More women doing physical jobs in Poland owing to Ukraine war

Tytus Żmijewski/PAP

Increasing numbers of women have jobs involving manual labour in Poland owing to the influx of refugees from Ukraine, an employment agency has told PAP.

According to Gremi Personal, the war in Ukraine and the related inflow of refugees, mainly women and children, have totally changed the structure of the Ukrainian workforce compared to the situation before the war.

In 2022, nearly 64 percent of Ukrainians working in Poland were women, which compares to just 45 percent in 2021.

Women constitute 51 percent of all 5,000 people employed by Gremi Personal as qualified and unqualified manual labourers.

"The structure of the labour market has significantly changed over the past year thanks to which more women are working in stereotypically 'male' industries that until recently had been associated with physical strength," said Vitalia Korshun, Gremi Personal's director for international cooperation.

"The lack of manual labourers from Ukraine as a result of the war forced many companies to open up to employing women, despite being very reluctant at the beginning," Korshun added.

She gave the example of the meat industry, where 70 percent of employees are now women. "Women refugees have proved competent in the industry, which requires concentration, cleanliness and high sanitary standards," Korshun said.

In the warehousing industry, which "is associated with physical strength", 55 percent of the workers are already female, she said.