Volume 38 - Article 5 | Pages 127–154

Integrating occupations: Changing occupational sex segregation in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014

By Patricia Roos, Lindsay Stevens

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Date received:29 Sep 2017
Date published:10 Jan 2018
Word count:5905
Keywords:occupational feminization, occupational integration, occupational masculinization, occupational sex segregation, United States
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2018.38.5
 

Abstract

Background: Declining occupational sex segregation in the late 20th century helped to usher in unprecedented occupational and economic advancement for women. As the 21st century dawned, that advancement stalled.

Objective: We examine how occupational integration occurred in the early decades of the 21st century by focusing on (1) the extent of occupational feminization and masculinization and (2) occupational succession. More broadly we examine how the representation of women in detailed occupational categories changed between 2000 and 2014, regardless of whether they were historically ‘male’ or ‘female,’ and how sociodemographic characteristics contributed to uneven shifts in occupational integration.

Methods: We use Integrated Public Use Microdata Series data to estimate the percentage point female at the detailed occupation level, specifically the 5% census microdata sample for 2000, and two 1% American Community Survey (ACS) samples for 2013 and 2014.

Results: Despite a stall in overall integration, there was much fluctuation within detailed occupations. Moreover, occupational inroads have been uneven in the post-2000 period. Women gained entry into the same types of professional and managerial occupations they entered between 1970 and 2000, especially in the health professions. Men increased their representation in lower-level, nonprofessional occupations.

Contribution: Rather than focus solely on predominantly male or female occupations, we focus more broadly on how occupations feminize and masculinize. More occupations masculinized than previously. Moreover, those in feminizing occupations are more likely to be advantaged (e.g., white, citizens, and educated), while those in masculinizing occupations are more likely to be disadvantaged (e.g., black, Hispanic, and poor English speakers).

Author's Affiliation

Patricia Roos - Rutgers University, United States of America [Email]
Lindsay Stevens - Rutgers University, United States of America [Email]

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