CLIC - Comparative Life Course and Inequality Research Centre > Projects > GEG (Gender and Education in Germany)

Gender and Education in Germany

Scientific Background

Gender differences in educational trajectories and job careers have changed dramatically over the life course and across birth cohorts. There has been an impressive equalization and even partial reversal of educational inequalities of men and women across cohorts. At the same time, however, gender-specific subject orientations, competencies, educational choices and occupation-specific interests seem to be quite stable. Women’s better education clearly has improved their chances at labor market entry and their career opportunities. However, in Germany women still seem to experience a weakening of their career prospects at the time of first birth. This project aims to describe and analyze the emergence of gender-specific structures of educational and job careers and to compare these patterns across cohorts. 


The aim of this project is to study how gender-specific interests, motivations, competences, and decision making unfold over the life course in relation to family background, educational institutions, workplaces, and private life events. In particular, this project studies gender-specific disparities in different stages of the educational and occupational career throughout the life course and at various transition points. Thus, the project is structured according to the main educational stages and transitions within the life course. The project takes an explicit life course perspective and utilises longitudinal data from the new National Educational Panel Study (NEPS).


Bukodi E., Eibl F., Buchholz S., Marzadro S., Minello A., Wahler S., Blossfeld H-P., Erikson R. and Schizzerotto A., (2015) Linking the macro to the micro: a multidimensional approach to educational inequalities in four European countries. Barnett Papers in Social Research, n.10, 2015.

A. Minello and H.P. Blossfeld (2016) "From parents to children: The impact of mothers’ and fathers’ educational attainments on those of their sons and daughters in West Germany", British Journal of Sociology of Education, DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2016.1150156

A. Minello and H.P. Blossfeld (forthcoming) Can adult education compensate for early disadvantages? The role of adult education in reducing inequalities for German men and women, in Erola J. and Kilpi-Jakonen E. (eds) Social Inequality Across the Generations: The Role of Compensation and Multiplication in Resource Accumulation, Edward Elgar Publishing. 

Work in progress

Minello A.  and H-P, Blossfeld, Attitude toward marriage or the marriage market? The effects of job participation, gender segregation of the labour market and education on the transition to the first marriage in Germany. Presented at: RC28 2014 conference, Budapest, May 8-10.

Minello A.  and H-P, Blossfeld, Why not math? Determinants of the choice of STEM fields among German students. Presented in Bamberg at the 1st International NEPS User Conference, July 7-8, 2016 , LIfBi Bamberg.


Page last updated on 17 August 2017