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- Explaining Sex Segregation In the Workplace In the committee's judgment, the causes of job segregation are multiple, interlocking, and deep-seated yet, as we show in Chap- ter 4, they are also amenable to policy in- tervention. In this chapter we discuss the factors we fee} to be the most important in accounting for the extreme degree of sex segregation of work observed in the United States. Intertwined with the social processes that contribute to job segregation are widely shared cultural assumptions about the sexes and their appropriate activities. For exam- ple, the belief of many people, including many women, that women should place the care oftheir families first in theirlives affects the way women are treated on the job when Hey do work. And such beliefs also interact with reality: many women today do indeed bear the greater share ofthe day-to-day work involved in family care. Similarly, it is often assumed that physical differences between the sexes make them suited or unsuited for certain types of work, anti there are average sex differences in size and stature that may be significant in some occupations. In this chapter we first examine the cul- tural beliefs that govern common attitudes about gentler and work. We next examine 37 barriers to employment, tracing how some beliefs became embodied in laws and judi- cial decisions that permitted or demancled that employers treat the sexes differently, and how they continue to provide ration- alizations for both intentional and uninten- tional labor market discrimination against women (and, less frequently, men). Third, we investigate the roles that women's own choices and preferences play in their work careers and examine the effects of sociali- zation and training. Assumptions about what kinds of work are appropriate for each gen- der, communicated through various social- ization and training processes, contribute to the development of sex-typed occupational preferences in individuals. Evidence sug- gests, however, that such sex-typed pref- erences are neither fixed for life nor fully deterministic of the sex type of workers' jobs. Fourth, we examine the role that family re- sponsibilities, actual or anticipated, play in shaping both women's choices and their op- portunities. Finally, we examine the thesis that the occupational opportunity structure plays a major role in perpetuating the con- centration of the sexes in different jobs. By the occupational opportunity structure we

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38 WOMEN'S WORK, MEN'S WORK mean the distribution of occupations that are available to members of each sex (and often certain racial and ethnic groups within each sex), a distribution that is seen to be limited by institutionalized and informal barriers Mat restrict workers' opportunities. Regarding the relative importance of these various factors, it is our judgment that wom- en's free occupational choices made in an open market explain only very incompletely their concentration in a small number of fe- male-dominated occupations. While work- ers' choices undoubtedly contribute to the observed occupational distributions of the sexes, their labor market outcomes depend heavily on the occupational opportunity structure, on various barriers, including em- ployers' and coworkers' preferences, and on institutionalized personnel procedures. In this chapter we look at the evidence in more detail. CULTURAL BELIEFS ABOUT GENDER AND WORK Beliefs about differences between the sexes, many of them taken as axiomatic, play an important role in the organization of so- cial life. These assumptions are often so much a part of our world view that we do not consciously think about them. As one an- thropologist put it, they are "referentially transparent" to us (Hutchins, 1980~. It is their transparency that gives them their force: because they are invisible, the underlying assumptions go unquestioned, and the be- liefs they entail seem natural to us. Even when we do question and revise certain of these beliefs for instance, when we realize that they are prejudicial to women the im- plicit assumptions that engendered them re- main intact and can serve as the foundation for future, perhaps somewhat altered, sex stereotypes. The cultural axioms that have been used to exclude women from the work- place, to restrict them to certain occupa- tions, or to condition their wage labor fall into three broad categories: those related to women s role in the home, those related to male-female relationships, and those related to innate differences between the sexes. Women's Role in the Home The first category consists of those as- sumptions that hold that women's "natural" place is in the home. This group of assump- tions underlies many specific attitudes about women and work held by employers, male workers, lawmakers, parents, husbands, and women themselves. It seeks to legitimate women's exclusion from the public sphere and hence the workplace and implies that a woman who is committed to her job is un- womanly. This axiom is neither universal nor timeless. It is an expression of cultural beliefs elaborated especially over the last two centuries and perhaps most filthy de- veloped and widely disseminated, through the popular media, in the contemporary United States. The assumption that wom- en's place is in the home follows from the premise that men support women, so women do not need to do wage work to earn a living. By implication, if women are employer!, it must be for extras or diversion from do- mestic life, so their concentration in low- paying, dead-end jobs is of little importance. The corollary to this set of assumptions, that men do not belong in the home during work- ing hours, also accounts for the almost totally segregated occupation of housewife and may help to explain the resilience of the tradi- tional sexual division of domestic work among couples in which both partners are em- ployed fills time. Historically as well as today, the notion that women's place is in the home has not reflected the actual behavior of large sectors of the population; hence it has been in fi~n- damental conflict with the reality of many women's lives. Women have worked to sup ~ This section on cultural beliefs relies heavily on di Leonexdo (1982).

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE port themselves and their families; they have worked because their labor was needed. Women have replaced men gone to war. They have done heavy labor on family farms when necessary. They have sought wage work when there was no means of support for them on the farm. They have taken in boarders and devised other ways to earn money at home. Women who are urban and minority, recent immigrants, and poor in genera] have done menial work for low wages, without the primacy of women's domestic role being invoked. And highly educated women, earning better salaries, have also worked as nurses, teachers, social workers, office workers, and businesswomen since late in the last century. As women from all parts of the social and economic spectrum have increased their labor force participation, the contradiction between the unclerlying belief about women's place and reality has become more visible. We can now see ways in which the belief system has been modified with changing cir- cumstances and ways in which reality has been reconciled to the belief system (di Leo- nardo, 19821. For example, those who insist that women should not work claim the in- oompatibility of paid employment with women's domestic roles, in that paid work interferes with proper child care. Those who wish to justify women's employment outside the home, by contrast, try to show that it is compatible with, even complements, their home roles. Ike latter justification permits or even promotes jobs for women that min- imize interference with child care through flexible scheduling (e.g., school teaching or part-time work), low demands on incum- bents (e.g., retail sales), or work that can be done at home (e.g., data processing, typing, sewing). Certain occupations (e.g., teaching home economics) that are believed to en- hance women's ability to carry out domestic duties later in their lives may be considered more acceptable than others. Other occu- pations (e.g., nursing, social work) have been acceptable because they have been defined 39 as an extension of women's domestic roles, a rationale that has been used to justify pay- ing workers in these jobs low wages (Kessler- Harris, 19821. Thus, despite the strong contradiction be- tween the notion of women's place and real- ity, the former continues to provide the foundation for beliefs about the conditions under which women should and should not do wage work. Most important for the pres- ent endeavor are beliefs as to which occu- pations are appropriate for them. Male-Female Relationships A second category of beliefs includes those about gender differences that are relevant in male-female relationships. For example, an ancient and pervasive belief in Western thought is that women lack reason and are governed by emotion (N. Davis, 197S; Jor- danova, 19801. This line of thought offers a logical basis for assuming "natural" male dominance and underlies social values that men should not be subordinate to women. Whenever the two sexes interact outside the family, women are viewed as subordinate, and when they enter the workplace, they are expected to fill subordinate occupational roles. Caplow (1954) elaborates this point, arguing that attitudes governing interper- sonal relationships in our culture sanction only a few working relationships between men and women and prohibit all others. He contends that according to these values, "in- timate groups, except those based on family or sexual ties, should be composed of either sex but not both" (p. 2381. Intimate work groups in which men and women have un- equal roles are sometimes allowed. I1ese norms of sexual segregation and male dom- inance have frequently guided employers' hiring decisions. Women are rarely hired in positions of authority (Wolf and Fligstein, 1979a, 1979b). Some employers explain that they defer to workers' preferences. Male managers surveyed one and two decades ago indicated that they felt both women and men

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40 WOAlEN'S WORK MEN'S WORK would be uncomfortable working under a woman supervisor (Grinder, 1961; Bass et al., 19711. They also thought that women in supervisory roles have difficulty dealing with men in subordinate positions. In several recent studies, it is clear that attitudes about female supervisors have changed. Two-thirds of the respondents in a 1980 Roper survey said it made no differ- ence to them whether they worked for a man or a woman, and only 28 percent preferred a male supervisor (Barron and Yankelovich, 1980:Table 5~. A survey of 1,402 university employees revealed a preference for male bosses and professionals providing personal services (accountants, dentists, lawyers, physicians, realtors, and veterinarians), but it was weaker among women, the more ecI- ucated, and those who had had positive ex- periences with female bosses or professionals (Ferber et al., 1979~. A study of women in several traditionally male jobs in public util- ities found that most subordinates of both sexes held positive attitudes toward women managers (U. S. Department of Labor, Em- ployment and Training Administration, 1978~. Of particular interest is the admission by several men that they had been initially concerned but that their apprehensions dis- appeare(1 when they found that their su- pervisors performed effectively. More generally, this study revealed that attitudes changed quite rapidly with experience with female bosses, even when those bosses held jobs that traditional values label "very mas- culine" (p. 10~. The effects of education and experience suggest that we may expect con- tinue(1 change in employee attitudes toward women supervisors. For women's occupa- tional opportunities to increase, however, the behavior of those making employment decisions must also change. Sexual relations, as well as power rela- tions, are also relevant in the workplace, and fears of sexual relations particularly may con- tribute to occupational segregation. The folk theory that women unwittingly tempt men and that men, vulnerable to their provoca- tion, may be prompted to seduction has been used to justify excluding women from cer- tain occupations or work settings that are thought to heighten men's vulnerability to female sexuality. Examples include ship- board duty or jobs that involve travel with coworkers. Women have been denied cer- tain jobs because their presence may suggest the appearance of impropriety. MacKinnon (1979) cites the example of the South Car- olina Senate, which refused to hire women as pages in order to foster public confidence in Me Senate by protecting its members from appearing in a possibly damaging way. Not only men but women themselves may be depicted as the victims of their unwitting sexual provocation. Reformers around the turn of the century argued that permitting the sexes to work side by side would lead women to stray, either because their pres- ence tempts men or because corrupt men will exploit innocent and vulnerable women who have left the protection of their homes. This concern resects the belief in women's sexuality as an autonomous force over which neither they nor the men with whom they work have control. And it also reveals, once again, the assumption that women's primary place is in the home: for the consequence of women's employment alongside men feared by reformers was that these women, once having strayed sexually, would be for- ever disqualified from their domestic roles as wife and mother. Kessler-Harris quotes Robert McClelIand, Secretary of the Inte- rior, in the middle ofthe last century: 'here is such an obvious impropriety in the mixing of the sexes within the walls of a public once that I am determined to arrest the practice" (1982:100-1011. Such reasoning ultimately led several states to pass laws making it il- legal for women to hold a variety of occu- pations, including bartender, messenger, meter reader, and elevator operator, but it did not prevent women from entering offices in large numbers a Smith, 1974; Kessler- Harris, 19821. More recently, the stereotype of woman as sexual temptress has been invoked to ac- count for women's sexual harassment: sim

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE ply by entering the workplace, women subject men to their sexuality and invite ha- rassment. Sexual harassment is pervasive in male-dominated occupations that women have recently entered (Enarson, 1980; Mar- tin, 1980; Walshok, 1981a; Westley, 19821. Gruber and Bjorn (1982) suggest that men may use it to gain the upper hand in situ- ations in which men and women have similar jobs and earn equal wages, especially in un- skilled jobs in which male coworkers cannot punish entering women by denying them work-related information. The important point here is that the unquestioned as- sumptions about the sexuality of both men and women underlie the limiting of women's occupational choices. Innate Differences Between the Sexes A third category of beliefs that shape women's occupational outcomes are those that assume innate differences between the sexes. We have already seen that women are regarded as innately less rational and more emotional, a view that has been used to justify excluding them from positions of authority. In addition, women have var- iously been thought to lack aggressiveness, strength, endurance, and a capacity for ab- stract thought and to possess greater dex- terity, tolerance for tedium, and natural morality than men. A body of research re- viewed in Lueptow (1980) indicates that the public continues to hold many of these ster- eotypes about female and male "personaTi- ties." Some of these differences further justify women s greater responsibility for family care. For example, women's supposed nat- ural sense of morality suits them for raising children and bringing a civilizing influence to family life. Other stereotypes contribute directly to occupational segregation by asserting sex differences in what are alleged to be occu- pationaDy relevant traits. Women's dexter- ity is offered to explain their employment as clericals and sometimes as operatives; their supposed passivity and compliance have been ~. 41 seen as uniquely fitting them for clerical work (Grinder, 1961; Davies, 1975; Kessler-Har- ris, 1982) as well as other jobs involving bor- ing, repetitive tasks. One employer's explanation, offered in the 1960s, for pre- ferring women illustrates both points: "We fee} that jobs requiring manual dexterity call for women. Also this work is particularly tedious and painstaking~efinitely a wom- en's job" (G. Smith, 1964:241. Construction firms cite women's alleged weakness and in- tolerance of harsh working conditions as rea- sons for denying them jobs (U. S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Admin- istration, 1981; WestIey, 1982~. The social expectations that women should uphold moral standards and care about the needy, perhaps because of their innate nurturance, limit their occupational opportunities. As Epstein (1981) notecl, women have been en- couraged to perform good works in service- oriented occupations such as social work an nursing, which, coincidentally, have often had poor career potential. And women have been believed to be "too good" for politics. They are also thought to be too sentimental and timid to enforce the law or serve in combat (Epstein, 1981~. Women's alleged emotionality may clisqualify them in many employers' minds for higher-level positions, especially those in law, medicine, or science that require rationality and tough-minded- ness (for a brief review, see Miller and Gar- rison, 1982~. Sex Stereotypes and Occupational Segregation Many of these beliefs about women's in- nate traits and their natural social roles per- sist, despite women's increasing participation in a large number of formerly male occu- pations, even among students training for professions (Quaclagno, 1976; Beattie and DiehT, 19791. A single woman worker who violates the stereotype can be explained as exceptionally when the behavior of many women clearly belies a particular stereo- type, a different one may emerge to main

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42 WOMEN'S WORK, MEN'S WORK fain the gender homogeneity with which members of an occupation have become comfortable. For example, women lawyers were dismissed in the 1960s as "too soft" for the courtroom. When they showed them- seIves to be competent in court, they were restereotyped by male lawyers as tough and unfeminine- and hence implicitly unsuited to their proper role as wife and mother (Ep- stein, 1981~. Stereotypes about appropriate and inap- propriate occupations for women and men encourage sex-typical occupational choices by affecting workers' aspirations, self-image, identity, and commitment. The stereotyped views that masculine men would not pursue certain occupations, nor feminine women others, for instance, is deterrent enough for most people. Their misgivings are realistic: the femininity or masculinity of individuals who are not so deterred is questioned (Bourne and Wilder, 1978), and they may experience ~lisapproval, especially from males (Nilson, 1976; Jacobs and PoweD, 1983~. The prospects of sexual harassment or of being prejudgecl as incompetent at one's work may also discourage those who might otherwise opt for sex-atypical occupations. Another way that assumed sex cli$erences affect the jobs women and men fill is that employers' beliefs that members of one sex do not want to do certain kinds of work in- Huence their personnel decisions. For ex- ample, individuals who made inning decisions for entry-level semiskilled jobs in several firms in one city commented to the re- searcher, "Women wouldn't like this," and "Men wouldn't like to see women (cowork- ers) this way." Another employer who hired primarily women said, "The work is clean and women like that" (Harkess, 1980~. Statistical Discrimination Economists (Arrow, 1972; Phelps, 1972) have termed one form of employers' re- {uctar~ce to hire certain persons "statistical discrimination," a concept that refers to de cision making about an individual on the basis of characteristics believecl to be typical of the group to which he or she belongs. The wide acceptance of assumptions of sex differences in characteristics related to pro- ductivity provides the basis for statistical dis- crimination by employers (e.g., Bass et al., 19711. According to this model, employers do not hire anyone who is a member of a group thought to have lower productivity; statistical discrimination serves for them as a cheap screening device. Statistical dis- crimination often rests on unquestioned as- sumptions about women's domestic roles. For example, employers may refuse to hire a woman in the childbearing years for certain jobs especially those that require on-the- job training because they assume that many young women will leave the labor force to have children, irrespective of any individual applicant's childbearing or labor market in- tentions. In a study of book publishing, Ca- plette (1981) discovered that women were automatically excluded from the primary route to upward mobility, the college trav- eler job, on the assumption that extensive traveling would conflict with their domestic responsibilities. According to this explana- tion of discrimination, employers practice statistical discrimination against women solely on economic grounds and presumably would ignore gender if they came to rec- ognize that their cheap screening device was too costly in terms of misapplied human re- sources. Employers might, for example, be- come convince{] that young men were equally likely to quit their jobs or take time off to share childbearing responsibilities or that many qualified women will not quit because of family responsibilities. Statistical discrimination contributes to sex segregation in two ways. First, employers, beliefs that the sexes differ on work-related traits may bias them to favor one or the other sex for particular occupations. Second, if they expect that women are more likely than men to drop out of the labor force, they will hire women only for jobs that require little or no

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE on-thejob training (e.g., retail sales) or in- volve skills whose training costs workers themselves assume (e.g., typing, hairdress- ing). Using data for 290 California establish- ments, Bielby and Baron (1986) examined whether employers seemed to reserve some jobs for men and others for women in a man- ner consistent with their perceptions of sex differences in sobs, turnover, costs, and work orientations. They found that employers as- signec! jobs involving nonrepetitive tasks, spatial skids, eye-hancI-foot coordination, and physical strength to men and those requiring finger dexterity to women. The concept of statistical discrimination also encompasses employers' favoring members of a group whose performance they believe they can predict more reliably. Even if the sexes were equally productive and performed equally weD on some valid employment test, if the test predicted women's performance less re- liably, employers would make fewer errors by hiring men (signer and Cain, 1977; Os- terman, 19781. For this type of statistical discrimination to help explain sex segrega- tion, employers must believe that women's performance is less reliably predicted than that of men, and so exclude them from some occupations. 2 Sex Labeling and Sex Typing In an influential 1968 study, Oppenhei- mer argued that the individual decisions of workers and employers are reinforced by a historical process through which most oc- cupations have come to be labeled as wom- en's work or men's work, and hence reserved for members of the appropriate sex. Op 2 One study offers evidence that this is the case. Although Osterman (1979) rejected less reliable pre- dictions of women's absenteeism as a basis for wage differentials, Kahn (1981) showed that he used the wrong indicator of predictability. Using the appropriate one, Kahn found that female absenteeism was predicted less reliably, a finding that could support statistical discnm- ination in wages. 43 penheimer contended that sex labeling re- flected employers' beliefs that certain occupations required attributes that were characteristic of one sex or the other or, for women, represented an extension of do- mestic nonwage work. To job seekers, oc- cupations take on the characteristics of current incumbents; custom then tends to make the sex labels stick. The related concept of sex typing implies both that an occupation employs a dispro- portionate number of workers of one sex and the normative expectation that this is as it should be (Merton, in Epstein, 1970a:1521. Manifest in language and the mass media, sex labels and the associated norms are learned through childhood and adult so- cialization by current and future workers and employers. An obvious example of sex typ- ing in the mass media is classified adver- tisements stipulating a particular sex or segregated by sex, now not permissible un- der Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some sex-specific occupational titles (e.g., "lineman,""stewardess") are still common, although most were eliminated in the new- est revision of the Dictionary of Occupa- tional Titles (`U.S. Department of Labor, 1977) and other government publications. Job descriptions often use sex-specific pro- nouns. Television, movies, magazines, and bilIboarcIs consistently depict occupational incumbents in stereotyped ways (Marini and Brinton, 19841. As we show below, these labels nuance the occupations to which people aspire, for which they prepare, and ultimately in which they seek employment. Influenced also are gatekeepers parents, educators, employers, friends, and neigh- bors who guide or control decisions re- garding training and hiring. The widespread acceptance ofthese cultural labels may affect even those who reject them. Applicants who ignore the labels are likely to encounter pro- spective employers who accept them im- plicitly. Nondiscriminating employers may at least initially have trouble finding appli- cants for sex-atypical jobs. Even if labels 1 AL _] _ n . ~

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44 WOMEN'S WORK MEN'S WORK deter neither employer nor prospective em- ployee, their acceptance by other employ- ees or by a prospective employee's family may deter her or him from taking and keep- ing a sex-atypical job (Walshok, 1981a). Contingent Stereotypes Despite the prevalence and force of sex stereotyping of occupations, it is clear that these stereotypes do change over time, often in response to changing economic condi- tions. As noted above, secretaries were once typically male and women thought to be un- suitable, yet the preponderance of women in clerical jobs was later rationalized by their supposed feminine virtues. Economic and technological factors often vary over time and space, and stereotypes of the same jobs often differ according to how these factors vary. Studies of the age and sex character- istics of workers in the textile industries of Japan and the southern United States (Sax- onhouse and WniEt, 1982) and France Dilly, 1979, 1982) in the first quarter of this cen- tury illustrate this point. In Japan, agricul- ture was a family enterprise in which girls and young women were the least valuable workers, so their families permitted them to work temporarily in the textile industry, as young women die] in New England in an earlier period (Dublin, 1979~. Single young women filled textile jobs, even in occupa- tions that were held elsewhere by men. In contrast, in the American South entire fam- ilies who lacked land tenure and access to well-developed labor markets worked in the textile industry, where jobs were assigned on the basis of sex and age. Only adult men had access to the most skilled jobs. The sit- uation in France was similar: mills hired en- tire impoverished rural families, but only boys and men could move up the job ladder to better-paying, more skilled jobs. These varied employment practices, a product of structured economic opportunity interact- ing with male and parental power and house- hold patterns of labor allocation, produced different patterns of sex segregation that persisted for some time. The effects on sex segregation of economic factors, cultural beliefs, and We law are cu- mulative and reciprocal, but, as we have seen, this reciprocity can contribute posi- tively to change. Bumpass (1982) found that the mothers of young children who worked between 1970 and 1975 were substantially less likely to agree that young children suffer if their mothers work than they had been in 1970. American cultural values about the sexes have changed since World War II (Ma- son et al., 1976; Cherlin and Walters, 1981; Thornton et al., 1983), at least partly in re- sponse to the women's movement. During this period women have entered occupa- tions that were formerly closed to ~em. New laws and administrative regulations, such as the interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to proscribe sexual harass- ment as discriminatory, help to weaken the link between traditional cultural stereotypes and employment practices. As these changes become apparent and are supported by changes in social values-especially those embodied in statutes outlawing discrimi- nation-they transmit to fixture workers and employers the message that society gives 44 . . .. women permission to pursue a groat er range of jobs. Women's movement into oc- cupations from which they once were ex- cluded will also contribute to exposing the discrepancy between reality and many of our cultural assumptions about the sexes. With growing awareness that these beliefs are du- bious and the traits to which they apply al- terable, women's occupational aspirations and opportunities should expand accord- ingly. BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT A variety of barriers make it difficult for women to hold certain jobs or exclude them altogether, thus contributing to their pre- ponderance in traditionally female occupa- tions. Evidence suggests that employers

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE 45 sometimes deny women certain jobs be- cause of their sex, by discriminating inten- tionally, by doing so unintentionally, or by deferring to the discriminatory preferences of employees or customers. Studies of em- ployment practices before the passage of the Civil Rights Act reveal extensive sex seg- regation and the payment of Tower wages to women; often these practices were explicitly codified in rules (Newman, 19761. Until re- cently, many state laws prohibited employ- ers from hiring women for certain occupations or prescribed the conditions un- der which they could work. Some occupa- tions (positions on combat ships in the {J. S. Navy and on combat planes in the U. S. Air Force, for example) are still closed to women by law. Practices that have the effect of re- stricting women's access to some jobs, such as certain kinds of seniority systems or vet- erans' preference, are often institutionalized in formal personnel procedures. Others re- side in informal aspects of the organization of work. Although it is impossible to assess the relative importance of these barriers in preventing women from entering and pro- gressing in traditionally male-dominated jobs, it is essential to examine how they op- erate in order to propose and assess reme- dies. Legal Barriers Legal barriers that limit women's free oc- cupational choice are of two types: those unposed by law or public regulation anct those instituted by employers that the law en- courages, permits, or does not effectively prevent.3 As CIauss (1982) points out, prior to Me late 1800s tradition and prejudice were usually sufficient to keep women in the few occupations deemed appropriate for them, but when necessary the authority of the law was invoked to contain women's nontradi 31his section draws heavily on Clauss (1982) and Boos and Reskin (1984~. tional aspirations. For example, Justice Bradley s opinion in Bradwell v. Illinois (83 U.S., 16 Wall., 130, 141-42, 1872), in which the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a chal- lenge to an Illinois law prohibiting women's admission to the bar, reflects the contem porary view of women: The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. The constitution of the family organization, which is founded in the divine ordinance, as well as in the nature of Wings, indicates the domestic sphere as that which properly belongs to the domain and Unctions of womanhood. The first protective labor law was enacted in 1874. Although a large literature debates the motivations of the working men and women, reformers (many ofthem feminists), and union leaders who supported protective labor legislation for women (Freeman, 1971; Hartmann, 1976; Steinberg, 1982), their long-run elect unquestionably was to re- strict women's occupational opportunities (Beer, 19781. They prohibited women from doing tasks required by many occupations such as lifting more than a maximum weight, working more than a certain number of hours, or working at night. Some states specifically prohibited women from holding certain oc- cupations, including some that supposedly could corrupt women morally (e.g., bar- tending) and others (mining, smelting, me- ter reading, pin setting in bowling alleys, crossing watchmen, jitney driving, freight handling or trucking) for which the rationale is less clear (CIauss, 19821. The legacy of such laws cannot be overemphasized. Rail- roads, for example, used the California hour and weight-liPcing restrictions to justify not haling women as telegraphers (CIauss, 1982~. An Illinois company used an 8-hour law for women to justify paying women operatives for only 8 hours when they were working 8~/2 hours. Not until the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed and litigation occurred were these laws invalidated. Those that remain

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46 WOMEN'S WORK, MEN'S WORK on the books are unenforceable. But even in the 1960s and 1970s, manufacturers sur- veyed by the California State Employment Service often cited weight-icing restric- tions to justify not hiring women (Bielby and Baron, 1984~. In Griggs v. Duke Power Company, 401 U.S. 424 (1971) the Supreme Court inter- preted Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit nonjob-related requirements that disproportionately exclude members of pro- tected groups. This ruling opened some oc- cupations to women. For example, it invalidated requirements of height and physical agility that largely barred women from being officers in the San Francisco Po- lice Department (Gates, 1976~. Yet many police (lepartments still maintain such re- quirements, preventing women from be- coming police officers (Martin, 1980:47~. The prohibition against using sex as an employment criterion under Title VII is not absolute. Employers may refuse to hire ap- plicants of one sex if they can show that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to their nor- mal operation (Section 703te]~. Although the occupations in which sex is a bona fide qual- ification typically cited are wet nurse and sperm donor, employers have succeeded in using the BFOQ provision to justify exclud- ing women from such jobs as prison chap- lains or guards (Long v. California State Personnel Board, 41 Cal. App. 3d 1000, 116 Cal. Rptr. 562, 1974; Dothar~v. Rawlinson, 433 U. S. 321, 1977) because their sexuality might provoke the passions of violent male inmates and as international oil executives because that job involves dealing with al- legedly sex-prejudiced Latin Americans (Fernan~z v. Wynn 0d, 20 FEP 1162 [C.D. Cal.l, 1979~. Laws and regulations stipulating that pref- erence be given to veterans- legal under the Supreme Court's decision in Personnel Administrators of Massachusetts v. Feeny, 99 S.C. 2282 (1979 - reduce women's ac- cess to certain jobs. For example, 65 percent of all government agencies and 57 percent of municipal agencies preferred veterans when selecting police officers (Eisenberg et al., cited in Martin, 1980:47~. Veterans'pref- erence rules also apply to layoffs and con- tributed to the higher layoffrates that female federal government employees in grades above GS 12 (in which women are under- represented) experienced in the federal per- sonne! cuts of 1981 (Federal Government Service Task Force, 19811. The policy of giv- inz veterans an advantage was formally incorporated into criteria for the Compre- hensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) trainees in 1978, contributing to women's underrepresentation in certain programs relative to their proportion in the eligible population (Wolf, 19811. The policy by some employers of exclud- inz women in their childbearing years from jobs that might expose them to substances that are potentially toxic to fetuses has de- monstrable segregative consequences. Fed- eral officials have estimated that such policies close at least 100,000 jobs to women.4 These jobs are concentrated in industries that have historically excluded women (CIauss, 1982), and some observers (Bell, 1979; Wright, 1979) have pointed out that employers use this policy to exclude women from better- paying male jobs, while ignoring hazards in predominantly female occupations.5 In two Title VII challenges, Me courts recently ruled that employers may not penalize women employees under the guise of protecting them from reproductive hazards (Wright v. Olin Corporation, 697 F.2d 1192 Pith Cir. 19821; Zuniga v. Klebert County Hospital, 692 F.2d 986 Pith Cir. 19821~. Until 1978 4 This estimate does not include the number of mil- itary jobs closed to women because of policies that do not permit women to occupy jobs that are related to combat (Boos and Reskin, 1984). 5 Such hazards include the exposure of operating room nurses to waste anesthetic gases, of beauticians to hydrocarbon hair spray propellants, and of clerical workers to photoduplicating fluid.

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE 47 employers could exclude pregnant women from certain jobs, even when it meant that they lost accumulated seniority. Then, in response to extensive lobbying by women's groups following the Supreme Court's de- cision in General Electric v. Gilbert, 429 U.S. 125 (1976), which held that discrimi- nation against the condition of pregnancy in employment benefits such as disability in- surance is not illegal sex discrimination, Congress amended Title VII to prohibit ctis- cnmination against pregnant women. Title VII, provisions of Title IX of the Educational Amendment Act, and other laws provide recourse for women who are dis- criminated against in various conditions of employment. Yet, private litigation, which is expensive and lengthy, is seldom a viable option for many women, and enforcement agencies and legal rights organizations must limit the number of cases they pursue Trough the courts. Satisfactory redress of many of these cases, even of relatively overt discrimination, is not therefore easily at- tained. Discriminatory Acts and Behavior Most economic theories of labor market discrimination were constructed to explain wage discrimination rather than restrictions on access to jobs. Nevertheless, we review them briefly, concentrating on their impli- cations for segregation in labor markets (for more extensive discussions, see Treiman and Hartmann, 1981; Blau, 1984a, 1984b). Gary Becker's (1957) theory of race discrimination presumes a "taste" for distance from blacks, on the part of employers, employees, or cus- tomers. If employers discriminate, they pay for that taste by bidding up the wage for white workers above what would be nec- essary if they hired blacks. A discriminating employer would hire blacks only if they were wiring to work at a wage low enough to compensate the employer for the "distaste." Economic considerations could motivate even unprejudiced employers to discrimi nate, however. If white employees have a taste for distance from blacks, they will work in an integrated workplace only if they are paid a premium for doing so. Employers will then lower the wage of blacks in order to compensate for the higher wage that they must pay whites when blacks are hired. Likewise, if customers have discriminatory tastes, prices will have to be lowered in or- der to prevent the loss of those customers to firms employing only whites. Again, the employer will hire blacks only at a lower wage in order to compensate for the loss in revenue from the lower sale price. Very few efforts have been made to test empirically any of Becker's hypotheses (Cain, 19841. However, customer discrimination has been suggested by Allison (1976) with respect to the higher wages earned by male than fe- male beauticians, and Epstein (1981) found that many law firms attributed their reluct- ance to hire female attorneys to an antici- pated loss of clients who they believed pre- fer maTes.6 Indulging discriminatory tastes could pro- duce segregation across occupations or es- tablishments (Blau, 1984b). Assuming that employers differ in their taste for discrimi- nation or in their willingness to pay to in- dulge that taste, the victims of discrimina- tion, blacks or women, would be totally absent from some establishments and con- centrated in others at lower wages (Berg- mann, 1971, 19741. If employers were more adverse to hiring women for some jobs than others (or if male workers in different oc- cupations expressed different amounts of op- position), then occupational segregation would result. Understanding the reasons for discrimi- natory tastes might explain why employers' aversion to hiring women varies across oc- cupations and why they prefer women for 6 They also cited other reasons, ranging from prob- lems in providing separate rest rooms to their own wives' opposition (Epstein, 1981).

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72 WOMEN'S WORK, MEN'S WORK minimal and inconsistent with the human capital explanation, and England (1982) found that single, childless white women were no more likely than other white women to be employed in sex-atypical occupations. A more direct test examines the relation- ship between discontinuous participation and employment in a female-dominated occu- pation. Polachek (1981a) showed that years out of the labor force increased women's probability of working in female-dominatec! major occupational categories. In a simula- tion he also showed that if all women work- ers were employed continuously, their rep- resentation would increase in broad census categories for professional, managerial, and technical occupations and decrease in the operative and clerical categories. But Cor- coran et al. (1984) pointed out that even under the assumption of continuous em- ployment in Polachek's simulation, the in- dex of segregation would decline by only two points. Contrary to the human capital precliction, wombats actual employment continuity does not appear to be related to holding a female- typed occupation. England's (1982) analysis of 3,754 mature women ages 30 44 in the National Longitudinal Survey found that the percentage of time they had been employed since completing school did not vary with the sex composition of their first or most recent occupation. Nor was the sex com- position of their first occupation correlated with the proportion of (presurvey) years women eventually spent in the labor force (England, 19821. Moreover, the rates at which the earnings of women in predomi- nantly female occupations appreciated with experience did not differ from those for women in less segregated occupations. Eng- land (1984) replicated these findings in a similar analysis of workers surveyed in the University of Michigan's Pane] Study of In- come Dynamics. If the human capital ex- planation is correct, the negative elect of tune out of the labor force on earnings should have been greater in male-dominated oc cupations, but the sizes ofthe effect for more and less male occupations Ridered slightly or not at all. Polachek (1979) has demon- strated that time out of the labor force is positively correlated with wage loss, but not the crucial point that women's human capital depreciates less in predominantly female oc- cupations. In sum, Polachek's thesis has lit- tle support. There is no clear evidence that female occupations penalize intermittence less than male occupations, nor is there much evidence that women who spend more time at home or expect to do so are apt to choose such occupations (England, 1984~. Mincer and Ofek (1982) have refined the human capital approach to women's labor market behavior to encompass the premise that workers recover skills that depreciatecl during a period out of the labor force more rapidly than they accumulate them from scratch. This implies that wage losses fol- lowing a career interruption should be fol- lowed by a period of rapid wage growth. Corcoran et al. (1984) confirmed this for em- ployed wives and female heads of house- holds whose labor market behavior was ob- served over a 13-year period. These women displayed both the hypothesized wage loss after being out of the labor force and the hypothesized period of rapid recovery upon reentry, so that their net loss of wages was small. As Corcoran et al. point out, this re- bound effect has important implications for the human capital explanation of segrega- tion. If depreciation is quickly repaired, it is not economically rational for intermittent workers either to choose minimal invest- ments or to postpone investing in job train- ing until they have returned to the labor force on a permanent basis. And even if fe- male-dominated occupations penalized women less than male-dominated occupa- tions for dropping out, the long-run penal- ties are too small to support the inference that it is economically rational for women to choose such occupations, given their lower wages and lesser return to experience. In fact, England (1984) found that women in

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE male-dominated occupations have higher Onetime earnings than women in female- dominated ones, suggesting that it is not economically rational to choose predomi- nantly female occupations to maximize life- time earnings. The ability of the human capital approach to explain sex segregation ultimately de- pends on determining what women believe is true and how they make labor market decisions. Unfortunately, we know very lit- tle about the beliefs women hold with re- spect to their own investments in human capital or the extent to which their occu- pational choices conform to the mode! of economic rationality. In general, when be- havior is subject to such strong structural and cultural constraints as women's work is, there is less reason to expect a theory that assumes economic optimization to hold. While fumier research on women's own views of the trade-offs between investments in training, wage gains, and time spent with children might illuminate some of the as- sumptions of this approach, the lack of em- pirical confirmation suggests that if women choose female-dominated occupations, they probably do not clo so because they think such occupations will maximize their life- tune earnings. Though the empirical evi- dence is limited, women may choose to limit their work commitment because of familial arrangements. It is even more likely that such a choice is subject to considerable con- straint, as we examine below with regard to child care. Child Care and Occupational Segregation The custom of assigning primary respon- sibility for child care to women has histor- ically restricted their participation in the work force and in education and training programs. To a lesser degree it continues to do so. This can be seen in the differential labor force participation rates of women by the presence and age of their chilclren. For e&le, in March 1982 half the women with 73 children under age six were in the labor force compared with two-thirds of those with school-age children (U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau, 1982b). The belief that young children whose mothers work suffer has contributed to the deterrent effect of having young children on women's em- ployment, although the proportion of work- ing mothers who believe that their em- ployment will harm their children has declined markedly during the past decade (Bumpass, 19821. Recent reviews ofresearch (Kamerman and Hayes, 1982; Hayes and Ka- merman, 1983) indicate that the children of working mothers super no discernible ill ef- fects from their mothers' employment (to the contrary, the added income demons- trably improves the lives of some children), that both wage-working and at-home moth- ers behave similarly toward their children (in such areas as school visits, for example), and that the children of both wage-working and at-home mothers also spend their time similarly (in play, homework, sports, tele- vision viewing, etc.~. Evidence also suggests, however, that the lack of adequate, affordable, and convenient child care prevents some women from par- ticipating in the labor force and limits others to jobs that they believe will accommodate their child care responsibilities. Estimates indicate that one in every five to six nonem- ployed women is not in the labor force be- cause she cannot find satisfactory child care (Shortlidge, 1977; Presser and Baldwin, 19801. National Longitudinal Survey data from 1971 for mothers with children under age six suggest that these figures may be even higher for black women: 26 percent of black mothers surveyed reportedly were constrained from employment by the lack of adequate day care compared with only 5 percent of the white mothers, and 47 per- cent of the nonemployed black and 13 per- cent of white mothers said that they would look for jobs immediately if Dee day care were available (U. S. Department of Labor, Manpower Administration, 19751.

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74 WOMEN,S WOW, MEN'S WORK lke absence of flexible child care alter- natives may also restrict some women to jobs with certain hours, those that do not require overtime or weekend work, and those that permit time off for children's illnesses. Ibe U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1981b) reviews several studies indicating that the unavailability of adequate child care pre- vents women from increasing their hours of employment. The 1977 Current Population Survey on child care indicated that 16 per- cent of employed women would work more hours if they could locate suitable child care (Presser and Baldwin, 19801. Limiting their work hours can in turn reduce women's prospects for promotion, restrict them to jobs for which they are overqualified, or make it impossible for them to take courses that would improve their job options. Survey data confirm the problem child care presents for many employed women (Astir, 1969; Na- tional Commission on Working Women, 1979~. One in 12 of the employed women surveyed In the 1977 special Current Pop- ulation Survey on child care cared for their children while they were at work (U. S. De- partnent of Commerce, Bureau of Me Cen- sus, 1982:61. One in eight women in blue- coDar and service occupations clid so, many of whom managed by working in their own homes (U. S. Department of Commerce, Bu- reau of the Census, 1982:26~. It seems likely that most of these women were restricted to low-paying, pre(lominantly female occu- pations like direct mail or telephone sales. Ike U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1981b) details the ways in which the lack of child care restricts women's ability ancl, in the case of the Work Incentive Program (17VIN), their legal right to take advantage of important federal job training programs. Al- though they discovered no estimates as to the number of women who are denied access to programs because they lack child care, the commission reports that since 1972 fed- eral regulations have required that child care be available before a women is referral for employment or training and describes a 1977 study that identified the lack of adequate child care as one of two primary reasons why women WIN registrants were less likely than men to be assigned to either training or a job. Employed women vary widely in the type of child care they both use (U.S. Depart- ment of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1982) and prefer (Presser and Baldwin, 19803. Many women prefer family-based care to group care (U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Administration, 1975), although working women surveyed by Paskoff pre- ferred day care at the workplace (cited in U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bu- reau, 1982b). Moreover, as Presser and Baldwin (1980) have shown, it is often the most disadvantaged women young, un- married, minority, and low-income moth- ers who are least likely to locate satisfac- tory arrangements that they can afford. Full- time blue-collar and service workers are less than half as likely as mothers in white-colIar occupations to use group child care and more likely to depend on their children's fathers (U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1982), probably through ar- ranging for parents to work different shifts (Presser, 19801. And finally, some parents do not find any arrangements. Sandra Hof- ferth (1979) estimated that 32,000 pre- schoolers were caring for themselves in 1975. The 1977 Current Population Survey (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1982:42) revealed self-care for .3 percent of the children under five whose mothers worked fillI-time and .5 percent of the children of mothers employed part-dine. Unfortunately, none of the available stud- ies tells us how many employed women might be able to work in less sex-typed oc- cupations if they were not constrained by their need for child care, but the constraints on employment opportunities that inade- quate child care presents for some women are indisputable. It is also important not to lose sight of the fact that some employers may make hiring decisions based on their

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EXPLAINING SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE beliefs about individual women's need for child care and the probable reliability of that care. Employers may sometimes be reluc- tant to hire or promote mothers, even those who have secured adequate child care, for certain jobs because they question whether their child care is adequate. We also noted above that male workers may attempt to reinforce women's sense of responsibility for housework and chilct care through their own behavior on the job and at home. Such be- havior would also contribute to job segre- gation. Conclusion In sum, although the research evidence does not enable us to say that women's great- er responsibility for child care, housework, and family care necessarily contributes to sex segregation in the workplace, it almost certainly plays an important role in limiting their employment opportunities in general. Some women (and men) may of course freely choose to place rainily responsibilities first in their lives and employment and work ca- reers second or lower. Whenever women's choices and opportunities are constrained, however, as they most certainly are by fam- ilial responsibilities and the lack of alter- native social arrangements for family care, we must be concerned. For some women, familial responsibilities are clearly not cho- sen but are a burden thrust on them. For others, especially those for whom economic need is greatest, family responsibilities con- tribute all the more to their need for equal opportunity and equitable pay in the work- place. Yet others may feel compelled to bear the greater share of home and family care because their own earning ability is limited compared with their husbands or other male providers. Finally, for most if not ah women, the powerful cultural beliefs regarding wom- en's "natural" responsibility for children, men, and homes enter the workplace un- bidden, conditioning many aspects of their employment. 75 THE OPPORTUNITY STRUCTURE AND SEX SEGREGATION We have reviewed evidence indicating that many factors on both the demand and the supply sicles affect labor market outcomes for men and women. We have separately examined the influence of deeply ingrained cultural beliefs, of barriers to employment, of education and socialization, and of family responsibilities on the extent and persis- tence of the sex segregation of jobs. Such an approach runs the risk of losing sight of the interrelationship between opportunities and decisions that occurs within the labor mar- ket. Workers' occupational decisions are of- ten influenced by what they find in the labor market. The labor market presents workers with an occupational opportunity structure that is affected not so much by the actions of any one employer but is rather the cu- mulated effect of the actions of many. Over time, of course, opportunity structures change, at least partly as employers respond to changes in workers' behavior. In this sec- tion we examine evidence regarding the role of the occupational opportunity structure in shaping workers' preferences, knowledge, and occupational outcomes, and thereby contributing to the perpetuation of sex seg- regation. Lloyd Reynolds (1951), in a major con- tribution to the analysis of labor markets, noted that the vacancies to which people have access when they enter the labor mar- ket strongly affect the occupations in which they end up. Reynolds characterized the job mobility Drocess as involving a job search (often based on tips from friends and rela- tives) that typically culminates in a worker taking the first acceptable job offered.22 Be- cause jobs are filled rapidly, workers are seldom in the position to choose among al ~ See Kahn (1978), Sandell (1980)' and Gera and Hasan (1982) for further discussion of He job search process.

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76 WOMEN'S WORK, MEN,S WORK ternatives. Reynolds concluded that changes In demand induce the adaptation of the labor supply: opportunity must precede move- ment. Sociologists, too (White, 1970; So- rensen, 1975, 1977; Spilerman, 1977; Konda and Stewman, 1980), have stressed the im- portance of opportunities in determining workers' occupational outcomes. In this scheme, workers' personal characteristics are important primarily as a basis for rationing vacancies in better jobs among the supply of potential applicants, an idea further de- veloped by Thurow (1975~. When gender is used systematically by employers as the ba- sis for selecting workers for certain occu- pations, sex segregation results. Ihis emphasis on opportunities is con- sistent with research on labor market be- havior. Workers frequently do not make ca- reer plans until they have left school and entered the labor market. For example, more than half the workers that Lipset and his aoDeagues (Bendix et al., 1954) surveyed had no specific job plans while in school, and members of a national sample of college stu- dents who did have career plans changed them often (Davis, 1965~. Once in the labor market, many young workers move from job to job seeking work that suits them through trial and error (Folk, 1968; Hall and Kasten, 1976; Sorensen, 1977; Rosenfeld, 1979), be- fore settling into semipermanent posi- tions.23 Examining mobility data from the 1970 census, Rosenfeld and Sorensen (1979) found that young (ages 20-31) anti, to a small- er degree, older (ages 32-41) workers of both sexes frequently changed occupations. Dur- ing the previous five years, 35 percent of young men and 29 percent of young women moved Tom one to another of the 11 broad occupational categories, and 22 percent of older workers did so. More than one in nine people over age 18 who were employed in January 1977 worked in a different detailed 23 Rosenfeld (1984) reviews these and other theories of labor market mobility for young male workers. Occupational category a year later (Rosen- feld, 19791. Jacobs (1983) found that 55 per- cent of women ages 30-44 in 1967 worked in a different three-digit occupation 10 years later. Spilerman (1977) revealed similar re- sults for male construction workers, truck drivers, and mail carriers: between 33 and 43 percent of workers in their twenties changed occupations during a five-year pe- riod, as did between 13 and 27 percent of those in their thirties. Such mobility sug- gests that career decisions made prior to entering the labor force are important for only a minority of workers. It is rather that their labor market careers are likely to be shaped by the opportunities they find. Unfortunately, most systematic research on the effect of job openings on occupational attainment has been limited to men (Rosen- feld, 1982), so evidence of the effect of op- portunities on women's labor market be- havior is largely indirect. The evidence is of three types. The first shows women's re- sponsiveness to labor market conditions and the actual availability of jobs regardless of prior sex labeling. The second shows that the opportunity structure is highly differ- entiated by sex. The third demonstrates flex- ibility in workers' preferences and aspi- rations. Substantial evidence suggests that wom- en's response to labor market conditions and job availability is strong. Cain (1966), Min- cer (1962a), and others have demonstrated that the unprecedented influx of women into the labor force since World War II was a response to increases in wage rates offered. Oppenheimer (1970) has argued that be- cause many of the new jobs created since the mid-194Os were in occupations consid- ered to be "women's work," the rise in fe- male labor force participation can be under- stood as a response to job opportunities that had not previously existed for women. Moreover, once in the labor force, the de- cisions of women to move from one job to another are as strongly influenced as those of men by the wage rate in the current job

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE and by the long-run earning prospects of- fered by ajob change (Blau and Kahn, 1981b). Furthermore, women are responsive to particular occupational openings. When oc- cupations have become open, women have responded by moving into them ---regard- iess of their prior sex label. For example, within a 20-year period, the proportion of clerical workers who were women increased from less than 5 percent in 1880 to over 30 percent in 1900; 20 years later, women made up half of all clerical workers (Rotelia, 19811. During World War II, when employers wel- comed applications from women, their num- bers in such jobs as welding that were for- merly almost exclusively male increased tremendously. 24 Black women's rapid move- ment out of domestic service and into cler- ical occupations (Malveaux, 1982b) that opened to them during the 1960s and 1970s provides another example of women's re- sponsiveness to the availability of occupa- tions. During the 1970s, sharp increases oc- curred in We proportions of women obtaining professional degrees in fields such as law and medicine, which have been dominated by men. We rapid increase in the number of women mining coal (HaD, 1981; CIauss, 1982) indicates that nonprofessional and physically arduous occupations also attract women when they believe they have a chance at jobs. In 1972, no women applied for mining jobs at Peabody Coal Company in Kentucky, the nation's largest coal producer; by 1978, after it had become known Mat women were being hired, 1,131 women applied for mining jobs 24 Milan (1980:103) quotes a 1943 billboard "What Job is mine on the Victory Line?" If you've sewed on buttons, or made but- tonholes, on a machine, you can learn to do spot welding on airplane parts. If you've used an electric mixer in your kitchen, you can learn to run a drill press. If you've followed recipes exactly in mak- ing calces, you can learn to load shell. 77 (Working Women, 19811. A similar growth occurred in applications by women for jobs in shipbuilding yards, when the Maritime Administration began requiring the ship- building contractors to establish goals and timetables for the increased employment of women. The shipbuilding contractors found that as more women were hired, more wom- en applied. Unquestionably, the key reason for the increase of women in this case was goals and timetables (Federal Register 42, No. 158:41379-80), but while equal em- ployment opportunity policies played a role in many of these examples, their effect is hard to document. A more systematic effort is left for the next chapter.25 This is not to say that large pools of women are available for all male-dominated occu- pations. Employers sometimes claim that they cannot comply with federally mandated affirmative action requirements because the pool of eligible women is too small (U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Stan- dards Administration, 19811. But shortages are probably most common in occupations that require preemployment training. Of course, women may lack enthusiasm for oc- cupations in which they believe they will encounter hostility or other clifficulties or those in which their femininity might be questioned (Strober, 1984). As Wolf (1981) 25 Several researchers have attempted to assess the impact of equal employment opportunity laws on the labor market outcomes of minorities or women (Ash- enfelter and Heckman, 1976; Goldstein and Smith, 1976; Heckman and Wolpin, 1976; Belier, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982a, 1982b; Flanagan, 1976; Butler and Heckman, 1977; Brown, 1982; Osterman, 1982; Leonard, 1984a,b,c). We discuss their conclusions in the next chapter. Here it is sufficient to mention the difficulty involved in demonstrating the impact of the passage of equal employment laws and regulations on the actual availability of opportunities. The dramatic effect of the passage and enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on voting by blacks (U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981a) provides some evidence of the impact on peo- ple's behavior of legal changes that open up opportun- ities.

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78 WOMEN'S WORK, MEN'S WORK - notes, young women, for whom norms about appropriate female behavior are salient, may be especially reluctant to take jobs labeled male. After their middle twenties, however, women are less likely to be deterred by the possibility that they may appear unfeminine and more likely to be influenced by the fact that predominantly male jobs are better paid. Chat women have generally responded to opportunities as they became available does not mean that they are not also constrained in their behavior and does not belie the basic sex-differentiated structure of opportuni- ties. For example, as noted above, family obligations may constrain women's re- sponses to particular types of openings. Moreover, despite the opening of new oc- cupations to women, some areas are still explicitly closed to women and many others are implicitly so, as the evidence of barriers in the workplace reviewed above demon- strates. In particular, opportunities at the establishment level are apparently extreme- ly sex-segregated. As Bielby and Baron (1984) found for a sample of California firms, nearly 60 percent were totally segregated, i.e., were either aD male or all female or had a job structure in which each job category was occupied by a single sex. Within establish- ments, particularly large establishments, rules govern workers' opportunities. Rules governing seniority, job bidding rights, transfer, leaves, and so on have often con- tributed to restricting women's career ad- vancement ancI concentrating them in fe- male-dominated jobs. Throughout the economy, the index of segregation remains over 60 women often work with women and men with men, and women's occupa- tions are lower paid. An individual could not fad! to notice the sex-typing of jobs and the OCR for page 37
EXAMINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORSE 79 et al., 1984), suggest that a moderate amount of mobility occurs across sex-typed occu- pations. Evidence also shows that structural fac- tors continue to influence workers' behavior and attitudes after they enter the labor mar- ket. Theorists of labor market segmentation argue that workers' motivation and behavior are governed both by their position in labor market segments and, within organizations, on job ladders (Stevenson, 1978; Harrison and Sum, 1979~. For example, the turnover rates of both sexes are affected by the type of job they hold, so controlling for the latter accounts almost completely for sex differ- ences in turnover (U.S. Department of La- bor, Women's Bureau, 1975; Lloyd and Nie- mi, 1979; Haber et al., 19831. Recent evidence indicates similar effects of job char- actenstics on the psychological functioning of both women and men (Miller et al., 1979; Krause et al., 1982; Kohn et al., 19831. Peo- ple's jobs socialize them to certain attitudes toward work. It follows that exposure to var- ious work opportunities ant! experiences af- fects workers' occupational preferences. For example, longitudinal analysis of mature employed women revealed that their atti- tudes toward work became more favorable in response to their employment experi- ences (Ferree, 19801. The opportunity struc- ture can also be expected to have an effect on workers' occupational aspirations. To il- {ustrate, about half the women in tradition- aBy mate skilled craft jobs whom Walshok (1981a) studied had some childhood access to nontraditional work skills, but, according to Walshok, because they also realized that these fields offered no opportunities for women, they did not seek craR jobs until opportunities opened up. For example, a plumber described her experience: "I've al- ways liked tools . . . (but) it never occurred to me that I would ever be a plumber until somebody handed me a wrench and said 'Hop to it.' I just happened to run into that particular opportunity . . ." (p. 1691. It seems likely, then, that women's aspirations and preferences change as their perception of opportunities changes and that the occu- pational opportunity structure is an impor- tant determinant of their preferences. These findings suggest a fluidity in the labor market, in workers, and in their oc- cupational preferences. Apparently, work- ers can and do circulate in and out of sex- atypical occupations. Our discussion of in- formal barriers above suggested some rea- sons why workers might leave sex-atypical occupations, but farther systematic longi- tudinal research is clearly neecled to un- derstand the circulation of workers across sex-typed occupations. These frequent job changes belie the claim that segregation re- flects the relatively stable choices of women ant! men stemming from their childhood sex- role socialization but support the thesis that workers' job outcomes reflect the available opportunities. The amount of movement be- tween sex-typical and sex-atypical occupa- tions and the responsiveness of women workers to new opportunities makes the continued high degree of sex segregation in the economy even more remarkable. Clear- ly, theories of occupational sex segregation and of discrimination will have to take into account the movement of workers of both sexes in and out of sex-atypical occupations. Further research wiD be needed to ascertain to what extent these occupational changes actually involve movement across sex-typed jobs. In any case, however, the mobility is a significant aspect of the labor market for women and men. Two additional aspects ofthe occupational opportunity structure merit ~discussion. First, the occupational opportunity structure af- fects workers' decisions by affecting their knowledge of job opportunities as well as their preferences. As we noted above in dis- cussing institutionalized barriers in the workplace, many employers use referrals from other workers as an important recruit- ment technique. Thus potential applicants hear about available jobs from friends and other informal networks that tend to be sex

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80 WOMEN'S WORK, MEN'S WORK segregated. Women are more likely to hear about available jobs from other women, and, because of the sex-segregated occupational structure, these women are likely to be in women's jobs. Second, it is important to re- member that while the occupational oppor- tunity structure results in part from em- ployers' actions, taken together, workers also participate in its development. Employers determine whom to hire and in what posi- tion, but workers sometimes play an active role, for example when whites or men object to minorities or women (Bergmann and Darnty, 1981), or when applicants accept or refuse jobs that are offered. As Strober (1984) notes, if white men refuse a job at the wage offered, employers may try to hire women or minority men. If some women or minority men accept it, their acceptance will signal to yet others that this job is now available to them. CONCLUSION From our examination of the evidence for several alternative and interrelated expla- nations of sex segregation, our primary con- clusion is that women's occupational choices and preferences play a limited role in ex- plaining occupational segregation by sex. Both explanations for occupational seg- regation that focus on women's own choices sex-role socialization and human capital the- ory recognize that cultural values about men and women condition their socializa- tion and their subsequent educational choices. Sex-role socialization is thought to contribute to labor market segregation by encouraging girls to be primarily responsi- ble for domestic work and boys for bread- winning and by identifying sex-appropriate occupations. Each gender is not only so- cialized to perform sex-specific primary adult roles, but each is also taught the skills, vaI- ues, and occupational aspirations compati- ble with them. The socialization process also encourages the development of different sex- 1irlked personality traits that may ultimately affect the occupations to which women and men fee! suited. The occupational aspira- tions of boys and girls continue to differ as do some occupationally related skills and values, although these differences have de- clined in the recent past. These differences are consistent with what we know of the content of sex-role socialization: parents, teachers, and counselors treat girls and boys clifferently and hold different goals for them. Tracking still occurs within the public school system, as does sex stereotyping in chil- dren's books, including textbooks, and the mass media. Although the link is not estab- lished unequivocally, it seems likely that so- cialization contributes to sex differences in aspirations, preferences, skills, and values and therefore probably contributes to oc- cupational segregation, but we are unsure about the size of any contribution ant! the value of focusing on sex-role socialization as a locus of change. Our literature review sug- gests that the impact of preemployment sex differences in abilities and values on occu- pational outcomes is probably small, except in those occupations that require skills that are usually acquired prior to employment. Further research to Claris the role of oc- cupational aspirations in producing sex-typed occupational outcomes is clearly indicated. The sizable amount of mobility that occurs across occupations, and more specifically across sex-typical and sex-atypical occupa- tions, is inconsistent with the view that out- comes reflect fixed occupational prefer- ences. Rather we have seen that preferences are likely to change over a lifetime, partic- ularly in response to new opportunities. The shifts that have been observed in women's occupational aspirations in recent years are consistent with expanding job opportunities for women in a broader range of occupations. That young women often expect to pursue more traditional occupations than those to which they aspire reinforces our argument that the perceived opportunity structure is of central importance in determining both preferences and outcomes. The educational

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EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE system also contributes to segregation by tracking students in sex-typical vocational courses. The failure of schools to present a wide range of occupational possibilities to students regardless of their sex necessarily narrows the job possibilities that they are likely to pursue later. Advocates of the human capital theory of sex segregation, a second major explanation that attributes sex segregation to women's choices, have constructed! an internally plau- sible account of how segregation could result Mom the economically rational decisions by women who plan to raise families to limit their investments in training and pursue cer- tain occupations. Women do fad] to acquire the training necessary for many jobs, but it is not clear how much this reflects their own choices, lack of encouragement, or the ex- istence of obstacles to their doing so. At- tempts to assess the theory by examining patterns of sex segregation by marital status have yielded conflicting results. Ike results of studies based on panel data that provide the most direct tests have been inconsistent with the theory's predictions. Women who spend more time out of the labor force are no more apt to choose female-dominated oc- cupations than those who plan continuous employment, and female occupations do not penalize intermittent labor force participa- tion less than maTe-dominated ones. Fur- thermore, any depreciation in women's oc- cupational skills Mat does occur when they leave the labor force seems to be quickly repaired, so that long-run income losses are too small to motivate women to postpone investing in training or to select low-paying occupations that require little training. The connections between familial responsibili- ties and work deserve additional research attention, however, because it seems likely that family care obligations do influence peo- ple's labor market behavior. Ibe limited effect of socialization and re- latecl factors that can be demonstrated di- rects our attention to the role offorces within the labor market that limit the set of occu 81 pations from which women workers can choose. Ibis approach recognizes the active role employers play in the labor market as well as the existence of other barriers that reduce women's options. A variety of bar- riers prevent women from exercising free occupational choice. Some barriers were codified into laws, ant! others were permit- ted by the courts. Most such laws are now invalid, but their legacy lingers in both em- ployment practices and the current segre- gated occupational structure. It is important to recall that cultural beliefs about women's proper roles influence decisions by employ- ers and male coworkers. Their behavior as well as institutionalized personnel practices also create barriers in the labor market. On these grounds we conclude that sex segre- gation cannot be ascribed primarily to wom- en's choice of female-dominated occupa- tions. As we have shown, women's exclusion from many occupations has unquestionably contributed to segregation. An examination of the operation of labor markets and of the importance of the occupational structure re- viewed indicates that the labor market out- comes of both men and women commonly depend on the opportunities that are known and open to them. These opportunities have been largely determined by employers and other decision makers in influential posi- tions. Employers have in many instances structured their workplace and personnel policies in ways that have established and reinforced job segregation, but employers also respond to changes in women's and men's attitudes as well as to government initiatives. Consequently the opportunities available to women expand at the same time that public and private awareness of chang- ing attitudes grows. As opportunities have expanded in the past, women have rapidly responded. This seems to be the best ex- planation for some rather dramatic changes over the past decade in women's represen- tation in a variety of occupations, which we examined in Chapter 2.

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82 WOMEN'S WORK MEN'S WORK These conclusions have implications for different types of intervention. If it were possible and desirable to do so, reducing sex differences in personal traits produced by socialization without changing the labor market would probably reduce segregation only swiftly. Moreover, early sex-role so- cialization is probably less amenable to pol- icy intervention than are some factors that come into play later, such as tracking in schools ant! barriers women encounter in the labor market. Eliminating the latter fac- tors should contribute to changes in wom- en's occupational aspirations, as well as an increase in their opportunities, and thus both directly and indirectly modify women's dis- tribution across occupations. In the next chapter our examination of the effectiveness of a variety of interventions further dem- onstrates the close relationship between op- portunities and workers' behavior and illus- trates important sources of further change.