This paper examines gender differences in labour market transitions in Finland. The empirical analysis carried out using multinomial logit model is based on a 1996 sample of unemployed people. The results indicate that female labour market position is inferior to male and that female labour market outcomes are more responsive to family-related background characteristics. Previous unemployment is observed to be particularly scarring on male labour market position. According to the results education improves female labour market position significantly. Higher education diminishes gender differences in the labour market and is therefore a particularly equalizing factor. Copyright 2006 The Author; Journal compilation 2006 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd..