Organizational Dynamics and Workplace Gender Desegregation, 1975–2005
At long last, the article by Matt Huffman, me, and Jessica Pearlman is out in the June 2010 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly.
Here is the gist of it:
We examine workplace-level sources of gender inequality to explore the link between organizational change and levels of workplace gender integration over time. To do so, we analyze the gender division of labor and key structural aspects of U.S. private-sector work establishments, using longitudinal data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1975 to 2005. We find that women’s presence in managerial positions is positively related to gender integration, as is both establishment size and growth. Additionally, the results show that trends toward gender integration are due to change within workplaces rather than new, relatively integrated workplaces entering the population over time. Our results also provide compelling evidence that the effect of female managers varies dramatically across organizational contexts, with the strongest desegregating effects in larger and growing establishments. Finally, the effect of women’s access to organizational power structures has sharply diminished over time.
This analysis of worker segregation follows up on an earlier analysis of worker earnings, and one on the trend for women in management — their numbers, earnings and segregation into gendered positions.
The basic relationship – which we subject to all kinds of tests – is seen in this spruced-up version of a figure from the paper. The more women in management (x-axis), the lower the level of segregation in the workplace (y-axis). That is, up until you get to female-dominated management, where you start to see more worker segregation (on the far right side). Overall, segregation of the private sector workforce has declined (z-axis).
We also go into the other things that foster or retard gender desegregation.