Glass Escalator - GlassEscalator: HiddenAdvantagesfor Men...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the "Female" Professions ited by Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., and Felician Foltman. Ithaca: New York State School of Indus- trial Relations. truction of Women. "iberal Approaches to y 1:447-65. ia: Temple University CHRISTINE L. WILLIAMS The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the "Female" Professions f Misplaced Dichoto- Practice in the U.S. of Visual Communica- 'y Sex." Signs: Journal Master Corporation :itions of Organiza- .Management, New !odological Approach. ornia Press. Harvard University The sex segregation of the U.S. labor force is one of the most perplexing and tena- cious problems in our society. Even though the proportion of men and women in the labor force is approaching parity (particularly for younger cohorts of work- ers), men and women are still generally confined to predominantly single-sex oc- cupations. Forty percent of men or women would have to change major occupa- tional categories to achieve equal representation of men and women in all jobs, but even this figure underestimates the true degree of sex segregation. It is ex- tremely rare to find specific jobs where equal numbers of men and women are en- gaged in the same activities in the same industries. Most studies of sex segregation in the work force have focused on women's experiences in male-dominated occupations. Both researchers and advocates for social change have focused on the barriers faced by women who try to integrate predominantly male fields. Few have looked atthe "flip-side" of occupational sex segregation: the exclusion of men from predominantly female occupations. But the fact is that men are less likely to enter female sex-typed occupations than wo- men are to enter male-dominated jobs. Reskin and Roos, for example, were able to identify 33 occupations in which female representation increased by more than nine percentage points between 1970 and 1980, but only three occupations in which the proportion of men increased as radically (1990). In this paper, I examine men's underrepresentation in four predominantly fe- male occupations-nursing, librarianship, elementary school teaching, and social work. Throughout the twentieth century, these occupations have been identified with "women's workll-even though prior to the Civil War, men were more likely to be employed in these areas. These four occupations, often called the female IIsemi-professions,1I today range from 5.5 percent male (in nursing) to 32 percent male (in social work). (See Table 1.) These percentages have not changed substan- tially in decades. In fact, as Table 1 indicates, two of these professions-librarian- ship and social work-have experienced declines in the proportions of men since 1975. Nursing is the only one of the four experiencing noticeable changes in sex composition, with the proportion of men increasing 80 percent between 1975 and 1990. Even so, men continue to be a tiny minority of all nurses.~ tlifomia Press. Press.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/16/2010 for the course SOC 450x taught by Professor Weiss during the Spring '09 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

Page1 / 17

Glass Escalator - GlassEscalator: HiddenAdvantagesfor Men...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online