Network explanations of the gender gap in migrants’ employment patterns: Use of online and offline networks in the Netherlands

Basak Bilecen*, Verena Seibel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: We investigate the relationship between the use of online and offline personal networks and employment for male and female migrants in the Netherlands.

Background: Previous research indicated an alarmingly large gender gap in the employment patterns of migrants. Although social networks have been identified as being crucial for migrants’ labour market participation, we know very little about how migrant men and women differ in terms of their social networks, and how these differences translate into varying employment opportunities.

Method: Drawing on the Dutch Immigrant Panel of LISS (Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences) dataset, we used logistic regression analyses to examine the employment patterns of female migrants.

Results: Our analyses generated two major findings. Contrary to our expectations, we found that, on average, the migrant women were more connected with individuals who were employed and had a Dutch background, but were less connected with men; and that they tended to have a rather dense network structure. Our findings further indicated that the women’s unemployment could not be significantly accounted for by their personal networks, but rather by their tendency to use LinkedIn that is less than the migrant men.

Conclusion: Our findings have implications for understanding how inequalities in networks affect the labour market participation of migrant women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-565
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Research
Issue number2
Early online date18-Jan-2021
Publication statusPublished - 6-Sep-2021


  • international migrants
  • gender
  • personal networks
  • online networks
  • employment

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