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I ~2 Insdiudonal Factors Contributing to Sex Segregation in the Workplace PATRICIA A. ROOS and BARBARA F. RESKIN Researchers have frequently attempted to explain sex segregation in the workplace by invoking either workers' or employers' pref- erences. In economic terms, the former em- phasizes the characteristics and choices of the labor supply; the latter claims gender discrimination in the labor market. Re- search guided by each perspective has shed light on the causes of the unequal distri- butions of the sexes across occupations, but neither workers' nor employers' preferences systematically assess how the organization of labor markets and the way work is carried out within establishments constrain the sexes' occupational outcomes. As Granovetter (1981) persuasively argued, to understand the op- eration of the labor market, one must ex- amine the processes through which jobs and workers are matched. Scott (1981:186) di- rects our attention to internal (or organi- zationa[J processes and workplace mecha- nisms that result in people being recruited, allocated, and retained in particular jobs. Their work and others (e. g., Kanter, 1977; Kelley, 1981) focus on both formal ant] in- formal processes existing within the work- place that constrain the free operation of the labor market. 235 The effect of informal processes on women's employment prospects has been the topic of much work in recent years (e.g., Epstein, 1970a, 1975; Coser and Rokoff, 1971; Kanter, 1977~. For example, women's exclusion from or marginality in work groups, which often extends into nonworking hours (Martin, 1980), has been found to impair their performance on the job (Kanter, 1977; Schafran, 19811. Women may also lack access to necessary in- formation or be overlooked by senior people who could facilitate their career advancement (Epstein, 1970a). Sometimes coworkers try to sabotage women's entry into positions men customarily hold by harassing them or refi~s- ing to provide help or instruction (O'FarreJR and Harlan, this volume). Such informal bar- riers have been found to hamper women's employment prospects in such diverse occu- pations as blue-collar jobs (Walshok, 1981a; Harlan and O'Farrell, 1982), police forces (Martin, 1980), forestry (Enarson, 1980), con- struction (U.S. Department of Labor, Em- ployment Standards Administration, 1981), law (Epstein, 1981), medicine (Freidson, 1970), science (Reskin, 1978), and management (Kanter, 19771. In contrast to these informal processes,
236 PATRlClA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RESIGN the segregative effects offormal barriers that are institutionalized in labor markets and firms' personnel practices have been inves- tigated less thoroughly. The effects of these institutional mechanisms constitute the fo- cus of this paper. We define institutional- ized factors as those that are either embed- ded in or stem from the formal procedures or rules of firms and other labor market en- tities. These processes include recruitment and job assignment practices, promotion systems, administrative regulations regard- ing job transfers, stipulations regarding par- ticipation in training programs, and barriers to information about certain labor market opportunities. Some factors, such as senior- ity systems, are by-products of administra- tive procedures established for other pur- poses. Others represent deliberate seg- regative practices in keeping with laws no longer on the books (as in the assignment of men to "heavy" work and women to "light" work; Bielby and Baron, this volume). In this paper, we examine how these institu- tionalized mechanisms within establish- ments, and other organized entities in labor markets such as unions and federally ad- ministered training programs, contribute to sex segregation by limiting the access of workers of one sex to certain occupations and channeling them into others. The em- phasis in this paper is on institutionalized barriers to women's employment in sex- atypical jobs (e.g., construction and police work). Of course, occupational sex segre- gation is also maintained in part by insti- tutional barriers limiting men's employment in female-typical jobs (e.g., secretarial and nursing) and mechanisms fostering both sexes' employment in sex-typical occupations (e.g., women in clerical or librarian jobs and men in engineering or firefighting work), and we discuss these processes, albeit less exten- sively. The barriers we consider occur at four points: preemployment training, job ac- cess and assignment, job mobility, and re- tention. Most of the mechanisms that affect access to training, job assignment, and mobility oc- cur within labor markets, and our discussion considers relevant labor market theories. In synthesizing these theories, we draw heav- ily on Althauser and Kalleberg's (1981) con- ceptual analysis of firms, occupations, and labor market structure, although we deviate from their nomenclature and distinctions to highlight what is relevant for our purposes. It is useful first to distinguish between ex- ternal and internal labor markets. External labor markets include traditional, competi- tive markets through which employers fill entry-level jobs on ladders and other jobs that are not on ladders (including Althauser and Kalleberg's "secondary labor market". The entry-level and job assignment barriers we identify occur in this market. Internal labor markets, according to Alt- hauser and Kalleberg (p. 130), have three defining characteristics: a job ladder exists, entrance is restricted to the lowest level, and movement up the ladder is accom- panied by the progressive acquisition of job- related skills and knowledge. The barriers to mobility we identify reside primarily in firms' internal labor markets. Althauser and Kalleberg distinguish "firm internal labor markets" from "occupational internal labor markets" and "occupational labor markets," the last of which lacks the internal labor market characteristics described above. In- dividuals in the latter two markets have spe- cialized skills and knowledge, acquired through extensive education or training ac- companied by practice, which may culmi- nate in licensing, certification, or registra- tion. Although these occupational markets may exist within firms, they often span sev- eral enterprises, and mobility among firms is common. Ibe occupational labor market is relevant here because it is the locus of institutionalized rules or policies restricting access to training. Institutional barriers to the retention of workers in sex-atypical jobs tend not to be located in labor markets as commonly con- ceived but in the way that tasks are orga-
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 237 nized or in the informal organization of the workplace. Finally, some constraints on the sexes' free access to jobs operate outside labor markets in other institutional arrange- ments (examples include communication networks and child care facilities). We should note that these functions could be institu- tionalized within labor markets (including the workplace) to expand women's occupa- tional options. (Kanter, 1977, offers some useful strategies along these lines.) We note at the outset that because the practices we consider are institutionalized their effect is net of employers' intentions and workers' preferences. However, they neither emerged nor exist in a vacuum, in- depenclent of social or cultural factors that define certain kinds of jobs as appropriate for one sex only. Widely held, deep-seated stereotypes about differences between the sexes and assumptions about their proper roles provide an often invisible foundation for many of these organizational practices and encourage sex"traditional" decisions bv individuals in the labor market (Reskin and Hartmann, 19841. In sum, these institution- alized factors have a life of their own in terms of their segregative consequences. How- ever, they persist in part because they are reinforced by sex-role norms and cultural beliefs that shape the preferences of employ- ers, workers, and consumers. INSTITUTIONAL BARRIERS TO JOB TRAINING For many occupations, workers acquire the necessary skills on the job, and barriers to training for women in sex-atypical jobs reside primarily in the resistance of male coworkers. However, many occupations that exist in what Althauser and Kalleberg (1981: 134) call "occupational labor markets," re- quire substantial preemployment training. Here training has the same function as "port of entry" positions in internal labor markets in providing access to a job ladder. The training that permits entry into occupational labor markets is available in a variety of set- tings. High schools offer some vocationally specific classes, and other courses (for ex- ample, on electronic equipment repair or bartending) are available commercially to anyone who can afford the tuition. The higher education system selects and trains persons for most professional occupations. Sex dis- crimination in training, along with institu- tional barriers that discourage women's par- ticipation in "male" professions, has been thoroughly addressed elsewhere (Epstein, 1970a,b; Theodore, 1971; Hochschild, 19751.i In comparison, the effects of formal voca- tional and technical training programs op- erated individually or cooperatively by unions, employers, and public agencies have received less attention. Because such train- ing is the route to and indeed is some- times requisite for many predominantly male occupations, we first consider insti- tutional barriers in such training. Apprenticeship Programs Apprenticeship programs are an impor- tant avenue for entry into skilled blue-collar jobs, especially those in union-dominated occupations and industries (since appren- ticeship is often the simplest way to enter a union; Briggs, 19811. These programs pro- vide a formal mechanism whereby skilled workers pass on - their knowledge to new workers through classroom and on-thejob training. Such programs are seldom avail- able to women. Despite progress in the number of occupations in which women are now apprenticed (up from 17.5 percent in 1973 to 44.4 percent in 1977), in 1978 women constituted only 2.6 percent of the more than 250,000 apprentices registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (UlIman and ~ We do not consider training that takes place in pub- lic schools and institutions of higher education. For an analysis of the impact of educational institutions on sex segregation, see Marini and Brinton, in this volume.
238 PATRICIA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RE SKIN Deaux, 19811.2 In addition to their small numbers, women are located disproportion- ately in certain apprenticeship categories: they constituted 54 percent of the barber and beautician apprentices in 1975 but only 6 percent of craft-worker apprentices (O'Farrell, 1982) ancl 1.9 percent of con- struction apprentices (Uliman and Deaux, 1981; Briggs, 1979:225-2261. The presence of women is rare in ap- prenticeship programs because they are less likely than men to learn about openings, to meet their requirements, and to be se- lected. Information about apprenticeship programs, usually transmitted by friends or relatives (Sexton, 1977), outreach programs, and publicity, is less likely to reach women who seldom belong to the networks in which such information is circulated (Waite and Huclis, 1981~. Even in the female-domi- nated occupation of hairdressing, Allison (1976:390) found that women were less likely than men to have semiinformal apprentice- ships, which were associated with subse- quent employment in better shops and at higher wages. The few women who had been apprentices had male relatives in the in- dustry and thus presumably were better in- formed about their availability anchor value. Many labor-management agreements stipulate that apprenticeship openings be advertised only within the plant, where few women have worked. Moreover, they may be posted in areas inaccessible to women employees such as men's restrooms (Briggs, 1974:131. When unions go outside the plant to recruit, they might consult high school industrial arts teachers, who are unlikely to nominate female candidates since only a small number of women take such courses.3 Often apprenticeship requirements are harder for women to meet. The upper age limit (as low as 24 to 27 in some trades) is the most significant obstacle for women, given the typical timing of child-bearing. Because of their socialization, few young women even consider skilled blue-collar work before they have spent several years in sex-traditional jobs, at which point economic exigencies often force them to seek better-paying work (Kane and Miller, 1981:90; Waite and Hudis, 1981; Walshok, 1981a; O'Farrell, 19821. Apprenticeship programs are geared to young unmarried men who can sustain un- paid work or low wages and the uncertainty of immediate employment. These condi- tions constitute particular obstacles for eco- nomically disadvantaged women, who are likely to have families to support. In the construction trades, for example, high ap- plication or union induction fees and the long wait between application and accept- ance are hardships for women with depend- ents and may deter them from seeking ap- prenticeships (U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, 1981; Walshok, 1981a). Women who apply are at a disadvantage in the selection process. Unions practice nepotism or require sponsorship by a mem- ber in awarding apprenticeships (Simmons et al., 1975:119; U. S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, 1981~. In the construction industry, for example, where unions often have absolute control over the certification and supply of labor, labor unions have been particularly resistant to accommodating women. As a conse- quence, women must generally rely on out- reach agencies to place them in jobs or cer- 2 This figure is even smaller than the number of women workers in craft jobsin 1978, 5.6 percent of craft workers were women (Ullman and Deaux, 1981~. 3 One recent study of New York City's vocational education system found that of 21 job-kaining high schools 12 were primarily male and 5 were primarily female. The 5 predominantly female schools were train- ing their students for traditionally lower-paid employ- ment than the predominantly male schools. The study cited sex-biased admission tests, guidance counselors steering students to sex-typical fields, and male antag- onism to female students in traditionally male fields as the primary explanations for the large sex difference in vocational training (New York Times, 1983~.
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 239 tification programs in the construction trades. cleveloped to acIdress the problems facing For example, one study found that women women apprentices. Walshok (1981b) claimed ~ ' ' that "competency-basec3 testing" of appren- tices in a pilot program at General Motors offered apprentices feedback on expecta- tions and performance, while reassuring journeymen that standards had not been re- cluced for women and minority apprentices. Instituting placement services has also proved essential for women, who often encounter discrimination from employers (U.S. De- partment of Labor, Employment Stanciarcis Administration, 1981:33; Walshok, 1981a). Preapprenticeship training in certain con- struction programs enhances women ap- prentices' chances for success. In abolition, efforts to match female apprentices with journeymen can reduce friction on the job and thus contribute to more effective train- ing (U.S. Department of Labor, Employ- ment Standards Administration, 1981:571. However, apprenticeship is not the pri- mary entry channel into the tracles. Even in the unionized sector, which represents 40 percent of the industrial work force, only one-fifth of workers enter trades through ap- prenticeship programs (U. S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administra- tion, 1981:231. We now turn to other paths by which workers enter jobs. who had not been apprentices were rifled by family ties in gaining access to the con- struction trades (U.S. Department of La- bor, Employment Standards Administration, 1981:34, 411. Another factor hampering women-e selec- tion into apprenticeships is that they are unlikely to have completed vocationally rel- evant programs in high school and are often unfamiliar with the tools, procedures, and terminology used in blue-collar work. The current unstable nature of the economy un- doubtedly works against women being ac- cepted in apprenticeship programs, since the availability of apprenticeships declines with rising unemployment (Briggs, 19791.4 The structure of apprenticeship programs hinders women's ability to complete them and find craft jobs. Many female apprentices whom Walshok (1981b:177) interviewed complained that they lacked the opportunity for hands-on experience and that hostile journeymen prevented their learning nec- essary skills. Some (New York Times, 1982b) argue that unions may provide "separate and unequal" apprenticeship training for work- ers who are not white males. One example led the New York State Division of Human Rights to find a construction union local guilty of uniawfill discrimination for requiring non- white apprentices to work more than twice as long as whites to reach journeyman sta- tus. Moreover, nonwhite trainees had ob- solete textbooks and were denied a fifth year of classroom training. Whether the same in- adequate training also affects women's ap- prenticeship experience requires investi- gation. Several experimental programs have been 4 O'Farrell and Harlan (this volume), for example, found evidence that women are more likely to make progress at integrating traditionally male employment in rapidly expanding firms than in companies experi- encing retrenchment. Federal Job Training Programs The federal government sponsors training programs to provide an avenue for un- skilled, economically disa(lvantaged work- ers to move into more skillet] blue-collar work. Recent investigations of the effects of these federal programs on women (HarIan, 1980, 1981; Berryman and Chow, 1981; Wolf, 1981; U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981; Waite and Berryman, this volume) indicate sex inequality in training, employment, oc- cupational placement, and wages. The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), enacted in 1975 and amended in 1976 and 1978, is the largest federal program designed to increase the
240 PATRICIA A. BOOS AND BARBARA F. RESK1N employability and earnings of the disadvan- taged (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981:28-291. As paraphrased by Wolf (1981:87), the amended law recommends that CETA sponsors: . . . overcome sex stereotyping and artificial bar- riers to employment . . . [presumably] by at- tempting to (1) expose women to nontraditional career options, and (2) overcome additional bar- riers to the employment of women (such as child care, transportation to work). Despite the fact that the law requires prime sponsors to include eligible groups equitably, other regulations favor other groups such as Vietnam veterans or youth (Wolf, 1981:109~. As a result, in 1977 women were under- represented in CETA programs relative to their numbers in the eligible populations (Na- tional Commission on Manpower Policy, as cited in U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981:29~. More important here are the seg- regative implications of their uneven partici- pation in individual programs. For example, women were less likely to be assigned public service jobs or on-thejob Gaining (which more often leads to unsubsidized jobs) and more likely to be in classroom training usually preparation for clerical jobs (HarIan, 1980; O'- Neill and Braun, 1981:102; Wolf, 1981:941. In fiscal year 1980, for example, 56 percent of those in classroom training were female, com- pared with 36 percent of those in on-thejob training programs (Bendick, 1982:2591. In ad- dition, while CETA women expressed in- creasing interest in nontraditional jobs be- tween 1976 and 1978, their placement in such jobs dropped (Wolf, 1981:981. Several features of federally sponsored · . . , tram1ng programs 1mpec e women s access to nontraditional jobs. First, these programs put priority on quick, low-cost placement in order to reduce welfare dependency, which does little to ensure long-run financial in- dependence. This emphasis on placing the most"job-ready" individuals encourages placing women in traditionally female em- ployment.5 Second, CETA programs are targeted to families rather than to individ- uals and to the single person within the fam- ily who has "primary" support responsibil- ity. These features of the CETA legislation hinder the participation of married women because any man in the home is assumed to bear the support obligations for the family (HarIan, 1981:371. Third, veterans' prefer- ence policies reduce women's participation in CETA. Prior to 1978, this preference was explicit: President Carter directed that 35 percent of those assigned to public service employment be Vietnam veterans. Al- though this directive was rescinded, some claim the preference persists (Wolf, 1981:109~. Fourth, while the CETA author- ization empowers prime sponsors to provide support services (such as child care and transportation costs) to those otherwise un- able to participate, the standard in-program evaluation of a high ratio of trainees to ex- penditures discouraged sponsors from using Finds in this way (U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981:30-32; Wolf, 19811. INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS ASSOCIATED W1IH ACCESS TO SEX-TYPICAL AND SEX-ATYPICAL JOBS This section considers the institutional factors affecting women's access to entry- leve! jobs, particularly barriers to sex-atyp- ical jobs. Typically these barriers reside in external labor markets through which entry- leve! positions are filled. They are of two types: firm-based limitations for certain kinds of jobs and restrictions on women's access to certain occupational labor markets. Sev- eral firm-based limitations restrict the sexes' 5 This problem affects all workers. Schiller (1980:197) noted the general tendency of federally sponsored job- training programs to "cream" the most job-ready pro- gram applicants for job placement, thus enhancing pro- gram success ratios at the expense of the most needy job seekers.
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 241 access to sex-atypical entry-level jobs, in- cluding employers' and workers' prefer- ences and beliefs, entrance requirements, and organizational practices regarding job assignment. Except when they are institu- tionalized in personnel practices, employ- ers' discriminatory preferences fall outside the scope of our essay. However, we men- tion their manifestation in statistical dis- crimination because of their special impor- tance in excluding women from entry-level positions. In employment, statistical dis- crimination involves treating individuals based on beliefs about group differences in relevant characteristics (Phelps, 19721. With respect to women it is most often manifest in employers' reluctance to hire any woman for jobs that require appreciable on-thejob training, because they believe many young women leave the labor force to have chil- dren. As a result, newly hired females are often assigned to low-skillecT dead-end jobs (Grinker et al., 1970~. Because transferring across internal labor markets is very diffi- cult, if not impossible (see the next section), statistical discrimination has long-lasting im- plications for women's occupational out- comes. With regard to the second barrier, two processes restrict the occupational labor markets in which women can seek jobs. The first we have already discussedmecha- nisms limiting their chance to train for cer- tain occupations. Women also lack access to selected labor markets because they have insufficient information about their very ex- istence. Few methods of job recruitment are fully public; state employment services and classified advertisements in mass circulation newspapers are notable exceptions. Instead, personal ties through which job seekers learn of possible job opportunities and employers of possible applicants are important in de- termining who is hired at the entry level. Below we show how sex-segregated per- sonal networks foster sex-typed occupa- tional outcomes. Because these mechanisms diner for blue- and white-collar workers, we discuss them separately. Blue-Collar Workers Access to Information Regarding Job Opportunities Women are unlikely to learn about predominantly male blue-collar jobs for several reasons. First, the common as- sumption that women are not interested in craft employment is reflected in brochures and publicity oriented toward men (Steven- son, 1977; Briggs, 19811. Such materials generate little response from women. In an ingenious study to determine the impact of such materials, Bem and Bem (1973) found that sex-biased wording in job advertise- ments and the placement of ads in sex-seg- regated newspaper columns discouraged women's interest in traditionally male jobs: only 5 percent of the women surveyed ex- pressed interest in linemen and framemen jobs when they were written in sex-biased language, but 25 percent were interested when the language was sex-neutral, and 45 percent expressed interest when the ad was written to appeal specifically to women. Traditionally, blue-collar employees in the crafts have been recruited from secondary schools and through employee referrals, methods unlikely to elicit female recruits (Golladay and Wullsberg, 1981:781. To the extent that employers rely on employee re- ferrals, new recruits will tend to reproduce the existing sex-segregated work force.6 This is especially true in certain industries such as construction, where referral and hiring are often accomplished via nepotism and word of mouth recruitment (U. S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administra- tion, 1981:22~. 6 Harkess (1980) found that employers often hold their employees responsible for the job candidates they nom- inate, so even unbiased workers may hesitate before taking the risk of recommending someone whose sex or race does not match the work group.
242 PATRICIA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RESK1N Employers' reliance on traditional re- cruitment techniques reflects their belief that a homogeneous labor force will facilitate the transfer of craft knowledge via on-thejob training (Stevenson, 19771. Whether or not they are right, the practice perpetuates sex segregation. In general, to the extent that the recruitment process involves parties who hold sex-typed notions about who should hold certain jobs- whether they be re- cruiters, training program administrators, current employees, or job seekers formal mechanisms such as outreach programs are necessary to ensure that women are trained and recruited. As we noted with respect to apprenticeship programs, information about most typically male jobs is circulates] in all- male info~al networks. For example, a 1966 study by Sheppard and Belitsky (as cited in Folk, 1968) noted that 77 percent of the blue-collar workers surveyed found their jobs through friends ant} relatives. In our dis- cussion of access to information about white- colIar jobs (see below), we consider in more detail the segregative implications of infor- mal networks and review several empirical studies. Employers often claim that they cannot comply with federally mandated affirmative action requirements because the pool of el- igible women is too small (U. S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Admin- istration, 1981), while women interested in nontraditional jobs contend that there are too few openings to accommodate all those seeking blue-collar employment (Westley, 1982~. Kane anal Miller (1981:88) argued that both views are accurate: while the number of women who want to participate in out- reach programs and the number of employ- ers requesting referrals have increased, the resources for training have remained con- stant. As a consequence, the supply of trained women these programs are able to produce is severely limited. Special programs often succeed in placing women in nontraditional jobs. For example, 40 percent of the women in nontraditional blue-collar occupations whom Walshok (1981a) interviewed had direct contact with special recruitment and counseling agencies that were specifically designed to link in- terested women with job opportunities in nontraditional fields. Almost none of these women found their jobs through advertise- ments. Thus, while men can be recruited through existing recruitment channels, placing women in heavily male jobs appears to require specialized intermediary place- ment agencies or other outreach efforts.7 Employer Practices Regarding Entrance Requirements Several kinds of rules or re- quirements employers impose restrict wom- en's access to a variety of jobs. While insti- tuted to help returning veterans, veterans' preference rules also limit women's access to several occupations that have been la- beled mate. For example, 65 percent of the government agencies surveyed gave some form of preference to veterans in selecting police officers, an occupation women have had considerable difficulty entering (Eisen- berg et al., 1974, as cited in Martin, 1980:47~. By restricting competition, veterans' pref- erence rules serve the latent function of re- serving such occupations for men. Interest- ingly, some states have exempted tradi- tionally female occupations from veterans' preference /~`Personne! Administration of Massachusetts v. Feeney, 1979), so these policies do not increase male access to tra- ditionally female occupations. Despite their segregative effect, the Supreme Court al- lowed veterans' preference rules to stand in its 1979 decision in Feeney. For much ofthis century, protective labor laws ruled out many occupations to women and provided an excuse to employers who 7 See U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration (1981:32), for how this method of recruitment operates in the construction industry.
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 243 did not want to hire women for other jobs. Under the regulations interpreting Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, such laws can- not be applied to only one sex. Recently, however, employers in some industries (e.g., rubber, lead, metal, and chemical) have re- fused to employ women of child-bearing age in jobs that expose them to toxic substances (e.g., lead, viny} chloride, carbon disulfide, pesticides), rather than develop standards that would protect both male and female workers. Bell (1979) and Wright (1979) pointed out that employers ignore toxic haz- ards in traditionally female jobs (e.g., op- erating room nurses' exposure to waste an- aesthetic gases, beauticians' to hydrocarbon hairspray propellants, flight attendants' to above-average levels of radiation). In Grigg v. Duke Power Company (1971), the Supreme Court construed Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit job requirements that disproportionately ex- clude members of protected groups unless they were demonstrably job related. This ruling was applied in 1975 to strike down the height and physical agility requirements that barred nearly all women from being police officers in San Francisco (Gates, 1976; Martin, 1980:441. Reflecting the lag be- tween court rulings and changes in prac- tices, many police departments continue to use height and agility requirements, with the result that women are underrepresentec! among those eligible to apply for positions (Martin, 1980:471. A maximum-age restric- tion for police recruits adversely affects women's chances to become police officers for the same reasons it limits their partici- pation in apprenticeship programs. Access to traditionally male jobs is also impaired by what Newman (1976:272) char- acterized as "sex bias in machinery design." Because of sex differences in physical size, some women may find it difficult to use ma- chines designed for men. Similarly, ma- chinery used in traditionally female em- ployment (such as fine work requiring finger dexterity) may inhibit men's employment. Employers have sometimes claimed that the cost of adapting machinery for women is prohibitive. This problem is highlighted in the military. In discussing the costs of rede- signing special clothing and equipment to accommodate the increasing the number of women in the Armed Forces, Binkin and Bach (1977:54) noted: In particular, the assignment of women to tra- ditionally-male occupations could require exten- sive changes.... In a number of critical di- mensions weight, stature, sitting height, . . . the average woman measures significantly less than the average man.8 Organizational Practices Regarding Job Assignment In establishments with only a few occupations, decisions regarding hiring and job assignment may be one and the same. However, for large establishments that are continuously hiring for a variety of occu- pations, it helps to examine separately the factors associated with the kinds of jobs to which workers are assigned the focus of this section. Sex differences in initial job assignments reflect sex stereotypes about appropriate work roles for men and women. Certain jobs have been historically sex typed as male or female (Oppenheimer, 1968~. Sex typing persists in part because men and women learn to "prefer" jobs that society deems appropriate for their sex. However, the persistence of occupational sex segre- gation cannot be reduced to sex differences in employees' preferences. In the case of initial job assignments, employers' organi- 8 In the same vein, military authorities have argued that the number of women who can be assimilated into the Armed Forces is limited by the cost of adapting living and working facilities for their use. For example, the Department of Navy has estimated that the total cost for adapting all active Navy ships would range from $96 to $132 million, depending on how many women needed to be accommodated (Binkin and Bach, 1977:54~.
244 PATRICIA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RESlUN national practices contribute to the perpet- uation of sex segregation, and these insti- tutional practices reflect, and are reinforced by, societal norms.9 Based on their sex, workers are often as- signed to so called light or heavy work. These initial assignments are often due less to job content than to stereotypical notions about what kinds of work are compatible with fe- male and male workers' alleged strengths and weaknesses. For example, lifting one heavy object a day has justified restricting a job to males. Under Griggs (1971), Ala- bama height and weight minima for prison guards that excluded almost all women were struck down (Dothard v. Rawlinson, 1977~. is Formal policies assigning women to light work would probably not survive legal chal- lenge, but litigationalways expensive and slow is not a viable option for many women. Even women who are employed in such nontraditional sectors as the military typi- cally work in what are traditionally female jobs outside the military. Considering how this comes about is instructive. After the 1970 decision to end the draft, the U. S. De- partment of Defense began to increase the number of women in the Armed Forces. Within four years, the proportion of women had more than doubled to approximately 5 percent of all Armed Forces personnel (Binkin and Bach, 1977:14~. Prior to 1972 only 35 percent of the military's occupa- 9 While certain jobs have been historically labeled male or female, this does not mean that jobs never change their sex type. Clerical jobs, for example, have shifted from a male to a female sex type (filly and Scott, 1978:157), as has public school teaching (Tyack and Strober, 1981~. Carter and Carter (1981) argued, with respect to the professions at least, that this shifting of sex types derives from the deskilling of occupations and that women entering jobs previously identified as men's employment move into the most routinized sec- tors of these occupations. A The Supreme Court, however, permitted the state to deny women jobs as prison guards in male maximum- security prisons where their safety was allegedly in jeopardy. tional specialties were open to women; cur- rently, all but combat-related assignments (about 42 percent of all enlisted positions in the Armed Forces in 1977) are available to women (p. 17. Although the percentage of women working in male sex-typed mili- tary specialties (e. g., infantry, electronic equipment repair) increased from 9 percent in 1972 to 40 percent in 1976 (p. 19), most women in the military still work as medical and dental specialists and administrative specialists and clerks. The U. S. General Accounting Once (1976) identified three reasons for the persistence of sex-segregated occupational assignments in the military. First, women lack infor- mation regarding the full range of job op- portunities. For example, over half of the female Army recruits interviewed in 1974 reported that their recruiters had not in- formed them of various assignments for which they were eligible (a comparable percentage was not provided for men; p. 10~. Second, many women reportedly preferred aclmin- istrative or medical jobs, perhaps because young women who choose military careers may wish to avoid being doubly unusual in selecting specialties with few or no women. In addition, because military pay is deter- mined by rank and time in service (and not by occupation), women lack the financial in- centive to pursue jobs that in civilian life are both higher paying and held predomi- nantly by men. Third, and most important, women are automatically excluded from both combat- related occupational specialties and posi- tions set aside for men who return to the United States from male-only overseas and sea-duty jobs (estimated to be another 9 per- cent of all enlisted positions, yielding a total ii The definition of combat-related occupations has recently been broadened to include 23 additional mil- itary occupational specialties. The U. S. Army currently bars women from a total of 61 (or 17 percent) of its job specialties (New York Times, 1982a).
lNSTlTUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 245 of 51 percent of positions not open to women; Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, 1977:Table 111. i2 Each of the services has additional restrictions on the entry of women Mat further limit women's job options. Thus, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office report, while nearly all military oc- cupational specialties were open to women, once all restrictive factors were taken into account, only 26 percent of all enlisted po- sitions were available to them.~3 Not only do these restrictions inhibit job access at the entry level, but they also limit women's later mobility, since combat and other male-only jobs are the main route to upward mobility in the military. White-Collar Workers Sex differences in access to information and recruiting networks, entrance restric- tions, and the allocation of men and women to sex-typical entry-level jobs also contri- bute to sex segregation among white-colIar workers. Access to Information and Recruitment Networks Occupational sex segregation persists in white-colIar jobs in part because information networks are sex segregated. i2 This total estimate varies by military service. In 1977 the percentage of all positions unavailable to women because of a combat restriction was 50 percent in the Army, 60 percent in the Navy, 7 percent in the Air Force, and 73 percent in the Marine Corps (calculated from Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, 1977:Table 11~. i3 This varies substantially by military service. In the Army only 8 percent of all positions were available to women, compared with 8, 76, and 5 percent for the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, respectively. The greater proportion of open jobs in the Air Force was due to the small number (7 percent) of all positions that are classified as combat related (all figures calcu- lated from Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, 1977:Table 11~. These figures are from 1977. As noted in note 11, the estimates for the Army will be reduced with the new restriction in the number of specialties open to women. Granovetter (1974) explored the role of per- sonal contacts in securing employment among professional, technical, and managerial workers. He concluded that the key to the process by which a worker with certain char- acteristics gets "matched" to a particular job lies in large measure in the dynamic process whereby job information flows through in- formal personal networks. Those outside networks (e.g., young labor force entrants, recent immigrants) must rely on formal means of finding employment, such as intermedi- ary agencies. With respect to sex segrega- tion, the questions of interest are whether the sexes have equal access to personal net- works, whether they are equally likely to use them, and whether networks are equally effective for women and men. In howling most professional and mana- gerial jobs, men enjoy personal and work associations that facilitate learning of other opportunities in those fields. Women, con- centrated in clerical and service jobs, nor- mally find themselves outside that network. Instead they share information with same- sex friends and coworkers. Thus, men's and women's positions in the occupational struc- ture themselves contribute to continued sex segregation in occupational allocation. Sev- eral network studies elucidate these sex dif- ferences. Langiois (1977:Table 1) found, for a small sample of government workers, that men were slightly more likely than females to secure their initial employment via per- sonal contacts, while women more often ac- quired their jobs through direct application. Moreover, sex differences in the use of per- sonal contacts were largest in the two oc- cupational categories with the fewest women (administrative workers and laborers/serv- ice workers). Ense! and Lin (1982:8) found that men were more likely than females to have used personal contacts in their initial employ- ment search, whereas women were more likely to have relied on formal job-search methods. Interestingly, although each sex relied predominantly on same-sex contacts
246 PATRICIA A. ROOS aND BARBARA F. RES KIN in searching for their jobs, men were less likely to use cross-sex contacts, which would reduce their chances of learning about job opportunities in female-dominated occupa- tions. (Of course, they may have refrained from consulting female informants because they did not want low-paying female jobs.) Finally, women who found high-status jobs were more likely than men to have used mere acquaintances and indirect contacts ("weak ties") with males. This finding is con- sistent with the conventional wisdom that women who want to progress in their ca- reers in male occupations need men's help either as sponsors or at least as intermedi- aries (Hennig and lardim, 19771. Caplette (1981:176) fount] that identical percentages of male and female employees in a variety of publishing settings used per- sonal contacts to break into the book pub- lishing field. However, men relied more on same-sex contacts than did women. Because men hold the more prestigious jobs in pub- lishing, as in other industries, male contacts are likely to be more useful. Here too the women relied more on formal job search methods: they were twice as likely as men to have used intermediary agencies and half as likely as men to have "knocked on doors" to secure their first job in publishing. Taken in sum, these studies suggest that the use of personal contacts in securing ini- tial employment is more effective for men, which may explain men's greater propensity to use them. This difference reflects both the sex-stratified occupational structure an , . . ~ . . emp oyers conservatism In wring. Entrance Restrictions Employers' en- trance requirements operate somewhat dif- ferently in white- than blue-collar occupa- tions because of the different nature of the jobs for which entry is sought. In blue-collar jobs they often consist of formal rules (such as veterans' preference, for example), whereas restrictions on white-collar entry operate more subtly. Hiring decisions, es- pecially those for prestigious professional and managerial occupations, often involve sub- jective evaluations of whether the applicant will "fit in." While the problem of fitting in also contributes to women's underrepresen- tation in craft and other blue-collar employ- ment (Martin, 1980; Walshok, 1981a), hiring an "outsider" for a prestigious white-collar occupation ~ has greater organizational im- plications, given the higher levels of uncer- tainty in these jobs as well as their greater rewards (Kanter, 19771. Because workers in these occupations have more control over their work, organizational elites must en- sure that those hired will not disrupt the ongoing work or challenge the nature of the organization. They do this by hiring those whose socialization and backgrounds resem- ble those of members of the organization and by fostering unobtrusive controls that structure people's work attitudes and be- havior (Perrow, 1979:152; Smith and Gren- ier, 19821. i4 Finally, firms with highly struc- tured internal labor markets face more serious potential consequences of a hiring error. As a result, except during periods of labor shortage, employers may prefer to err by failing to hire a qualified worker rather than hiring an unqualified worker (Stevenson, 19771.~5 Apparently, qualified applicants whose personal characteristics make them suspect are particularly likely to fall victim to such decision strategies. Sexton (1977:26) argued that the use of highly subjective evaluations unrelated to job content tends to favor hiring men for jobs they customarily hold (see also Epstein, 19751. There is also limited evidence that subjective evaluations based on interviews ]4 Perrow (1979:152) labeled these unobtrusive con- trols "premise-setting." While premise controls are not a direct example of entrance restrictions, by structuring people's behaviors and attitudes once they are hired they help ensure that any recruits with "deviant" back- grounds (e.g., women or members of minority groups) are kept "in line" within the organization. i5 The caution exercised by academic tenure com- mittees often illustrates this principle.
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 247 are detrimental to women seeking sex-atyp- ical employment. i6 Finally, nepotism rules are also important in restricting women's access to white-colIar employment; the traditional exclusion of women from teaching at universities that employ their husbands (although no longer the case in most universities) is an obvious example. A recent example appeared in a news story in a national news magazine in which the chairman of a major corporation was quoted as remarking that "we have a policy at this company that we don't hire wives" (Newsweek, 1982a,b). In a letter to the editor, he corrected himself saying that the policy applied to spouses of corporate officers, not wives in general. However, in reality women have probably borne most of the brunt of such rules.~7 Organizational Practices Regarding Job Assignment While sex segregation in en- try-leve} occupations has been well docu- mented, our understanding of the processes whereby differential allocation occurs is largely speculative. Two recent case studies provide insights into how workers have tra- ]6 Dubeck (1979) found that gender affected how in- terviewees for jobs in management were evaluated. Among applicants whom interviewers considered qual- ified, men were significantly more likely to be rec- ommended for a job. Dubeck suggested that being "qualified" is determined differently for men and women. She found that the four most important factors affecting the decision to hire males were (in order) an evaluation of their qualifications, leadership experience, interest in the job, and academic performance. In contrast, the most important factors for women were job interest, academic performance, race, and qualifications. Thus, the criteria for evaluating female and male applicants were ranked differently. Dubeck (p. 97) concluded that the primacy of job interest (i.e., whether the applicant was rated as interested in the job) over qualifications for female applicants reflects employer concern about female career orientation. i7 The Supreme Court declined to consider this issue in refusing to review a decision by the 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found Libby-Owens-Fords' nep- otism policy to be job related. ditionally been assigned to jobs: Caplette's (1981) study of the publishing industry and Epstein's (1981) study of the male-domi- nated legal profession. Although Caplette investigated an entire industry (which in- cludes management, sales, editorial, and clerical occupations) and Epstein an occu- pation, similar processes apparently oper- ated to allocate men and women to sex-typ- ical employment in both settings. We should note that, while the processes Caplette and Epstein document still prevail, they are nevertheless changing in the direction of the relaxation of sex typing. Although publishing, which is one-half to two-thirds female, is viewed as a women's business, it has always been controlled by men (Caplette, 1981:711. Having entered book publishing in increasing numbers in recent years, women are still concentrated in advertising and publicity, art design, pro- duction, and editing children's books and manuscripts (p. 75~. Men dominate mar- keting, sales, and management. Sex typing becomes even more apparent when these specialties are broken down further: women predominate as manuscript editors, edito- rial assistants, design directors, and secre- taries; men are editors, publishers, sales representatives, and marketing directors. Differences in background anal credentials could not account for these sex differences (p. 1551. Women traditionally entered pub- lishing through secretarial jobs, whereas men entered as sales representatives or editorial assistants. College textbook publishing fl- lustrates the general pattern of sex differ- ences in initial job assignment. According to Caplette (p. 205), those in the field tacitly understand that sales, particularly the col- lege traveler job, is the route to upward mobility: approximately two-thir(ls of the men began their careers in this position but only 9 percent of the women did so, all of whom were hired in a single year. Women were automatically excluded from these posi- tions, on the assumption that the extensive traveling required would conflict with their
248 PATRICIA A. BOOS AND BARBARA F. RE SKIN present or future domestic responsibilities (p. 2081. Epstein (1981) also found sex typing in lawyers' entry-level positions. First, a large number of women lawyers work for the gov- ernment: in 1970, 37 percent did, compared with 19 percept of the men. By 1977 the percentage of women lawyers working for the government had decreased to 22 per- cent, compared with 17 percent for men (Epstein, 1981:1121. Second, women law- yers are overrepresented in certain special- ties (including trusts and estates, domestic relations, and tax law) and in particular types of jobs (research, writing of briefs, and pro- viding legal assistance). Not surprisingly, these specialties and positions rank lower than those in which men are concentrated. Third, women have generally been accepted in nonpublic positions but not in the more public corporate and litigation specialties. Epstein's (p. 107) interviews revealed that firms were reluctant to hire women because they feared clients' reactions. Women were also considered not tough enough for ne- gotiations and less able to participate in the camaraderie between lawyer and client. In sum, specialty assignments for lawyers re- flected the norms governing the sex appro- priateness of jobs. This is due both to self- selection of women into jobs in which they are accepted! and to employer biases that derive from sex-role stereotypes. INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS AFFECTING MOBILITY INTO SEX-TYPICAL AND SEX- ATYPICAL JOBS Lee recognition that workers' mobility opportunities are governed by internal labor markets that exist within firms or occupa- tions (or both; Althauser and Kalleberg, 1981) is critical for identifying institutional bar- riers to women's mobility into and advance- ment within sex-atypical jobs. Internal labor market theory identifies the job ladder as the primary path by which workers improve their occupational status. It is only for entry- leve} positions that workers must compete in a relatively open labor market. Following labor market entry, job shifts both hori- zontal and vertical are restricted largely by the job family in which a worker is lo- cated. An establishment's internal labor market primarily consists of its promotion practices that define mobility opportunities across and up job ladders. These may be firm, union, or civil service rules about con- trolling movement across jobs. Several re- searchers (e.g., Stevenson, 1977; Osterman, 1979; Harlan and Weiss, 1981; O'Farrell and Harlan, this volume) have noted the role that internal labor markets play in limiting women's mobility into and advancement in traditionally male jobs. Internal labor mar- kets do not rob personnel officers and su- pervisors of all discretion in employment decisions. Both conventional and statistical sex discrimination still occur, although they are more likely to occur with respect to pro- motion, where merit is often a legitimate consideration, than in layoff decisions, where seniority usually governs (Althauser and Kalleberg, 19811. However, discrimination may be less common than at the entry level. First, to the extent that hiring at the entry level is segregative, job groups will already be relatively homogeneous with respect to gender. Second, insofar as job ladders struc- turally constrain promotion decisions, they should override biases of individuals. In this section we focus on how seniority systems constrain mobility into sex-atypical jobs. We then examine how the organization of two particular promotion systems contributes to sex segregation. Seniority Systems and Mobility Opportunities Seniority systems consist of formal rules within organizations in which a worker's length of employment must be given weight by de- cision makers in promotions, transfers, lay-
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 249 offs, and benefits. Along with procedures reg- ulating job posting and bumping and bidding rights, seniority systems structure workers' mobility prospects. These formalized proce- dures ensure a stable work force and trans- ferability of skills from senior to new employ- ees, while providing workers with job security by protecting them against being replaced by younger workers (Stevenson, 19771. How- ever, they also limit minorities' and women's access to many jobs (Kelley, 19811. Recent court decisions (U.S . v. Teamsters et al., 1977; American Tobacco Company v. Patterson, 1982) have permitted seniority systems as long as they were not adopted with discriminatory intent, despite their demonstrated segrega- tive effect. Organizations vary in the units across which a seniority system operates. They can gov- ern an entire plant, a department, or a job sequence. In job sequence systems the sen- iority unit is a cluster of occupationally re- lated jobs that represents a skill ladder even if the jobs are in different departments (e. g., all painters in a firm may constitute one sen- iority unit). When paired with restrictions or penalties for transferring across units, more narrowly defined seniority systems are problematic for women because they con- stitute a barrier to mobility for those outside the department or job family. is Workers transferring across seniority units may lose their seniority and are vulnerable to layoffs (Kelley, 1981:51. In keeping with narrow seniority units, rules may limit job bidding to members of the unit and job openings may be posted only in the department or work areas frequented by workers in the job sequence. Hence, outsiders lack informa- tion about such jobs. Another practice that i8 of course, more narrowly defined seniority sys- tems are preferable for incumbents of high-wage units, since they insulate jobs from the competition of other workers. hampers the mobility prospects ofthose out- side the seniority unit includes ambiguous eligibility requirements for transfers. Adopting plantwide seniority systems would eliminate much of their disparate adverse impact on women and minorities in one- union firms, but, where employers have col- lective bargaining agreements with more than one union, opportunities for mobility can re- main limited (Steinberg and Cook, 1981:691. Kelley's (1981) study of an electric prod- ucts manufacturing company (an industry that traditionally employs a substantial number of women) illustrates that seniority reform alone is not necessarily sufficient to enhance women's mobility prospects. All workers in the plant were subject to one collective bar- gaining agreement and seniority was plant- wide. In 1967 prohibitions against transfer- ring across seniority units were lifted and plantwide bidding and posting procedures established. Yet 9 years later, despite the absence of exclusionary language in the col- lective bargaining agreement and a strong seniority clause that should have ensured that seniority would govern transfers and upgrading, few cross-system transfers had occurred. Sixty percent of recent openings that could have been filled by transfers were Filed by new hires, mostly white men. While some men helped integrate the plant by moving into some traditionally female fields, this did not enhance women's opportunities. Men continued to be concentrated in re- strictive high-wage job ladders with few workers. Thus, continued discrimination in hiring undermined formal reorganization ef- forts, suggesting that a more active set of reforms would be needed to reduce occu- pational segregation by sex (for documen- tation of this point, see O'Farrell and Har- lan, this volume). As the Conference Board (Shaeffer and Lynton, 1979) survey implied, the right to transfer laterally must be ac- companied by mechanisms to publicize job openings, encourage and prepare women to pursue them, and provide support for those
250 PATRICIA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RESK1N women who transfer into traditionally male jobs. i9 The Structuring of Opportunity: Other Organizational Practices O'Farrell's (1980) case study of a local union in a large Northeastern industrial plant il- lustrates ways other than seniority systems that mobility opportunities are structured for blue-collar jobs. Employment in O'Far- rell's plant was highly segmented: of the two company plants the union local represented, the smaller plant was historically female dominated, while the more modern plant was male dominated. The two plants re- mained sex segregated partly because jobs were posted separately within each. Fur- thermore, jobs that opened up when a worker changed jobs within the plant were not posted but instead were filled at the managers' dis- cretion. Thus, workers were unaware of op- portunities available in the other plant. Even if they learned of transfer opportunities, workers lacked cross-plant bidding rights. Given the greater number of jobs in the larger mostly male plant, the detrimental effects of posting and bidding restrictions fell primarily on the mostly female workers at the smaller plant. Treating the two sex- segregated plants as separate organizational entities ensured the persistence of sex seg- regation. Recent studies of state civil service em- ployment focused on structural barriers in white-colIar jobs. Here researchers exam- ined "career" or promotion ladders associ- ated with particular entry-level jobs. Work- ers in certain entry-level jobs were "on the mobility track," while others had to shift "tracks" to move up. A case study of promotion under New York State's civil service system by the New York State Commission on Management and Pro- ductivity in the Public Sector (1977) showed how career ladders perpetuate sex segre- gation. Women and minority workers, con- centrated in the lowest-level jobs with short career ladclers, had few advancement op- portunities. Of the 43 different career lad- ders, women generally fillet! the low-floor/ low-ceiling ladders, while men predomi- nated in the higher, longer ladders (p. 30~. In a similar study in four other New York State agencies, Peterson-Hardt and PerI- man (1979) fount] that in over 90 percent of the career ladders, the incumbents were at least 60 percent one sex.20 Moreover, in all four agencies, female-dominated career lad- ders began at lower entry levels and offered fewer opportunities for advancement: fewer than 14 percent ofthe female ladders ranged into high civil service grades, compared with 31 to 41 percent of the male ladders, de- pending on the agency (p. 57~. Not only were women in New York State government more likely than men to be on truncated ladders in essentially dead-end jobsbut their job ladders were also harder to climb because the educational and experience re- quirements for promotion were harder to satisfy than in male-dominated career lad- ders (p. 781. Smith's (1979) findings replicate these results. In 13 job "chains" with at least three steps, high-opportunity chains (de- fined as those in which at least 15 percent of the jobs were at or above the entry man- ~9 The Conference Board report also revealed that plantwide seniority had not been successful in moving women into higher-skilled blue-collar jobs in some companies, where blue-collar women workers who had accumulated enough seniority bid into clerical jobs where they preferred to remain (Shaeffer and Lynton, 1979:70~. Mobility may also have been limited by more informal barriers, expected opposition from coworkers or work- ers' sense of achievement at having escaped blue-collar OrigInS. 20 Since women comprised about 45 percent of the civil service work force in New York in 1977, the results would have been more useful had the researchers set a higher value to define sex-dominated jobs.
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 251 agerial level) were filled preclominantly by men, while low-opportunity job chains were held mainly by women. Research currently under way at the Cen- ter for Women in Government (Ratner, 1981; Haignere et al., 1981) extends that of Peter- son-Harcit ant! PerIman (1979) by investigat- ing the differential impact of personnel prac- tices on women's and minorities' prospects for promotion to management positions. In New York State government, promotion involves several steps: setting criteria for eligibility to compete for the promotion, a competitive ex- amination, and selecting the successfi~! can- diciate from the top three who pass the exam (Ratner, 1981:3~. Eligibility is limited to em- ployees in "feeder" jobs specifies] in the job posting. Although women made up 53 per- cent of all state employees in 1979, they con- stituted only 12 percent ofthose in clesignatec] feebler jobs for management positions. Fe- male and male applicants for the New York management jobs were equally likely to pass the exam, ancI, when women got into the three- person pool, their chances of being chosen were good. However, the consequence of bas- ing eligibility on a feeder system composed of jobs held disproportionately by men was that over 70 percent of the three-person pools were all male. This system ensured that men would hoist almost all managerial jobs which was the case. In less bureaucratized promotion sys- tems, recommendations play a larger role than the formal procedures we have de- scribed above. This too can contribute to sex segregation because female clerical jobs are more likely than male jobs to provide direct services to one's immediate super- visor (a reflection of the institutionalization of women in helper or assistant roles; Ep- stein, 1976:1911. Because supervisors may be reluctant to recommend very effective assistants for promotion, relying on super- visors' recommendations of canclidates for promotion from clerical to managerial jobs may undermine organizational efforts to promote women (Kanter, 1977; Shaeffer and Lynton, 19791. Informal networks in the workplace also differentially affect the sexes' mobility pros- pects. Epstein (1970a,b, 1975, 1976) has identified several informal mechanisms that restrict women's mobility prospects: women are likely to be less connected to commu- nication networks, less involved in sponsor- protege relationships, and less likely to have access to the clublike relationships charac- teristic of many of the professions. (While Epstein concentrated on the professions, the logic of her argument holds for blue-collar occupations as well.) Kaufman (1978) found that female professors (especially those who were not married) hac! fewer males in their collegial networks than did their male col- leagues. Because men dominate the upper levels of academe, women had less access to those in authority positions. Contrary to these results, Strober (1982:32) found no significant sex differences in access to men- torships for a sample of Stanforc! MBAs four years after graduation. Strober's study and that of Harlan and Weiss (1981) suggest that more investigation is needed to provide a (lef~nitive answer on the role of mentorship in female and male mobility. Some companies have restructured their internal labor markets to increase women's employment opportunities, partly in re- sponse to federal enforcement efforts (Shaef- fer and Lynton, 1979:34; O'Farrell and Har- lan, this volume). Changes include devel- oping strategies by employers, support groups, and managers to make job openings known to women and minorities; analyzing jobs to retain only those qualifications that are truly necessary; enacting safeguards against man- agers' biases for fair evaluation of candidates; and monitoring the promotion process. In recognition of the fact that existing career lad- ders curtail women's chances for mobility, some firms have analyzed and revised job families to create new career lines for women into managerial positions.
252 PATRICIA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RESIGN INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS ASSOCIATED WITH RETAINING WORKERS IN SEX-ATYPICAL JOBS This section focuses on institutionalized features of the workplace that affect the re- tention of workers employed in sex-atypical jobs. Since most workers are in sex-typical jobs, institutionalized factors that facilitate the retention of workers in these jobs are probably more important in maintaining sex segregation. For example, the availability of part-time clerical work enables women to combine paid employment with child-rear- ing, thus contributing to the highly segre- gative character of clerical employment. The compatibility of short working days and free summers with child-rearing attracts moth- ers to public school teaching. That these same features are accompanied by smaller salaries is likely to discourage the retention of men. Many mechanisms that encourage workers to remain in sex-typed jobs have evolvecI hand in hand with the development of these jobs and may have been influenced by workers' sex. Unfortunately, space con- straints preclude examining them here. Wig respect to sex-atypical jobs, we note two recent studies that show a considerable amount of mobility by workers of both sexes into and out of sex-atypical jobs: Rosenfeld (this volume), and Jacobs (19831. Obviously, segregation results from both entry barriers to sex-atypical jobs and mechanisms that discourage workers who hold such jobs from remaining in them. We have considered some of these factors in describing the mecha- nisms associated with access to sex-atypical jobs and will return only to those that affect retention differently. Recruitment Practices and Information About Jobs A recent study of women in nontraditional jobs in 10 public utility companies sug- gested that recruitment methods strongly affect retention. Meyer and Lee (1978) in- terviewed 164 women, and their supervi- sors, peers, and subordinates, regarding the effectiveness of special programs devised to move women into nontraditional jobs. The interviews suggested that informing female applicants about the characteristics of jobs for which they were applying reduced turn- over. Nowhere is this more evident than in the comparison of the typical experiences of professional/managerial and blue-collar workers. Women selected for professional and managerial jobs usually underwent ex- tensive screening, whereas program ad;min- istrators often hac! to persuade blue-collar women to apply for traditionally male jobs. The dropout rate for women recruited for blue-collar jobs in this manner was very high, especially in jobs that required heavy phys- ical labor or had undesirable working con- ditions (p. 17~. Shaeffer and Lynton (1979) also found that the more information firms provided women entering traditionally male blue-collar jobs, the higher the retention rates. Particularly useful were clear descrip- tions of job demands, slides, tours, oppor- tunities to talk with workers (especially fe- male workers), and a chance to try out various aspects of the job. See O'Farrell and Harlan (in this volume), for additional recruitment practices found to be successful in retaining women in nontraditional jobs. Training Training- both prior to beginning a non- traditional job and on the job- may be the most important (leterminant of retention. The study of women in public utilities cited above as well as two surveys of women in construction stressed the value of special pretraining for women entering traditionally male blue-collar jobs (Meyer and Lee, 1978:18; U.S. Department of Labor, Em- ployment Stan(larcis Administration, 1981; Westley, 19821. By exposing women to the tools and techniques with which most men become familiar while young, pretraining
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO' SEX SEGREGATION 253 puts women on a more equal footing with new male recruits (see O'Farrell and Harlan in this volume for additional evidence on this point). Walshok's (1981a) interviews with women in nontraditional blue-collar employment in- dicated that unstructured on-thejob training in which apprentices depend on a single jour- neyman is problematic for women, since it makes them vulnerable to their trainers' biases. Some foam on-thejob training enhances the chance that women wiD obtain necessary sobs. But Walshok also stressed the importance of hands-on experience during formal training. Women whose preemployment training in male occupations included actual work ex- perience were more likely to find jobs, to learn how to perform them well, and to suc- ceed in them. Organizational Mechanisms That Influence Women's Retention in Sex- Atypical Jobs Certain organizational arrangements fa- cilitate women's success in nontraditional jobs. Of particular importance are commit- ment by top management to improve wom- en's employment opportunities (Shaeffer and Lynton, 1979:21) and a full-time equal em- ployment opportunity staff(Meyer and Lee, 1978:4~. O'Farrell (1980: 124) identified lack of organizational support as an important barrier to women's employment in nontra- ditional work: missing at the industrial plant she studied were any special recruitment programs to inform women about the nature and advantages of nontraditional jobs, tran- sition programs to ease the shift into non- traclitional employment, and support on the job for women experiencing difficulty. Other organizational practices, which cannot be thoroughly examined here be- cause of space constraints, foster or hinder women's retention in sex-atypical jobs. Pregnancy leave, opportunities for flextime or part-time work, and child care can make jobs more accessible to women, whereas re- quired shift work, overtime, and extensive travel may discourage women from staying in certain jobs. The Role of Unions While unions can facilitate women's entry into nontraditional employment, they can negatively affect women's retention (O'Farrell, 1980; New- man and Wilson, 1981; Steinberg and Cook, 1981~. Lack of female leadership may limit the effectiveness of unions. Programs that would enhance women's retention in jobs (such as child care) are more expensive than the bread-and-butter issues unions have tra- ditionally addressed (Steinberg and Cook, 1981:631. Women as a group are only one constituency of unions and, given their un- derrepresentation in leadership positions, not a particularly powerful or vocal one. Without female leadership to press for such programs, they are often bargained away in negotiated agreements. Lack of Standards for Entry Lack of specified standards for job performance has limited women's ability to perform on the job and, hence, their retention in blue-col- lar jobs. The U. S. General Accounting Of- fice (1976) found that some women in tra- ditionally male military jobs had been as- signed to jobs for which they were not phys- ically suited, and their lack of strength con- tributed to their inability to complete re- quirecI tasks. The report recommended that the military services develop physical and operational standards required for job per- formance as well as measures of men's and women's ability to satisfy established stand- ards. Of course, the danger of instituting such standards is that they may be used to keep all women out of traditionally male employment rather than to ensure that only those men and women physically suited to the job will be hired. Seniority We considered seniority sys- tems in some detail earlier in our discussion of mobility. Here we simply stress that sen-
254 PATRICIA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RESK1N iority systems organized for units smaller than an entire plant have predictable neg- ative consequences for women's retention. Department or job sequence systems ren- der women who transfer to mate jobs in dif- ferent seniority units vulnerable to layoffs in an economic downturn. Steinberg and Cook (1981:68) noted that seniority systems also inhibit women's retention by reducing the likelihood that work-sharing systems might be implemented as an alternative to layoffs. When narrowly structured seniority systems are used to determine shift assign- ments and overtime allocation, as in the steel industry, women with low seniority who are assigned to night shifts or required to work overtime may have to quit if they cannot arrange adequate child care (Walshok, 1981a). Seniority systems that guarantee bumping rights in the case of layoffs including the right to bump back into sex-traditional jobs they left- may facilitate women's willing- ness to enter and their retention in sex-atyp- ical employment. Not only are their jobs more secure in the event of an economic downturn, but women gain expertise in more jobs in the plant, thereby enhancing their future job prospects. Organization of Work and the Workplace When only a few women work in a group and male coworkers are not supportive, the amount of interdependence necessary to ac- complish a task is important. Some of the women Walshok (1981a) interviewed indi- cated that male coworkers' unwillingness to work with them on multiperson tasks ham- pered their ability to complete their own job duties and ultimately discouraged them. Although the resistance of male coworkers is not an "institutionalized" barrier, it comes 2} Of course, newly hired women from the outside will also lack seniority regardless of the structure of the seniority system. For them it is seniority per se and not the type of seniority that threatens their retention. into play when work is organized such that women's ability to do their jobs depends on male cooperation. By assigning women jobs they can do alone or by providing female work partners, organizations can retain women working in nontraditional jobs (Shaeffer and Lynton, 1979; Walshok, 1981a).22 Some intrinsic aspects of the work itself, the tools, and the typical division of labor also influence the success and retention of women working in nontraditional blue-col- lar jobs. With training, women can learn how to use unfamiliar tools, but, as we noted above, equipment and too] design may oc- casionally interfere with successful job per- formance. Pioneers in nontraditional jobs have found it difficult to obtain proper work clothes (Business Week, 1978:901. At AT&T, for example, the higher accident rate of women in out(loor jobs spurred the com- pany to introduce lighter-weight and more mobile equipment. Bales and White (1981) of the Coal Employment Project found that over ore-half of their sample of women min- ers feared for their safety because of im- properly fitting protective equipment. Boots and hard hats were too large, and oversized gloves got stuck in moving machinery. Studies of women in forestry, mining, construction, and other outdoor jobs (En- arson, 1980; Bales and White, 1981; U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Stand- ards Administration, 1981; Walshok, 1981a) have pointed out the very real problem that access to adequate sanitary facilities pre- sents. The absence of such facilities for 22 Blalock (1962) has argued that minorities will en- counter less discrimination in occupations with a high division of labor, where the group output depends on each worker's performance. There is some evidence that this may also be true in science (Hagstrom, 1965). This should hold for women in nontraditional jobs in- sofar as their jobs are necessary to complete a group product and no male can substitute for them, but prob- ably neither condition holds very often in most blue- collar settings where several workers do the same job.
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO SEX SEGREGATION 255 women exposes them to health risks and sexual harassment (see Enarson, 1980; and White et al., 1981~. While costly (BethIe- hem Steel spent over $10 million to outfit its mills, shipyards, and mines with wom- en's lockers, restrooms, and showers over a 5-year period; Business Week, 1978:90), these facilities are essential for making tradition- ally male blue-collar jobs accessible to many women. INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS OUTSIDE THE WORKPLACE The focus of this paper is on institution- alized factors that exist within the work- place. However, many factors outside the workplace affect women's occupational and advancement prospects indirectly by affect- ing their labor force participation. The lack of adequate child care affects women's access to and retention in jobs. The recognition that inadequate child care con- stitutes a barrier to women's employment is recent, at least among lawmakers. Not until 1978 did Congress, in an amendment to Ti- tIe VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981:5), spe- cifically recognize that women's childbear- ing role constrained their educational and employment opportunities. Inadequate child care affects women's employment options in several ways: (1) by limiting their entry into the labor force; (2) by restricting their par- ticipation in federally sponsored education and training programs; (3) by reducing the amount of time they can devote to their jobs and encouraging their retention in part-time jobs; (4) by restricting their ability to work certain shifts; (5) by preventing them from being able to take advantage of training for more demanding jobs for which they are qualified; and (6) by constraining their par- ticipation in jobs that require traveling. It probably also contributes to women's lesser participation in union activities and ulti- mately union leadership. Surveys have indicated how inadequate child care arrangements limit women's em- ployment prospects. Shortlidge (as cited in U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981:10) estimated that approximately 20 percent of currently nonemployed women do not work because of unsatisfactory child care arrange- ments. Presser and Baldwin (1980) reported a similar figure: 17 percent of nonemployed women would look for work if satisfactory child care were available and 16 percent of currently employed women would work more hours given suitable and reasonably priced child care. It has been suggested that inadequate child care may contribute to higher accident rates among women assembly line workers. Cuth- bertson (as cited in U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981:12) suggested that stress is a significant factor in industrial accidents, and worry about inadequate child care may contribute to stress. However, more re- search is needed before we can accept this contention. Federal laws contribute to sex segregation by affecting women's labor force participa- tion. Income tax laws discourage secondary family earners usually women- from entering the labor force, since additional earnings are taxed at a progressively steeper rate (Blumberg, 1979; Gordon, 1979a).23 So- cial security laws have a similar effect, since dual-earner families get a lower return to their social security investment than do sin- gle-earner couples, and married women are often entitled to higher benefits as their hus- bands' dependents than as retired workers in their own right (Blumberg, 1979; Gor- don, 1979b). The federal policies underlying these laws discourage women's continuous labor force attachment, which in turn has a strong negative impact on their access to high-wage employment and mobility op- portunities. 23 The effect of income tax laws has recently (tax year 1982) been ameliorated by a special tax deduction de- signed to reduce the so-called marriage penalty.
256 PATRICIA A. ROOS AND BARBARA F. RESIGN Finally, economic factors also reduce women's opportunity to go into business for themselves. One barrier to entrepreneur- ship among women is difficulty in obtaining financing. Financial institutions prefer to support larger and less risky enterprises, and women are prone to start small businesses in low-profit, labor-intensive industries (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1978:51. CONCLUSION This paper reviews workplace mecha- nisms that act as barriers to women's em- ployment in traditionally male jobs. These mechanisms, institutionalized in the labor market and in firms' personnel practices, are less well understood and less studied than those factors more often cited as explana- tions for occupational sex segregation: char- acteristics and choices of the labor supply, on the one hand, and gender discrimination by employers, on the other. Using internal labor market theory as our theoretical framework, we argue that such workplace mechanisms act as barriers to women's em- ployment prospects at four points in the job allocation process: preemployment training, access and assignment to jobs, mobility, and retention. Investigating barriers to women's job op- portunities that are institutionalized in the labor market and the organization of work is valuable in identifying useful areas for fu- ture inquiry and essential for developing in- tervention strategies. Empirical studies that document sex differences in access to em- ployment information, the allocation of the sexes to "sex-appropriate" employment, the sexes' differential location in job clusters, barriers to women's access to entry-level po- sitions on high-prestige job ladclers, and so forth will help us better understand how internal labor markets operate and how they might be modified to work to women's arl- vantage. Our analysis also suggests the kinds of organizational changes that might recluce segregation. As the paper by O'Farrell and Harlan (in this volume) shows, many of the mechanisms that we identify as barriers have been manipulates] by organizations attempt- ing to improve women's employment op- portunities. What remains to be explored more fully is what functions these institu- tional mechanisms serve within organiza- tions and labor markets and for whom. Edwards (1975, as cited in Tolbert, 1982) noted that when bureaucratic control emerged in labor markets at the beginning of the century, large firms could no longer personally manage employees. In response, they instituted administrative regulations regarding qualifications for employment, wages, criteria for promotion, and so forth. In unionized industries, many of these pro- cedures became union as well as company policy. At that time, the exclusionary im- plications for women of bureaucratic pro- cedures were not viewed as problematic in light of prevailing social values. By the time law and social opinions challenged their dis- criminatory effects, resistance to modifying long-established personnel procedures would be expected from those with a stake in their administration. For example, seniority sys- tems ant] other job ladders that structure promotion opportunities are economically advantageous to both employers and work- ers well positioned in firms' internal labor markets. Fuller analysis of other functions these segregative mechanisms fulfill is nec- essary to devise nondiscriminatory alterna- tives. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This paper was supported in part by a UAP Faculty Research Fellowship and Grant- in-Aid (#431-7531-A), 1982 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. We would like to thank the following people for their helpful comments on earlier versions: Lee Clarke, Carolyn Ellis, Cynthia Epstein, Mery} FingrutU, Arne Kalleberg, Maryellen
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