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Women s Work, Men s Work Sex Segregation on lye Job Barbara F. Reskin and Heidi I. Hartmann, editors Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1986
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NATIONAL ACADEhIY PRESS 2101 CONSTITUTION AVENUE NW WASHINGTON, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Ibis repor'` has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self- governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. This project was sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the U. S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Education. Library of Confess Cataloging in Publication Data Main entry under title: Women's world, men's work. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Sex discrimination in employment United States. 2. Women Employment United States. 3. Equalpay for equal work United States. 4. Sex discrimination- Law and legislation United States. I. Reskin, Barbara F. II. Hartmann, Heidi I. III. National Research Council (U.S.) Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. IV. National Research Council (U.S.) Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. HD6060.5. U5W66 1985 331.1'33'0973 85-11541 ISBN 0~09-03429-9 Copyright ~ 1986 by the National Academy of Sciences No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the United States government. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, November 1985 Second Printing, August 1987 Third Printing, March 1988 Fourth Printing, October 1991 Fifth Printing, March 1994
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Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues ALICE S. ITCHY (Chair), President, Sari Lawrence College CECIL B~C~GA, Office of the President, Stanford University CYNTHIA FUCHS EPSTEIN, Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Russell Sage Foundation, New York LA~NCE M. IN, Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Illinois GENE E. KOFKE, Montclair, N.~. ROBERT KRAUT, Bell Communications Research, Morristown, N.J. JEAN BAKER MILLER, Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies, Wellesley College ELE~OR HOLMES NORTON, Georgetown University Law Center GARY ORFIELD, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago NAOMI R. QUINN, Department of Anthropology, Duke University ISABEL V. SAY, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C. ROBERT M. SOLOW, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology LOUISE A. TILLY, Graduate Faculty, Historical Studies, New School for Social Research DONALD J. TRENDY, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles . . .
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Contents Tables and Figures Preface . . . . . Acknowledgments . . V11 THE SlGNlFICANCE OF SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE Women in the Labor Market, 2 Sex Segregation in the Workplace, 5 The Consequences of Sex Segregation in Employment, 9 Conclusion, 17 2 SEX SEGREGATION: EXTENT AND RECENT TRENDS Current Extent of Sex Segregation, 20 Recent Trends in Occupational Sex Segregation, 22 Occupational Sex Segregation Projected Through 1990, 32 Summary and Conclusion, 35 3 EXPLAINING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORKPLACE Cultural Beliefs About Gender and Work, 38 Barriers to Employment, 44 SocinJi7~tion and Education, 56 Family Responsibilities, 68 The Opportunity Structure and Sex Segregation, 75 Conclusion, 80 . . 1X . . . 1 .18 .37
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v! - CONTENTS 4 REDUCING SEX SEGREGATION IN THE WORSE. Interventions Directed at the Workplace, 84 Interventions Directed at Job Training and Vocational and General Education, 99 Interventions to Accommodate Family Responsibilities, 116 Conclusion, 118 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. Summary of Finclings, 124 Policy Recommendations, 130 Data and Research Recommendations, 135 REFERENCES APPENDIX A: Contents, Sex Segregation in the Workplace . APPENDIX B: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and S taff . . . e · · · · · · · · · · · · · · e · · · · · e INDEX. · ·83 123 . 141 · ~ . 163 . 165 . 169
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- Tables and F. figures TABLES 1-1 Occupational Distribution Over Major Occupational Groups by Race and Sex, 1984. 1-2 Decomposition of Earnings Differentials Between Men and Women Into Within-Occupation and Between-Occupation Components, for Full-Time Year-Round Workers in Selected Years, 1970-1979. 2-1 Occupational Segregation Indices Across Major Census Categories for Sex and Race, 1940-1981. 2-2 Employment in the 10 Largest Occupations for Men and Women, 1980. 2-3 Sex Distribution Over Major Industrial Categories for Nonagricultural Industries, October 1984. 24 Actual and Predicted Segregation Indices, 1950-1980, and Percentage Decline. 2-5 Percentage Female in Detailed Occupational Groups by Age, TweIve-Month Annual Averages, December 1981. a-6 Sources of Employment Growth for Women, 1970-1980. 2-7 Female-Dominatec} Occupations in Which the Percentage Male Increased One Point or More, 1970-1980. 2-8 Twenty Occupations With the Largest Projected Absolute Growth, 1978-1990. 2-9 Twenty Occupations With the Largest Projected Grouch Rates, 1978-1990. |1 Changing Women's Employment in AT&T Operating Companies, December 31, 1972, and September 30, 1978. |2 Female Apprentices, 1973-1984. |3 Female Apprentices in Registered Building Trades Programs, 197~1979. 464 Percentage Female Enrollment in Vocational Education Programs by Program Area, 1972-1980. · - VIt 6 11 19 21 22 25 27 28 30 33 34 92 100 102 109
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· ~ - vat TABLES AND FIGURES - FIGURES 1-1 Labor force participation rates of women ages 16 and over, based on annual averages for selected years between 1955 and 1980. 1-2 Women's age-specific labor force participation rates by birth cohort. 3 4
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Preface The Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues came into being at the initiative of the National Research Council. The impetus came from the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, whose members and staB believed that women's employment was in need of serious study. As the participation of women in the labor force has increased, indeed making it the majority experience, the continuing wage gap and other employment disparities between the sexes and the consequences of these facts for the families offemale wage earners brought a sense of urgency to our mission. The committee, 14 members representing a broad spectrum of social science disciplines and nonacademic sectors in American society, accepted the challenge to review and assess research on women's employment and related social issues; to consider how this research could be brought to bear on the policymaking process by informing relevant agencies; and to recommend and stimulate needecI farther research. The first issue to engage our attention was job segregation by sex. Although women constitute a large and growing proportion of the labor force (43 percent in 1984), and their employment plays a vital role in our economy, they eaIn substantially less than men and typically work in a small number of occupations that predominantly employ women. The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the U. S. Department of I.abor, and the U.S. Department of Education provided the resources for the committee to undertake this first phase of its work. The committee had available to it a significant amount of work in this field, in particular the report Women, Work, and Wages: Equal Payfor~obs of Equal Value on the subject of the comparable worth of jobs from the National Research Council's Committee on Occupational Classification and Analysis. Still more work was needed Six
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x PREFACE to pursue the issue of job segregation. The committee commissioned a number of papers both literature reviews and original research that were presented at a workshop in May 1982 on job segregation, involving several dozen scholars working in this field as well as the members of the committee. There was a lively and informed exchange on fundamental research questions, significantly strengthening the committee's competence in a number of areas pertinent to our inquiry. Many ofthe papers presented at the workshop and several others appear in Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies, the companion volume to this report; its table of contents appears in this volume as Appendix A. Our report, the product of these collective labors, reviews evidence showing that employment segregation by sex has grave consequences for women, men, families, and society but particularly for women. The dramatic increase of women in the work force and the numbers of persons dependent on their wages thus makes the issue of the negative consequences of occupational sex segregation both central and compelling. For these reasons, the committee believes that this and future studies directed toward a fuller understanding of sex segregation in employment and strat- egies for its amelioration are of high economic, social, and human priority. Me complexity and pervasiveness ofthe problem have made our report somewhat different from what some of us imagined it would be at the beginning. We have considerably extender! our documentation of the extent and consequences of sex segregation on the job. Our recommendations are modest, yet that does not mean that they are easy to implement or unimportant. They represent the essential next steps for ameliorating the waste to the economy, the financial loss to women and their families, and the demeaning of the human spirit that comes Dom the rigidities inherent in segregating jobs by sex. ALICE S. ILCHMAN, Chair Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues
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Acknowledgments Several factors have made this report a difficult one to complete. First, the complexity of the subject and the variety of views by committee members about the most fruitfiu] approaches to the topic placed burdens on both committee members and staff. Second, as the committee grew in knowledge about the subject, the members wanted to include more studies, more evidence, greater scope, more exhaustive explanations, and more far-reaching recommendations. Third, the pro- cess of distillation and refinement of all this material was a lengthy one. However, our splendicl study directors, Barbara F. Reskin of the University of Illinois and subsequently Heidi I. Hartmann of the National Research Council, were more than equal to the task. As the editors of our report, they consistently added clarity and edited out confusion. They gave us what we asked for, even when they knew we would later teD them we did not want it after ad. Our debt to them is boundless. Barbara Reskin served as study director during the major part of the committee's work on this report. She ably organized our work, carried out extensive research, and prepared several drafts of He report. Marie A. Matthews served as staffassistant and aided our work in myriad administrative and substantive ways. Judith Stiehm, of the University of SoutheIn California, was a visiting scholar during the early part of our work and participated in our discussions. In completing the report the efforts of Heidi Hart~nann, now study director of the committee, Lucile A. DiGirolamo, staff assistant, and Rose S. Kaufman, administrative secretary for the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, were indispensable. Many final details were attended to by Rita Conroy and Suzanne Donovan of the committee staff. Several student interns provided useful research assistance over the course of the project: Ben Warner, Oberlin College; Lori Froeling, University of Chicago Law School; Ray Naclolski, Indiana University; and June Lapidus, Uni x~
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xii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS versity of Massachusetts, Amherst. We also owe a particular debt to the librarians at the National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering Library, who procured a multitude of materials for us through interlibrary loan and checked many references. A report of this length and complexity requires and benefits from cared! review by those not directly involved in its writing. Patricia A. Boos, of the State University of New York, Stony Brook, offered detailed comments on several drafts of the report. Andrea Belier, University of Illinois; Suzanne Bianchi, U.S. Bureau of the Census; Donna Lenhoff, Women's Legal Defense Fund; Sharon Harlan, State Uni- versity of New York at Albany; and Margaret Marini, Vanderbilt University, all reviewed portions of the penultimate version for accuracy. lames Smith, Rand Corporation, reviewed an earlier draft. Members of the commission and of the National Academy of Sciences' Report Review Committee carefully reviewed several draPcs. Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports, and Christine L. McShane, editor for the commission, greatly improved the clarity of our report. To all these dispassionate readers and reviewers we are extremely grateful. Their suggestions helped us to delineate and strengthen our arguments. We thank those organizations whose financial support made this report possible: The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U. S. Department of Labor. In addition, the program officers from these groups deserve special recognition for their substantive suggestions, their sustained inter- est, and their patience during the course of our work: Vivien Stewart at Carnegie, Paul Geib at the Department of Education, ant! Ellen Sehgal at the Department of :Labor. ~ would also like to express deep appreciation to David A. Goslin, who as executive director of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education encouraged the initiative that brought us into being and consistently supported our efforts. Throughout our work we have found our joint endeavor to be strenuous and gratifying. ~ believe the respect the members of the committee accorded to each other's differing concerns and contributions and their productive interaction were unusual. The tension of hard work was always alleviated by humor, genial col- leagueship, and, above all, our common commitment to the importance of the task. It has been for us all a personal and professional pleasure to work together. ALICE S. ILCHMAN, Chair Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues
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