The fundamental reason for women’s disproportionate entry into the occupations we studied was a shortage of male workers (Kindle Locations 4144-4145).
Women receive better career opportunities when men are no longer available or simply do not want particular jobs. Only when employers are desperate for employees do they seem to realize that women can do jobs just as well as men. Occupations that do begin welcoming women at a greater rate generate a demand for women workers.
Fostering desegregation in a few of our occupations was the emergence of a sex-specific demand for women. Four phenomena produced such a demand: antidiscrimination regulations and litigation that raised the potential cost of giving men preference; the growth within an occupation of tasks already labeled as women’s work; the growth of a female clientele; and economic exigencies that spurred employers to take advantage of women’s lower labor price (Kindle Locations 4156-4158).
So employees begin to hire women when hiring men puts them at risk of violating laws and/or being sure. Women are hired at greater rates when there is a greater demand to complete tasks that are typically performed by women. Higher rates occur when there is an increase in female clients. This means that all women can impact hiring practices indirectly through concerted consumption. Lastly, women are hired more often when employers need to cut costs.
Despite the prevailing wisdom that liberalized attitudes have opened male jobs to women, we could document an effect only in bartending, where women’s exclusion had been reinforced by public fears that tending bar would corrupt them. In the other feminizing occupations we studied, changing attitudes tudes were unimportant compared with labor shortages or economic pressures (Kindle Locations 4174-4176).
I imagine today a lot of people would say they have no problem with a woman doing any particular job. Saying that and women actually getting the chance to the jobs are two different things. Generally, our attitudes regarding the employment of women have little weight on employer decisions. However, instead of attempting to influence employers, the focus should be on legislatures to whom employers must listen .
But men failed to resist women’s entry into many feminizing occupations because the latter were no longer worth preserving as male territory. Here, as elsewhere (Hartmann et al., 1986:60), most of women’s increased numbers in feminizing occupations did not result from their taking jobs away from men (Kindle Locations 4178-4180).
Rarely are women hired in place of men. More often, women fill jobs that have abandoned by men who have sought more benefits, higher wages, and more autonomy.
Women’s increasing share of the labor force and the pools from which employers recruit workers (such as M.B.A.’s) contributed to their movement into some male occupations, but unless circumstances impelled employers to hire women, the increased supply of women would not have been sufficient to feminize these male occupations (Kindle Locations 4180-4182).
More women entering the pools making up potential employees certainly has helped women in some occupations. They are still ignored a lot of times by employers, and their numbers have never threatened to feminize occupations where men make up the majority by a large percentage.
Within desegregating occupations female and male workers were concentrated in different jobs (Kindle Location 4194).
These nominally desegregating occupations remained internally segregated gated for the same reasons that the labor force as a whole has done so: white men’s favored position ensures them the most desirable and most highly rewarded warded jobs and allows most of them to dodge less attractive jobs for which women must settle. This pattern occurs within as well as across occupations (Kindle Locations 4201-4203).
Even when occupations appear to be moving towards gender balance, men and women are still not working the same jobs.