The Labor Force Gender Index (LFGI) is a 4-item measure that uses data from the Canadian Labor Force survey to create a gender index based on gender roles and institutionalized gender. The four main measurement components to the LFGI include responsibility for caring for children, occupational segregation, hours of work relative to partner/spouse, and education relative to partner or spouse.
Geographies Tested: Canada
Populations Included: Female, Male
Age Range: Adolescents, Adults
1. Responsibility for Caring for Children
If you were away from work (either completely or partially) in the last week, what was the reason?
Personal or family responsibility
Other response options not specified
For respondents working less than 30 hours per week: What is the main reason you are not working more hours per week?
Caring for children
Other personal or family responsibilities
Other response options not specified
2. Occupational Segregation
What is your current occupation?
Self-reported occupation is coded into 47 major groups based on the National Occupational Classification system.
3. Hours of Work Relative to Partner or Spouse
How many hours do you usually work each week?
For respondents currently living with a spouse: How many hours does your spouse usually work each week?
[Enter number of hours]
4. Education Relative to Partner or Spouse
What is the highest level of education you have achieved?
For respondents currently living with a spouse: What is the highest level of education your spouse has achieved?
0-8 years of education
Some secondary education
Graduated from high school
Some post-secondary education
Post-secondary certificate or diploma
To calculate the final LFGI score, the values from each of the 4 categories are summed, resulting in a score ranging between 0 and 10 for each respondent. Higher scores indicate more traditionally feminine gender labor market roles and lower scores indicate more traditionally masculine gender labor market roles.
Responsibility for Caring for Children
Response options are recoded as follows:
0=no reduction in labor market participation due to personal or family responsibilities;
1=part or full week absence due to personal or family responsibilities; and
2= working part-time due to personal or family responsibilities.
The 47 occupations are reclassified into 4 groups using occupational data from the 1997 Labor Force Survey:
0=occupations where less than 26% of workers were women;
1=occupations where 26 to 50% of workers were women;
2=occupations where 51 to 74% of workers were women;
3=occupations where 75% or more of workers were women.
Hours of Work Relative to Partner of Spouse
Open-ended numerical responses are grouped into the following 4 categories:
0= respondent working, but spouse not in the labor force;
1=respondent working more hours than their spouse;
2=respondent working the same number of hours as their spouse; and
3=respondent working less hours than their spouse.
Respondents not currently living with a spouse are grouped with respondents working more hours than their spouse.
Education Relative to Partner or Spouse
Responses are coded into the following 3 categories:
0=respondents with a higher level of education than their spouse;
1=respondents with the same level of education as their spouse; and
2=respondents with a lower level of education than their spouse.
Respondents without a spouse are grouped with respondents with a higher level of education than their spouse.
Smith, P. M., & Koehoorn, M. (2016). Measuring gender when you don’t have a gender measure: constructing a gender index using survey data. International Journal for Equity in Health, 15(82), 1-9, doi: 10.1186/s12939-016-0370-4
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