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Ananda Martin-Caughey

Research Findings

How do occupations conceal job variation and gender segregation?

February 3, 2022

Gender segregation – the tendency of men and women to work in different kinds of jobs – is an enduring problem in the United States. Because jobs dominated by women tend to be paid less than those dominated by men, segregation contributes to gender inequality. Despite progress over time, the rate of desegregation has slowed in recent decades, and segregation remains a major contributor to the gender pay gap.

However, gender segregation may be worse than we thought. It turns out that the way we typically measure segregation – using occupations – conceals gender segregation based on job titles. Therefore, we know very little about how men and women might be segregated into different job titles within occupations, especially over time and at the national level.

My recent article in the American Sociological Review shows that occupations hide significant levels of gender segregation and that job title desegregation may be slowing relative to occupational desegregation.

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