Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Susan W. Hinze
According to 2006 U.S. Census Bureau figures for full-time, year-round workers, women today earn 770 on the male dollar. A voluminous scholarly literature exists to explain the existence and persistence of the pay gap, but gender and labor scholars agree that a significant portion of the gap is due to occupational sex segregation. Estimates range from 35 percent to 89 percent, with some consensus that approximately two thirds of the pay gap is due to occupational sex segregation. In short, women tend to be employed in female-dominated occupations, like teaching, nursing, and social work, in which wages are lower, and men tend to be employed in male-dominated occupations, like engineering, medicine, and law, in which wages are higher. This entry defines occupational sex segregation, traces trends over time, examines explanations for the existence and persistence of the phenomenon, and presents policies and practices designed to reduce or eliminate occupational Occupational ...