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National Academy Press · 2101 Constitution Ave., NVV · 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 Acad- emy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The mem- bers of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures ap- proved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sci- ences, 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 further- ing knowledge and 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 corpora- tion. 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 govern- ment, 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 has been supported by funding from the Women's Bureau of the U. S. Department of Labor, the National Commission for Employment Policy, the Economic Development Administra- tion of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and by the National Research Council (NRC) Fund. The NRC Fund is a pool of private, discretionary, nonfederal funds that is used to support a program of Academy-initiated studies of national issues in which science and technology figure significantly. The NRC Fund consists of contributions from a consortium of private foundations including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, the Wil- liam and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Academy Industry Program, which seeks annual contributions from companies that are con- cerned with the health of U. S. science and technology and with public policy issues with technol- ogy content; and the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering endowments. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. Panel on Technology and Women's Employment. Computer chips and paper clips. Bibliography: p. Includes index. Contents: v. 1. [without special title] 1. Women white collar workersEffect of technological innovations on. 2. Office practice Automation. 3. MicroelectronicsSocial aspects. 4. WomenEmployment. 5. Women EmploymentGovernment policyUnited States. I. Hartmann, Heidi I. II. Kraut, Robert E. III. Tilly, Louise A. IV:. Title. HD6331.18.M39N38 1986 331.4'8165137'0973 86-18113 ISBN 0-309-03688-7 Printed in the United States of America
Panel on Technology and Women's Employment LOUISE A. TILLY (Chair), Committee on Historical Studies, Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research TAMAR D. BERMANN, Work Research Institutes, Oslo, Norway FRANCINE D. BLAU, Department of Economics and Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Illinois DENNIS CHAMOT, Professional Employees Department, AFL-CIO, Washington, D.C. MARTIN L. ERNST, Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, Mass. ROSLYN FELDBERG, Massachusetts Nurses Association, Boston, Mass. WILLIAM N. HUBBARD, JR., Hickory Corners, Mich. GLORIA T. JOHNSON, International Union of Electronic, Technical, Salaried, and Machine Workers, AFL-CIO, Washington, D.C. ROBERT E. KRAUT, Bell Communications Research, Inc., Morristown, NJ. SHIRLEY M. MALCOM, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. MICHAEL J. PIORE, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology FREDERICK A. ROESCH, Citicorp, New York TERESA A. SULLIVAN, Population Research Center, University of Texas DONALD J. TREIMAN, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles ROBERT K. YIN, COSMOS Corporation, Washington, D.C. PATRICIA ZAVELLA, Merrill College, University of California, Santa Cruz HEIDI I. HARTMANN, Study Director LUCILE A. DIGIROLAMO, Staff Associate WILLIAM A. VAUGHAN, JR., Staff Assistant · . .
ComrniRee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues ALICE S. ILCHMAN (Chair), President, Sarah Lawrence College CECILIA P. BURCIAGA, Office of the Dean and Vice Provost, Stanford University CYNTHIA FUCHS EPSTEIN, Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Russell Sage Foundation, New York LAWRENCE M. KAHN, Department of Economics and Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Illinois GENE E. KOFKE, Montclair, N.J. ROBERT E. KRAUT, Bell Communications Research, Inc., Morristown, N.J. JEAN BAKER MILLER, Stone Center, Wellesley College ELEANOR 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. SAWMILL, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C. ROBERT M. SOLOW, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology LOUISE A. TILLY, Committee on Historical Studies, Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research DONALD J. TREIMAN, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles IV
Contents CONTENTS, VOLUME II PREFACE . . · · ~ .. V111 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 1. TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AND WOMEN WORKERS IN THE OFFICE.................. Technological Change, 6 Information Technologies, 7 Social Context of Technological Change, 10 Output and Employment: Trends and Interpretations, 13 Women's Employment, 18 Overview, 18 Why Technology May Affect Women Differentially, 19 2. HISTORICAL PATTERNS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE ......................................... The Telephone and Telephone Operators, 25 Workers in Printing and Publishing, 29 The Automated Office and Its Workers, 32 Secretaries, 33 Accountants and Bookkeepers, 38 Insurance Clerks, 40 Bank Tellers, 44 Retail Clerks, 48 Nursing and Nurses, 52 Conclusions, 58 v .. xv 24
Vl 3. EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE: EMPLOYMENT LEVELS AND OCCUPATIONAL SHIFTS ....................................... Problems in Employment Projections, 63 Underlying Factors, 63 Data Problems, 66 The Supply of Women Workers, 68 Labor Force Participation Rates, 68 Projections of Labor Force Participation Rates, 70 Projections of Age-Specific Rates, 72 Other Features of Women's Labor Force Participation, 73 Educational Attainment of the Labor Force, 75 The Potential Effects of Technological Change, 79 The Influence of Labor Supply, 79 The Demand for Workers, 81 Unemployment, 83 Recent Trends in Clerical Employment, 86 Overall Growth, 86 Occupational Shifts Within Clerical Work, 88 Demographic Trends in Clerical Employment, 89 Sources of Change in Clerical Work, 96 Outlook for Clerical Employment, 103 Overall Growth, 103 Occupational Shifts, 111 Job Loss and Displaced Workers, 124 Conclusion, 125 4. EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE: THE QUALITY OF EMPLOYMENT ....... Employment Quality, 127 Defining Employment Quality, 129 Workers' Satisfaction and Attitudes, 131 Job Content: Job Fragmentation and the Deskilling Debate, 136 Working Conditions, 143 Economic Considerations, 148 Conclusion, 150 Implementing Technological Change and Improving Employment Quality, 150 The Role of Managers, 151 The Role of Workers, 157 Conclusion, 165 CONTENTS .. 62 .... 127
CONTENTS 5. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary, 167 Education, Training, and Retraining, 170 Employment Security and Flexibility, 172 Expansion of Women's Job Opportunities, 173 Adaptive Job Transitions, 175 Identification and Dissemination of Good Technological Design and Practice, 177 Worker Participation, 178 Monitoring Health Concerns, 179 Data and Research Needs, 179 Epilogue, 181 REFERENCES BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PANEL MEMBERS AND STAFF ....................................... INDEX . . . · . V11 . 167 ... 183 ... 201 . 207
Contents Volume If: Case Studies and Policy Perspectives I. OVERVIEW Technology, Women, and Work: Policy Perspectives Eli Ginzberg II. CASE STUDIES OF WOMEN WORKERS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY The Technological Transformation of White-Collar Work: A Case Study of the Insurance Industry Barbara Baran "Machines Instead of Clerks": Technology and the Feminization of Bookkeeping Sharon Hartman Strom New Technology and Office Tradition: The Not-So-Changing World of the Secretary Mary C. Murphree Integrated Circuits/Segregated Labor: Women in Three Computer-Related Occupations Myra Strober anal Carolyn Arnold . · ~ v'''
CONTENTS, VOLUME II III. TECHNOLOGY AND TRENDS IN EMPLOYMENT Women's Employment and Technological Change: A Historical Perspective Claudia Goldin Recent Trends in Clerical Employment: The Impact of Technological Change H. Alian Hunt and Timothy L. Hunt Restructuring Work: Temporary, Part-time, and At-Home Employment Eileen Appelbaum IV. POLICY PERSPECTIVES Employer Policies in the Application of Office System Technology to Clerical Work Alan ~ Westin IX New Office and Business Technologies: The Structure of Education and (Re)Training Opportunities Bryna Shore Fraser The New Technology and the New Economy: Some Implications for Equal Employment Opportunity Thierry ]. Noyelle Managing Technological Change: Responses of Government, Employers, and Trade Unions in Western Europe and Canada Felicity Henwood and Sally Wyatt
Preface Striking advances in microelectronic and telecommunications technology have transformed many worlds of work. These changes have revolutionized information storage, processing, and retneval, with immediate and long-range consequences for clericalwork.Since women nearlyl3millionofthem- are the overwhelming majority of clerical workers, they are and will be dispropor- tionately affected by this type of technological change. Jobs may be created or eliminated, but they have also been and will certainly continue to be trans- formed. So far, knowledge about these large processes of change has been scattered and incomplete. There is great need for more systematic evaluation and understanding of this technological change and its specific effects on the conditions of and opportunities for women's employment. In light of this need, the Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues established its Panel on Technology and Women's Employment in March 1984. The tasks of the panel included gathering together what is now known on the subject; identifying areas in which research is most needed and commissioning scholars to undertake research for the committee; preparing this report, which discusses the available research and proposes both research and policy recommendations; and organizing a conference to present the findings and recommendations. The panel's work was supported by the Women's Bu- reau of the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Commission for Employ- ment Policy, the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Depart- ment of Commerce, and the National Research Council Fund. The panel benefited greatly from earlier work of National Research Council committees that have posed and examined questions about women's employ- ment. Women, Work, and Wages: Equal Pay for Jobs of Equal Value (1981), Xl
· ~ X11 PREFACE the report of the Committee on Occupational Classification and Analysis, sur- veyed both earnings differentials between men and women and the relationship of these differentials to occupational segregation, and evaluated the usefulness of job evaluation plans and occupational reclassification as tools to achieve pay equity. The panel's parent body, the Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues, established in 1981, has produced a volume of essays, Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies (1984), and a full report, Women's Work, Men's Work: Sex Segregation on the Job (1986~. This earlier work provides background material on the issues that faced the panel: the rapid introduction of new technologies in clerical work in the last five years and contradictory interpretations about its consequences in the short and longer run. To what extent do current changes differ from earlier ones? Is the new microelectronic and telecommunication technology creating or eliminat- ing jobs? In what ways is it affecting the quality of employment for those whose job organization and content are being transformed? Are there differential ef- fects that depend on the skill, occupation, industry, or demographic character- istics, such as minority status or age of workers? If jobs disappear or change drastically, what kind of support training, retraining, relocation might be needed for displaced workers? What institutional arrangements might be neces- sa~y or desirable for planning and implementing change or devising support programs? The panel's answers to these questions are contained in this volume. Many of the research papers commissioned by the panel are published in Volume Il.: Case Studies and Policy Perspectives. (A list of the contents of Volume II precedes this preface.) On the basis of its examination of available data and research that identifies the recent and possible future effects of technological change on the quantity and quality of women's paid employment opportunities, the panel expects that, over the next 10 years, the sometimes contradictory patterns of the present will continue. The changes both the slowdown of growth in clerical employment and the ongoing shifts in the distribution of clerical jobs merit policy attention because of their magnitude. Under these conditions, some workers are likely to be caught in unforeseen transitions and become unemployed. Minority women, older women, and those with low levels of education or training may find such transitions especially difficult. For new entrants to the labor market it may be hard to find ent~y-level jobs. Changes in job content may cause skill mismatch between available workers and available jobs. We do not expect that the current rate or type of technological change will be so great as to require fundamental alterations in employment policy regarding women. We offer policy recom- mendations directed toward easing what could be difficult transitions for some workers in terms of lost jobs or reductions in employment quality even in the
PREFACE . · ~ X111 best case. The large degree of uncertainty about our central conclusion, how- ever, leads us to propose more far-reaching policies in the event that the future holds a more severe set of changes than we now expect. Recommendations about research and data needs are also offered. In sum, this report reveals the relationships that exist between and among various groups, of which women workers are but one, who share significant interests in solving problems linked to technological change, yet maintain dif- ferences about solutions and the distribution of costs. The panel's recommenda- tions are designed quite explicitly to highlight those relationships and shared interests in order to promote agreement about goals and the means to achieve them. LOUISE A. TILLY, Chair Panel on Technology and Women's Employment
Aclmowledgments A report such as this is a collective product, and it is a pleasure to thank the many people involved in producing it. The Panel on Technology and Women's Employment consists of academic scholars in several relevant disciplines, ex- perts in the design and application of technology, and business and labor lead- ers. Although panel members held differing views and frequently voiced differ- ences of opinion, each one contributed generously to the group endeavor. Drafts of specific parts of the report were prepared by both individuals and working groups, and many individuals prepared memoranda commenting on those early drafts. Panel member Robert Kraut deserves special acknowledg- ment for drafting all of Chapter 4. The process of integrating the materials and sections written by members, consultants, and the study director was truly col- lective. That process was exemplary; I appreciate it deeply and thank all those involved. In carrying out its tasks, the panel commissioned a review of recent research findings, an inventory of data sources, an analysis of trends in clerical employ- ment, and 14 scholarly papers. The panel also held a workshop at which re- searchers presented their findings in areas identified as central to the problem. These materials, as well as the valuable and informed intellectual exchange on fundamental issues between authors and panel members, were significant con- tr~but~ons to our Inquiry. In addition to the panel members and authors of commissioned papers, I would like to express my appreciation to the panel's staff. The study director, Heidi I. Hartmann, took major responsibility for overall rewriting and editing of the varied prose styles and sometimes intellectually untidy contributions of the panel. This she accomplished in addition to coordinating the process, re- xv
XVI ACKNOWLEDGMENTS cruising expert papers, herself serving as an expert, finding data and analyzing them when needed, and administering the ongoing work of the Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. She has been a strong and incomparably valuable resource for the panel; we sincerely thank her for her important contribution to our efforts. We also thank Lucite DiGirolamo, staff associate, for her organizational expertise and unflappable calm. In addition to organizing the panel's meetings, recording minutes, and planning the dissemi- nation conference for our report, she kept track of the numerous source materi- als used in our work. William A. Vaughan, Jr., served as staff assistant during the second year of the project, as did Katherine Autin and Rita Conroy during the first year. They aided our work in innumerable ways, not the least of which was the word processing of our report. Commission staff Diane Goldman, Christine McShane, Beverly Blakey, and Suzanne Donovan also contributed to the report. Micaela di Leonardo, now at Yale University, served as a consultant to the panel early in its work; she contacted many researchers working in the field and solicited their cooperation in our efforts. Jackie George of Wheaton College and Victoria Threllfall of Bennington College served as interns at early and late stages of the project, respectively, and provided research assistance. To all of them we owe our thanks. Several members of the Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social IssuesCynthia Epstein, Lawrence Kahn, and Isabel Sawhill- re- viewed a draft version of this report; we thank them for their prompt and useful response. We also thank Alice S. Ilchman, chair of the committee, for the many ways in which she facilitated the panel's work. Members of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and the monitor appointed by the Report Review Committee of the National Academy of Sciences thoroughly reviewed a draft ofthe report and made several helpful suggestions. In addition, the report was helpfully reviewed by several experts outside the Academy structure: Vary Coates of the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress; Carol Romero, Sara Toye, and Stephen Baldwin of the National Commission for employment Policy; and Allan Hunt and Timothy Hunt of the Upjohn Institute. Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports for the com- mission, contributed substantially to the report's clarity through her insightful editing. David A. Goslin, executive director of the commission, has our appre- ciation for his continued support of the work of the committee and its panels. Several organizations made this report possible through their financial sup- port. We thank both the organizations and their representatives who provided liaison with the panel. At the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, we thank Collis Phillips, Mary Murphree, and Roberta McKay. In addi- tion, we would like to recognize the interest and strong support of the project shown by Lenora Cole-Alexander, former director of the Women's Bureau. Carol Romero and her staff at the National Commission for Employment Policy
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS · ~ XVII provided much helpful information as well as sustained interest. Beverly Milk- man and Richard Walton, at the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, aided us with a grant to allow us to complete the project in a timely matter. Crucial early funding was provided by the National Research Council Fund. LOUISE A. TILLY
Computer Chips and Paper Cllos