Gender in the age of digitization and technological change

An Emmy Noether Research Group at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)

Why gender, digitization, and technological change?

Technological change and digitization (TC&D) induce some of the most crucial changes in modern societies, as they alter the way we learn and work at an unprecedented rate. The rapid changes have the potential to alleviate long-standing gender inequalities. However, the movement towards gender equity in the labor market has considerably slowed down and surprisingly it seems that digitization even contributes to gender inequality. 

Against this backdrop the research group GenDiT analyzes how and under which conditions TC&D affects gender inequality in educational outcomes, fields of study choices, employment, and pay. The aim is to extend our theoretical knowledge on the relationships between structural changes, such as digitization, and social inequalities and better understand the roles that pre-existing structural inequalities in society and organizations play in this process. 

The core analyses of the project are based on longitudinal survey panel and administrative data (NEPS, IEB) as well as novel experimental data. A central element of the larger project will be the computational textual analysis of historical job vacancy ads, which will allow us to measure TC&D on an occupational level and over a longer period.

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The Research Group

Malte Reichelt

Project leader

Timon Kai Drewes

Phd Student

PhD position 2

Elena Carroll

Student Research Assistant



One fully funded PhD position in Sociology/Computational Social Science.

Call for Applications in German and English



Interested in joining our team? Send an email to [email protected]

The three pillars of the project


Gender inequalities in the labor market in part originate from inequalities in the educational system, such as differences in tertiary degree completion, or choices of fields of study. Aiming to understand how and under which conditions technological change and digitization affect gender inequalities, it is thus important to begin by illuminating if male and female students develop different prerequisites to benefit from the increasing digitalization and technological change in the labor market and why.

We use large panel data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and merge administrative and geo-coded data to measure the influence of the context that students are embedded in.


Do men and women when entering the labor market benefit from technological change and digitization to the same degree? We aim to analyze if and why men and women differently apply for ICT-related positions and if discrimination in the hiring process plays a role. How much do preferences for specific occupations and gender--typing of occupations matter?

We use factorial survey experiments to measure under which conditions employees' evaluatuation of open ICT-related positions varies and under which conditions employers evaluate the fit of male and female applicatns differently.

GenDiT-Positional Power

How do ICT-related gender differences in organizations  emerge? We analyze how occupational changes (i.e., the emergence of ICT-related occupations or the change in what skills occupations require) alter the power of male and female workers in workplaces and within households.

We use large-scale administrative data and machine learning to identify how occupations change and what these changes mean for men's and women's employment and pay.