after the first lockdown, 38% of women (2 out of 5) still state that they take care alone of dependent persons (elderly or children): a figure that rises to 47% among women aged 25-34, concentrated on minor children, and 42% in the 45-54 age bracket, who take care above all of the elderly.

This contribution, will try to analyze, from a gender perspective (Decataldo and Ruspini 2014), the results of a research conducted by the Author on the pedagogical consequences both at the family and school level of distance learning, in particular on the role of mothers in the management of the distance activities of sons and daughters and on the redefinition of the relationship between school and family. According to their testimonies, they suddenly found themselves playing an important role for which they were not at all prepared and, above all, what weighed most heavily, was the difficulty in reconciling their own work times with those of their sons and daughters during scholastic activities.

ID: 199 / THR-PRL-E1-I.10: 2
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Panels: I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic


Antonietta De Vita, Francesco Vittori

University of Verona, Italy

Reading bullying through a gender perspective is a need matured through the recognition of the potential and limitations of literature that interprets phenomena, such as male and female bullying, as universal and therefore, neutral masculine. Women's and feminist thought have articulated a scientific discourse over the last four decades that has enriched the reading of reality in its complexity. It shed light on the sexed and partial subjects (Diotima, 1987), on a perspective linked to sexual difference and gender reflection as an essential hermeneutical perspective, as well as on knowledge located and embodied in specific subjects and contexts (Donna Haraway, 1988), coming to the interesting intersectional perspective that allows us to talk about diversity, because each person carries with him/herself more diversities at the same time (Yuval-Davis, 2006). The motivations, symbolic needs, identification processes, and behaviors of boys and girls are different at the root. It is therefore important to open both female and male bullying to autonomous reading keys. Even the relationship between female-male bullying and homophobia, in the dual version of gayphobia or lesbian phobia, can only emerge from a sexual reading nourished by gender reflection (Burgio, 2018; De Vita 2018). In this contribution, we will discuss findings from 5 different Focus Groups implemented in three high schools located in Verona (North-East Italy), selected by their significant female population (48 participants). Our interest was to outline the first exploration following the intersectional interpretative framework which allowed us to understand how the "bumping differences" articulate and define adolescents. To do so, we have coded and analyzed data using Nvivo10 for Windows following the thematic analysis approach (Gavin, 2008; Clarke & Braun, 2014). The intersectional perspective encouraged us to intertwine different factors of oppression related to the fact that girls can be bullied by their peers for various reasons, as we know from the literature and as we saw from the results. Hence, we found three different patterns of victimization: “the bumping differences”, “the body as a battlefield” and “the strength and the weakness”.


Burgio, G. (2018) La femminilità corretta. I copioni di genere nel bullismo femminile, in G. Burgio (Eds.), Comprendere il bullismo femminile. Genere, dinamiche relazionali, rappresentazioni, Franco Angeli, Milano.

Clarke, V. & Braun, V. (2014) Thematic analysis, In Encyclopedia of critical psychology (pp. 1947-1952), Springer, New York, NY.

Diotima (1987) Il pensiero della differenza sessuale, La Tartaruga, Milano.

De Vita, A. (2018) La parte oscura delle relazioni femminili. Ipotesi teoriche per indagare il bullismo tra ragazze, in G. Burgio (Eds.), Comprendere il bullismo femminile. Genere, dinamiche relazionali, rappresentazioni, FrancoAngeli, Milano.

Gavin, H. (2008) Thematic analysis, Understanding research methods and statistics in psychology, 273-282.

Haraway, D. (1988) Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective, Feminist studies, 14(3), 575-599.

ID: 785 / THR-PRL-E1-I.10: 3
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Panels: I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords: qualitative interviews, gender stereotypes, gender sensitive university orientation, Covid-19 pandemic


Lisa Brambilla, Brunella Fiore, Silvia Luraschi, Laura Zampini

Università degli studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italia

The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a significant impact on researchers as the normal and expected difficulties of research are exacerbated as our way of life has drastically changed. This research note is a reflective narrative of the author's experience transitioning from face-to-face to online interviews in light of social distancing and contact restrictions. Through a descriptive analysis, this article details the numerous ethical, logistical, practical, and cultural issues the author confronted in preparation for qualitative online interview research through personal reflections, current events, and existing literature.

The contribution is developed starting from the project "Piano Lauree Scientifiche" in collaboration with ABCD Interdepartmental Center for Gender Studies of the University of Milan-Bicocca. The specific objective of the project was the declination of a short orientation path to the choice of university studies to be dedicated to third or fourth year students of upper secondary school. Path finds its characterization in putting the gender dimension at the center and in the problematization of the influence that this informally acts on the choices of young people.

The project initially envisaged the involvement of some high school students in a preliminary moment of collecting some suggestions and points of view of the young people about their future projects (including expectations, expectations, fears about the choice of the university), which it would followed by an appointment where a theme of the gender-orientation relationship would be proposed that could hopefully support the paths of university choice by deconstructing some gender stereotypes that risk binding and / or precluding some possible choices or experiences from the beginning. The pandemic completely reversed plans in several moments: it was no longer possible to meet students in schools. Therefore, the survey focused on focus groups aimed at university students who should have followed double interviews to be carried out in person. The worsening of the situation led to the carrying out of interviews from face-to-face modes to interviews conducted online.

The aim of this article is to highlight personal experience to better inform future research and encourage flexibility and reflexivity in research. It is hoped that this article can be of use to further develop cross-cultural qualitative methodology and expand upon the emerging field of literature surrounding videoconferencing qualitative research

ID: 750 / THR-PRL-E1-I.10: 4
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Panels: I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords: horizontal gender segregation, gender educative inequalities, high schools’ choices, educative divide


Giulietta Zanga

Università degli Studi di Brescia, Italy


The decline of vertical gender segregation in access to education conceals the presence, relevant both quantitatively and for its consequences, of educative horizontal segregation between males and females. Based on their gender, students choose to attend, firstly, different high school areas and, later on, different university field of studies, connected to different occupational opportunities. Generally, females choose a path that will lead them to unfavorable working conditions and less rewarding earnings.

Gender segregation has been studied mainly concerning university careers: this analysis aspires to confirm the relevance of this phenomenon already in secondary education, hence before tertiary education. At the secondary level, sociological literature has focused mainly on the diversification of higher enrolment choices of students with different socio-economic and migratory backgrounds: the analysis of the different choices of boys and girls in access to high school tracks can provide further understanding on educational inequalities, especially regarding the theme of transition between school paths. comprehending the social nature of this difference can be useful in facilitating choices that can be disconnected from gender conditioning.

Research question

I aim at identifying the magnitude and specificities of gender segregation in upper secondary school tracks (and sub-tracks) and to explain it in terms of their curriculum’s subject specificities.


Using data from MIUR, through an index of the presence of a single gender among the different high school addresses’ enrolled, highly gender segregated school tracks (and sub-tracks) will be identified.


I expect to discover that high school tracks that present the highest gender segregation especially among upper school sub-tracks. Furthermore, I expect to find that high school addresses belonging to the same school path, which differ from each other based on slight differences in their subject’s curriculum, also differ regarding their gender composition. These differences can be connected to the divide between humanistic and scientific fields as well as to the care-technical divide, which is tightly related to gender differences in future labour choices.


Biemmi I. (2009), Genere e processi formativi. Sguardi femminili e maschili sulla professione di insegnante, Pisa, Edizioni ETS

Barone C. (2011), Some Things Never Change: Gender Segregation in Higher Education across Eight Nations and Three Decade, Sociology of Education, 84(2), 157–176

Bobbitt-Zeher D. (2007), The Gender Income Gap and the Role of Education, Sociology of Education, 80, 1-22

Cantalini S. (2015), Genere, settore di studio e reddito. Un’analisi delle disuguaglianze salariali di genere tra i laureati italiani, Stato e mercato, 104, 189-227

ID: 361 / THR-PRL-E1-I.10: 5
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Panels: I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords: Retail Sector, Industrial Relations, Women Workforce, Work-life Balance, Italian Institutions


Arianna Marcolin1, Beatrice Bianconi2

1Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy; 2Università Milano-Bicocca

Retail women’s’ workforce is characterized by high level of turnover rate, higher percentage of part-time contracts, low-skilled workforce and increased level of connectivity/availability due to the spread of digitalization. especially in countries – such as Italy – where public policies and welfare systems are not sufficient to let women working full-time, making women’s needs to cope with work-life balances issues crucial. Collective bargaining should meet this evolution, in order to define the new tasks that are rising and to improve workers’ conditions, gaining equal treatment and higher transparency vis-à-vis employers’ decisions.The aim of the paper is then to disentangle whether the social actors strategically negotiate over the changes that women workforce are facing or whether the regulation of women in the GDO (Great Organized Distribution) is regulated by the state, through policies that protect their needs. Thus, the question that this paper addresses is whether women’s retail workforce is regulated by social actors, looking at the content of collective agreement. The methodology utilized is the inductive content analysis of the Italian sector collective agreement, run through ad-hoc codebook. The content analysis allows to verify whether the issue of work-life balance, harassment and training are regulated through collective agreements, specifically for women during digital transition, and/or whether the state, through specific welfare policies, is sustaining women.

ID: 487 / THR-PRL-E1-I.10: 6
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Panels: I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords: gender pay gap, discrimination, labour market, southern italian graduates, early career


Valentina Ferri

INAPP - National Institute for Public Policy Analysis, Italy

The difference between men’s and women’s earning is the result of social and economic factors. In Italy segregation in the labour market also reinforces the gender pay gap. In fact, often women have an advantage in terms of higher educational levels but they have lower returns of education.

Considering that south of Italy had the worst graduate employment rates in EU (2019 data) and taking into account that women's labour participation is lower than men's, we intend to deepen the gender gap for southern Italian graduates compared to the graduates living in other area. In particular, we investigate the hypothesis that the different probability of access to the labour market between southern and northern women affects the wage gap thus creating a double discrimination.

To our knowledge little research has been conducted to explore GPG in differents macro-area of Italy.

Bozzano (2014) has evaluated the gender gap by means of the Global Gender Gap Index developed by the Word Economic Forum and adapted to the regional Italian context.

Filippin (2019) investigates on gender pay gap through Oaxaca and Blinder decomposition using a dataset provided by INAPP-PLUS (2005 – 2016). The Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition results show that in Italy the GPG is equal to 26.3%, among which 98.86% remains unexplained. Furthermore, they find that female participation in the labor market remains significantly low. By implementing Heckman correction, they find that women model estimates are upward-biased because there is a negative selection at the national level and in half of the Italian regions.

Our work contributes substantially to the topic in particular because concerns the early career of graduates.

This paper addresses the issue by taking advantage of the survey on university graduates' vocational integration, a survey conducted by ISTAT in 2015 that aims to investigate the transition of graduates (3 and 5 years course) from university to employment four years after graduation.

First, we estimate the mincerian equation of wages, we distinguish between the southern Italian graduates and the other graduates. The results show that being a woman significantly reduces earnings mostly in Southern regions. Heckman's two-step procedure allows us to take into account the sample selection and the inverse mills ratio.

Moreover, we explore the gender pay gap using Oaxaca Blinder decomposition and we apply Heckman correction in order to take into account the different probability of female participation in the labor market.

Bozzano M. (2014). “Assessing Gender Inequality among Italian Regions: The Italian Gender Gap Index”. In: Rivista di Politica Economica 103.1, pp. 255–300.

Filippin, M. E. (2019). Gender pay gap: a route from the North to the South of Italy (No. 176). University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.

ID: 698 / THR-PRL-E1-I.10: 7
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Panels: I.10. Researching the relationship between gender and education: innovative methodologies and open questions in times of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords: Teacher, Gender, Gender Bias in Grading, Noncognitive skills, Grading mismatch


Ilaria Lievore1, Moris Triventi2, Mona Dian3

1Università degli Studi di Trento, Italia; 2Università degli Studi di Trento, Italia; 3University of Applied Sciences Worms, Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany,

Teachers’ grades are usually conceptualized as a function of students’ ability together with students’ non-cognitive skills, personality traits and behaviours. On the contrary, scores in standardized achievement test are thought to be an “unbiased” measure of students’ competences. The comparison between the two measure is at the core of a recent stream of research that aim to assess gender bias in grading, that is the extent to which teachers grade more or less generously girls than boys, even when they have the same level of ability measure by standardize test score. Gender bias in grading, or gender grading mismatch, has been found to be systematic, meaning that neither teachers’ characteristics or classroom and school context have an effect in increasing or decreasing gender differential in grades. However, students are supposed to, or are likely to, show different non-cognitive skills and behaviours according to their gender. Consequently, the aim of this paper is understanding if students’ noncognitive skills and big five personality traits, together with some indicators of students’ behaviour, have a mediating role in explaining gender bias in grading. To this aim, we make use of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)- Starting Cohort 3, which provides information on students attending the grade 7 in 2012, who are repeatedly interviewed in the subsequent years. We therefore focus on German lower secondary school students. Education- and school-related variables as well as socio-demographics, competences, behaviour and big five personality traits and are assessed via paper-and-pencil interviews (PAPI) or provided by official student lists. while information on the parents is collected using computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI). In order to estimate gender bias in grading, we rely on the so-called “grade-equation” approach, in which teachers’ grades are expressed as a function of students’ gender, adjusted for students’ subject specific competences measured via standardized test score, and additional covariates capturing students’ heterogeneity in socio-demographic characteristics and teacher characteristics that may be correlated with teachers’ grades. The next step is assessing the mediating role of students’ personality traits, noncognitive skills and behaviour. The KHB decomposition method allows us to assessing the role of non-cognitive indicators in explaining gender differences in teachers’ grade, decomposing the effect of gender on grades, net of students’ sociodemographic characteristics, teachers’ characteristics and most important students’ competences. Results show that teachers are effectively more likely to give higher grades to female students than to male students, and this gap is partially explained by students’ personality traits and behaviour. However, the unexplained variance left, which is not attributable to neither students’ and teachers’ characteristics and to our indicators of students’ non-cognitive skills, may be conceived as explicit or implicit teacher gender discrimination bias. We therefore theorize about how grade assessment based on noncognitive skills may have changed during the covid pandemic for online-teaching, and what might be the consequences for gender bias in educational attainment.

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