Explaining Women's Inroads into Male OccupationsBarbara F. Reskin and Patricia A. Roos
Since 1970, women have made widely publicized gains in several customarily male occupations. Many commentators have understood this apparent integration as an important step to sexual equality in the workplace. Barbara F. Reskin and Patricia A. Roos read a different lesson in the changing gender composition of occupations that were traditionally reserved for men. With persuasive evidence, Job Queues, Gender Queues offers a controversial interpretation of women's dramatic inroads into several male occupations based on case studies of "feminizing" male occupation.
The authors propose and develop a queuing theory of occupations' sex composition. This theory contends that the labor market comprises a "gender queue" with employers preferring male to female workers for most jobs. Workers also rank jobs into a "job queue." As a result, the highest-ranked workers monopolize the most desirable jobs. Reskin and Roos use this queuing perspective to explain why several male occupations opened their doors to women after 1970. The second part of the book provides evidence for this queuing analysis by presenting case studies of the feminization of specific occupations. These include book editor, pharmacist, public relations specialist, bank manager, systems analyst, insurance adjuster, insurance salesperson, real estate salesperson, bartender, baker, and typesetter/compositor.
"Even in the wake of feminism's ebullient 'second wave,' women routinely and almost universally get a raw deal in the labor market, with women of color getting the rawest deal of all. In Job Queues, Gender Queues, Barbara Reskin and Patricia Roos illustrate this with exemplary clarity." Felicia Kombluh, Voice Literary Supplement