Kavli, Hanne Cecilie; Nicolaisen, Heidi
The Nordic countries are celebrated as “world champions” and “forerunners” with regard to gender equality. A high level of female labour market participation is identified as crucial to achieve gender equality, and in Norway more than 80 percent of women between the age of 25 and 59 engage in paid work. A substantial share, currently about 40 percent, work part-time, but their part-time work has for several decades been regarded as a “normalized” labour marked phenomenon with working conditions of part-timers equal to those of full-timers. Immigrants in Norway are met with great expectations concerning their adaptation to the dual earner family model. Consequently, the fact that immigrant women in general has far lower employment rates than Norwegian women, has received a lot of attention. Less is known about immigrant women who have entered the Norwegian labour market. In this paper we examine the working time patterns of immigrant women. Do they work part time to the same degree as ethnic Norwegian women? Is their part-time employment a stepping stone towards full-time work or an end station? And for those who remain in part-time positions - can their part-time work be understood as marginalized or normalized compared to that of ethnic Norwegian women? The multivariate analyses are based on a panel register where women who were employed in 2009 are traced in public registers until the end of 2012. The data includes information on a wide range of variables, including employment status, education, public benefits, time of residence in Norway, country of origin as well as a variety of family related variables and information related to the work place. Norwegian women without immigrant origins are compared with immigrant women from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Vietnam. We find that employed immigrant women work part time more or less to the same degree as ethnic Norwegian women. However, working time mobility is more common among immigrant women than among ethnic Norwegian women, as immigrant women are more inclined both to increase their hours and to leave the labour market entirely.