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Looking at Gender and Socio-Emotional Skills Signaling in Turkey (English)

In the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region, only one in two working-age adults has a job, and the region is experiencing more and more limited job creation to absorb the working-age population. In some countries, only three out of ten women are working or looking for jobs, and across all countries, they have a harder time finding a job and spend more time looking for one. At the same time, employers complain that, despite high unemployment, difficulty finding workers with the “right” skills – including socioemotional skills, such as resilience, motivation, and the ability to work in teams and to take initiative – is one of the main constraints to their usiness. But it is not easy for job applicants to signal that they have these sought-after skills when submitting a job application. Attention in CVs and job ads is placed on detailing education and work experience, which employers use as imperfect skills proxies in their decision of whom to consider for a job. In collaboration with the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), the World Bank set out to test (1) whether socioemotional skill signals in CVs arevalued by employers at the initial hiring stage (evaluation of CVs and selection for interviews), and (2) whether the same socioemotional skill signals are perceived differently in male versus female candidates’ CVs. We chose to study this issue in two large cities in Turkey – Istanbul and Ankara – due to the size and dynamism of the labor market, as well as the salience of gender issues and skills constraints (Turkey has the lowest female labor force participation rate among the OECD countries, and one that is well below the country’s level of development and education of the population). Turkey also has had an active policy dialogue between the World Bank and government counterparts on labor, gender, and skills; and strong partnerships with donors to advance on closing gender gaps in economic participation. The case in point is that the study was funded by the World Bank’s Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality.




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Looking at Gender and Socio-Emotional Skills Signaling in Turkey (English). eMBeD brief Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group