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Sex-Based Occupational Segregation in U.S. State Bureaucracies, 1987–97

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Abstract:

Is the extent of sex-based occupational segregation in U.S. state bureaucracies related to agency policy missions? Drawing on arguments by Lowi (1985), we contend that levels of sex-based occupational segregation in state bureaucracies vary depending on whether an agency's policy mission is distributive, regulatory, or redistributive. We employ data on the distribution of administrative and professional employees by sex in several types of state agencies across all 50 states for 1987–97. Our findings indicate high levels of occupational segregation among administrative cadres in agencies with distributive and regulatory policy commitments; however, professional workforces in these agencies have become less gender segregated over time. We find no evidence of occupational segregation among administrative and professional workforces in redistributive agencies. We argue that researchers need to examine the relationship between glass walls and other kinds of sex-based employment impediments, such as glass ceilings.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/0033-3352.00195

Affiliations: 1: University of Arkansas-Fayetteville jbkerr@uark.edu 2: University of Arkansas-Fayetteville wmiller@uark.edu 3: Arkansas-Fayetteville mreid@uark.edu

Publication date: 2002-07-01

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