Ministers are hosting a summit to tackle the perception that "some jobs just aren't for women".
First Minister Alex Salmond will open Scotland's first Women's Employment Summit on Wednesday.
The event at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh is jointly organised with Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and 150 delegates are expected, with more dialling in from Inverness and Dumfries.
Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon are also attending.
Ms Constance said: "This is a historic first and demonstrates the Scottish Government's commitment to tackling the barriers that women face in maximising job opportunities. Helping more women into work is a top priority if Scotland's economy is to grow faster and we are doing all we can to achieve that, including our plans to deliver the best package of flexible early learning and childcare anywhere in the UK.
"The need for increased childcare and the perception that some jobs just aren't for women are two key hurdles that we need to clear if we are to create a level playing field for all. We want to hear about the real-life experiences of women, both around the difficulties they've faced and the successes they've had.
"The summit will focus on identifying positive steps that public sector bodies, employers, trade unions, other partners and women themselves can take to ensure that women can make their full contribution to Scotland's economic recovery."
Grahame Smith, STUC general secretary said: "Extensive barriers continue to prevent women's full participation in the labour market and these have often appeared resistant to policy interventions. The gender pay gap persists despite decades of equal pay legislation.
"Too many industrial sectors exclude half the workforce from skilled jobs whilst moaning about skill shortages. Apprenticeships continue to embed occupational segregation.
"Therefore, the STUC is tremendously enthusiastic about the potential for change triggered by the Women's Employment Summit, our important joint initiative with the Scottish Government."