OECD countries are concerned with strong male-female disparities in the labour market, in particular: with a wage gap in favour of men; with a strong gender occupational segmentation. Although empirical studies suggest malefemale differences in work attitudes have a part in these facts, this aspect is often overlooked in economic theory. In this paper, we propose an employment relationship model to capture the role of work attitudes. We consider agents exhibiting self-esteem motives which may represent a source of non pecuniary work motivation. Depending on the optimal contract, an agent develops such a motivation or not. We rely on this model to offer an explanation of observed disparities. The model accounts for a gendered vertically segmented labour market with an overrepresentation of women in low effort requirement poorly-paid jobs.