Contingent work and gender: a research on local administrations Public administration represents a privileged context to investigate the gendered consequences of the diffusion of contract flexibility. A research on the use of lifetime and short-term contracts in local administrations in the province of Alessandria shows the presence of different gender profiles among flexible workers. For most men, short-term contracts are linked to leadership positions, or they represent a transition towards a stable job, as they do for part of the younger women. There is, instead, a great number of women who seem to be trapped in a
row of badly qualified, very short and often part-time contracts, with long pauses in between: a highly precarious link with the workplace seems to be their longterm condition.