The changing role of women in the workforce

Material Information

The changing role of women in the workforce
Lemmer, Robbin
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
viii, 67 leaves : ; 29 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Social Science)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Social sciences


Subjects / Keywords:
Women -- Employment -- United States ( lcsh )
Sex discrimination in employment -- United States ( lcsh )
Wages -- Women -- United States ( lcsh )
Sex role in the work environment -- United States ( lcsh )
Sex discrimination in employment ( fast )
Sex role in the work environment ( fast )
Wages -- Women ( fast )
Women -- Employment ( fast )
United States ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 65-67).
General Note:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Statement of Responsibility:
by Robbin Lemmer.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
40274685 ( OCLC )
LD1190.L65 1998m .L46 ( lcc )

Full Text
Robbin Lemmer
B. A., Metropolitan State College, 1992
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for degree of
Masters of Social Science

This thesis for the Master of Social Science
degree by
Robbin Lemmer
has been approved
Myra Bookman

Lemmer, Robbin (M.A., Social Science)
The Changing Roles of Women in the Workforce
Thesis directed by Professor Jana Everett
This study utilizes a historical comparative method that examines recent
events. The goal is to explain the phenomenon of gender inequality in the
workplace. This study examines potential solutions to this issue by
discussing the historical basis of wage inequality, the changing economic
role of women, recommendations from the Presidents Commission on the
Status of Women, and how recent authors have explored external and
internal barriers facing women. Womens participation has steadily grown,
but barriers continue to exist which prevent women from advancing in the
workplace. Most women are tracked into the a small groups of feminized
occupational groups that pay lower than most male dominated occupational

The major road blocks facing women are the glass ceiling, feminization
of occupational groups, and the wage gap in earnings. Some of the micro-
level internal barriers can be eliminated if women are educated and
understand that equal work deserves equal pay. The macro-level external
barriers are resistant to change even with government intervention. Progress
is being made but it continues to be slow with the persistence of stereotypes
and out-dated cultural norms.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis.
recommend its publication.
Jana Everett

Since may experience comes from being a working class woman, the
purpose of this study is to give me the tools to properly advise my children as
to what path in life will yield the most financial security. From a theoretical
perspective, I understand the feminist critic of the traditional system but do
not discuss how their influence has impacted working conditions.
The real issue is that little progress has been made for the millions of
women below the poverty level who struggle to feed their children. Social
programs offer very little real help in the world. As new generations are
instructed in diversity and sexual equality and socialized to be gender
neutral, the long withstanding cycle of patriarchy will loss it validity.
Hopefully, my grandchildren will experience equal opportunity to select the
vocation without the strong peer pressure and stereotypes of the cultural
norms to conform to the patriarchal model of women as second classthe
possession the husband and father model. This study is dedicated to those
women who struggle to understand why.
My thanks to the staff of the Graduate Program for their support and
understanding to my advisor for her patience with me during these past
years. And, to my dedicated reader and friend, Connie Trevi--thank you.

1. Womens Changing Role in the Workplace.......................1
1.1 Introduction............................................1
1.2 Problem Statement.......................................3
1.3 Theory................................................. 4
1.4 Methods.................................................5
1.5 Thesis Outline........................................ 7
2. Economic Issues Leading Women to Work........................8
2.1 Historical Background.................................. 8
2.2 Findings of the President's Commission on the Status of
the Women Report.......................................10
2.3 Description of Women in the 1960s Labor Force..........12
2.4 Description of Women in the 1990s Labor Force.........13
2.5 Conclusion: Assessing Similarities and Differences.....15
3. Recommendations for the Eliminating Barriers..................17
3.1 Presidents Commission Macro-Level

3.2 Research Studies Explaining the Micro-Level Internal
3.2.1 Harragans: Games Your Mother
Never Taught You..........................................26
3.2.2 Moores: Not As Far As You Think..........................28
3.2.3 Badad, Birnbaum, & Bennes: The Social Self...............31
3.3 External Barriers in the Workplace from the Leadership
3.3.1 Hills: Becoming a Manager................................34
3.3.2 Roseners: Reach for the Tod..............................36
3.3.3 Roseners: Americas Competitive Secret...................38
3.3.4 Kanters: The Change Masters..............................39
3.3.5 Ouchis: Theory Z: How American Business
Can Meet the Japanese Challenge...........................41
3.4 Summary of Macro- and Micro-Levels........................43
4. Three Barriers to Equality..........................................46
4.1.1 Gender Segregated Occupational Groups.....................46
4.1.2 Inequality in Wages: The Gender Gap.......................50

4.1.3 Glass Ceiling...........................................53
4.2 Methods to Eliminate the Barriers.......................55
4.3 Curriculum Designed to Help Women Understand
the Issues.............................................57
4.4 Conclusion: Public Policy Against Poverty...............58
A. Table 4.1.....................................................61
B. Table 4.2.....................................................63
C. Table 4.3.....................................................64

Womens Changing Role in the Workplace
All women must be aware that in the 1990s, barriers exist that prevent
them from advancing in the workplace. Some change has occurred that
should have eliminated these barriers, but they persist. Women are still
tracked into a small group of occupations that pay less than mens
occupations. Many of these barriers can be eliminated by redesigning the
traditional roles of females and by taking advance of educational resources.
1.1 Introduction
In 1979, William Gorham, President of the Urban Institute said: "We
are undergoing a revolutionat times obvious, at time only dimly
perceivedin the traditional relationship of women to work, money, marriage,
and family(Smith, 1979, p. ix). The indicator of this revolutionary change is
the size of the female labor force. The traditional family of past generations
with a husband and a stay-at-home wife and mother has undergone many
changes. Families are much smaller now than in the past, more families are
headed by single females, and most women with newborns are back at work
within one year.

Womens rate of participation in the paid labor force has steadily
grown. From 37% in 1960 to 60% in the late 1980s, it is predicted to rise
50% by the year 2000(Lott: 1994, p. 238). The share of women doctors,
lawyers, and other professionals is at an all-time high, but most women are
employed in only a few occupations that pay less than the traditional male
occupations. More women than ever are employed, yet they still are paid
less than most men are paid who perform the same tasks. This has a
powerful impact on families where the womans income is an important
source of stability.
The impact of this on single female-headed household is devastating
to their children. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (1993b, p.1), 12
million families were maintained by women in 1992: This rise reflects the
increasing incidence of divorces, heightened marital separations, and the
increasing number of women establishing families without marrying. The
average income level for this type of family in 1991 was $16,692, in contrast
to families headed by men earned on average income, $28,351 (p.2).
These women have serious socioeconomic problems when compared
to other women in the population. They have a higher incidence of poverty
and are located below the poverty level in U.S. Census Bureau reports. The
number of female-headed households below the poverty level is 10 times

higher than those maintained by men"(U.S. Department of Labor, 1993b, p.
Government policies and legislation have attempted to correct the
problem, but much still needs to accomplished before most barriers can be
totally eliminated from the workplaces and women receive equal pay for
equal work.
1.2 Problem Statement
The purpose of this study is to better understand why the traditional
view of the womens role has proven to be unrealistic in our new
technologically advanced society. This comparative analytic study will
examine the similarities and differences in womens roles in the paid
workforce between the 1960s and the early 1990s. I will inform the reader
about recent events in public policy, trends of participation by women in the
workforce and technological innovations. Topics for discussion are other
authors contributions and the 1965 Report from the Presidents Commission
on the Status of Women. I will address the following questions:
(1) What have been the major elements of change and continuity in
womens roles in the paid labor force from the 1960s to the 1990s?

(2) What have been some of the recommendations, at the macro-level
and the micro-levelto facilitate womens success in the paid labor
(3) From the vantage point of the 1990s which recommendations
seem more and less useful in contributing toward gender equality in
the paid labor force?
1.3 Theory
Qualitative research employs a number of types of theories. This
historical comparative study utilizes grounded theory which relates abstract
concepts to propose a theory as an explanation of the phenomena(McMillan,
1993, p. 509). The relationship between the concepts generates the theory.
The data describes each concept and the relationship with other concepts.
Neuman says the theory develops during the data collection
process(Neuman, 1994. p. 322). The theory is built by making the
comparisons. As the data and the theory interact, the theory builds and

1.4 Methods
The historical comparative method is qualitative in that it examines
people, words, and experiences rather than reducing the information to
numbers and statistics, l am looking for patterns in the historical data which
will help me to make recommendations for solutions to the problem of gender
inequality in the workplace. This is an explanatory study as defined by
Marshall and Rossman: to explain the forces causing the phenomenon in
question, to identify plausible causal networks shaping the
phenomenon(Marshall and Rossman, 1989, p. 41).
My goal is to explain the forces causing the phenomenon of gender
inequality in the workplace and to make recommendations for change. One
area of political significance in this research is the implication for changing
the wage structure of female heads of household, enabling them to survive
without government assistance, and to remain above the poverty level. This
research question has evolved from real life dilemmas and the concerns that
have emerged from direct experience and a growing interest in helping other
women to survive without assistance. I rely on the advice of several authors
to assist with design and method issues. Catherine Marshall and Gretchen
Rossman influenced in the design of the study. Erlandson, Harris, Kipper,
and Allen provided a critique of positivist research, and Neuman provided a

basis understanding the conflicting issues and data collection techniques in
the research process.
I will tell a story to the reader rather than use numbers.
Quantitative research does force a single precise definition that will
emasculate the meaning(Erlandson, 1993, p. 15). Of course, there is
danger of bias in qualitative studies, but the danger of being insulated from
the relevant data is greater. Quantitative positivist research reduces the
reality of the situation to a single precise definition that provides a neat
sterile picture of congruent and statistical figures, but reduces the
understanding of changing human nature. A well-done qualitative naturalistic
research study can come closer to explaining the phenomena in question
and the multiple realities involved in the issue.
The data analysis will utilize the process of successive
approximations^. 412) to search for recurrent behaviors, objects, or a body
of knowledge to describe the patterns. The data will be organized into
significant aspects that can be compared to each other and result in
exposing the deeper structures and forces that may lie unseen beneath the
surface(Neuman, 1994, p. 424).

1.5 Thesis Outline
Chapter two will provide the historical background for wage
inequalities and a comparison of American womens economic roles in the
early 1960s and the 1990s. A description of the Presidents Commission on
the Status of Women Report will summarize the conditions existing the in the
workplace during the 1950s and early 1960s. Recent statistics and
narrative information from the U. S. Department of Labor and the Womens
Bureau will be summarized to provide a picture of the current economic roles
of American women.
Chapter three will discuss the recommendations from the Presidents
Commission, examine internal barriers resulting from gender roles and sex
role stereotypes, and describe the changing nature of the economy due to
globalization. Experts from management call for change in management
style, make the suggestion for incorporating participatory management into
business, and look at the Theory Y Type Corporation.
Chapter four will conclude with recommendations to improve
conditions for working women. The three major roadblocks: the glass
ceiling, feminization of occupations, and wage inequality will be discussed.
Some solutions are discussed including how the Women's Bureau can assist

Economic Issues Leading Women To Work
As the breadwinner/homemaker model becomes uncommon, inflation
soars, and more women become unmarried heads-of-household, the wage
gap persists in many occupational groups. Men tend to hold the good jobs
with power, prestige, and stability. Policy is in place to correct this issue, but
stereotypes continue to place women in lower paying occupations. As stated
by the Report, American Women. Even in states that have equal-pay laws,
not all women workers are guaranteed equal wages(Kaplan, 1965, p. 131).
2.1 Historical Background
Women made up about 20% (Kessler-Harris, 1990, p.24) of the
workforce before 1900, their wages became property of the husband if they
were married. Most skilled women rarely earned as much as two-thirds of the
average paid to unskilled men. If a single or a widowed woman lived
independently, her wage was normally not sufficient to support her.
Justification for wage inequities between men and women was rooted in the
cultural norms of the agricultural era. The intent was to keep women under
the control of their husbands or families.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution women were not permanent workers
except in rare situations. Only single, widowed or extremely poor women
worked for pay to feed and shelter themselves. Their wages were set, in
large measure, on the basis of what the employer thought women needed,
but they were never paid equally with males or adequately to support
themselves. The common belief was that wives who worked outside of the
home needed only pin money in order to indulge themselves with luxury
The social critics call for protective legislation to correct deplorable
working conditions, starvation wages, and long working hours began in 1830,
but nothing happened until the turn of the century. This wage inequality still
persists today in some occupations where public policy and legislation have
not impacted the wage structure. Federal and state laws were needed to
protect women and children, create a minimum wage standard, permit
collective bargaining on the behalf of workers, and establish a means for
procuring compliance with various laws.
For all of the elaborate theory justifying low wages, the bottom line
turned out almost always to be the employers sense of what they believed to
be acceptable. The womans duty was to be the builder of the home and
family by investing her efforts in the building of the childrens character and

abilities. Women were to follow the natural order and stay at home. To
enforce this compliance, womens wages were kept lower than mens. No
consideration was given to widows, single women, independent women who
transcended the traditional role, the very poor, immigrants, and women of
color all of whom continued to exist in poverty conditions
In 1920 the government responded by creating the Womens Bureau
of the Department of Labor to represent the needs of women workers.
Having a commitment to a needs-based wage for women, proponents of
individualism and the Womens Bureau fought a losing battle for equalization
of wages between men and women. The new age of consumerism required a
minimum wage and other legislation to ensure a high standard of living for
all. The next significant government public policy change did not come until
the establishment of the Commission on the Status of Women by President
John F. Kennedy in 1961.
2.2 Findings of the Presidents Commission
on the Status of Women Report
The Report of the Commission states that American women work for
several reasonsto earn money or for self-fulfillment. The 1960 census
reported 431 women geologist and geophysicists, 18,632 bus drivers, both

fields dominated by men, and 7 million women in the clerical fieldone of the
feminized occupational groups(Kaplan, 1965, p. 45). Three main groups of
service workers-waitresses, beauticians, hospital attendants, plus factory
operatives and professional and technical employees, (i.e., teachers, nurses,
accountants, librarians) numbered between 3 and 3.75 million female
workers. Wage discrimination between men and women was pointed out:
The earnings of women working full time in 1960 only averaged 60
percent of men working full time. The existence of differential in pay
between men and women for the same kind of work has been
substantiated by studies from numerous sources: an analysis of 1,900
companies, for example, showed that 1 out of 3 had dual pay scales in
effect for similar office jobs(Kaplan, 1965, p. 46).
The Commission discovered that employers preferred male employees
because female turnover was higher due to sickness, absenteeism, and men
objected to working under women supervisors. The reasoning was that
many personnel officers believe that women are less likely than men to want
to make a career in industryll 965, p. 47). As a result women who were
equally well-prepared were passed over in favor of men for posts that lead
into management training programs and subsequent exercise of major
executive responsibility(1965, p. 47).

Evidence was found that discrimination in pay scales, as well as in
hiring and training existed in private industry. The first equal pay laws were
enacted in 1919, but lower pay rates for women doing comparable work to
men in the same establishment were still common. In 1960, 24 states
required equal pay for men and women doing the same tasks. Studies
conducted exposed common practices of dual pay scales, for example
women bank note-tellers with less than five years of experience were paid $5
to $15 less per week when compared to males with the same experience.
2.3 Description of Women in the 1960s Labor Force
The American Women reported that the economic condition of families
and women had changed dramatically since the postwar years. As the total
workforce grew, so did the rate of married women who work. The number of
women workers increased by 7.6 million females between 1947 and
1962(Kaplan, 1965, p. 88). According to the report the rise in the female
labor force could be attributed to the creation of modern appliances. An
employed woman spent less energy and time on household chores, meal-
planning and preparation, and child rearing. She could obtain a greater
market value for her time.

Prior to the increase in womens participation in the workforce, it was
assumed that before- and after-school and programs were not needed,
families were stable, and divorce was uncommon. The fathers income was
believed adequate to support the family supporting the existence of the
patriarchal model with the male as the breadwinner. The wife and mother
could remain at home in middle or upper class. The average median income
for a family in 1965 was just $5,737, up from $3,319 in 1950(1965, p. 88).
2.4 Description of Women in the 1990s Labor Force
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Employment
Characteristics of Families, states that in 1996, 63.9% of married couples
both adults were employed(1997, p. 1). Families are smaller now than in the
past, but it takes more money to feed, house, and clothe them than in the
past due to rising inflation. In 1996 the median income was $35,492(1).S.
Department of the Census, 1997, p. 1). This is about $30,000 more than in
Change does not take place in isolation. The economy, rigid social
norms, and sexual stereotyping in society and in the labor market have
changed in relation to womens participation in the workplace. As a result,

women have become different from the stereotypical female of the past.
They must depend on and employ others outside of the traditional family to
assist in the caretaking responsibility if they have children. With the increase
in community resources called for during the 1960sincreased daycare
facilities, before- and after-school programs, and all day preschool, it is now
possible to rely on others to assist with childcare responsibility during the
working hours. This is quite different from the workers of the postwar era
who relied on family members to assist with daycare in most cases.
A very different female stereotype is emerging in the 1990s. The
divorce rate is higher than ever before; more fathers default on child support;
more women are heads-of-household without government assistance. Since
womens earnings are lower than mens, many womens earnings are at or
below the poverty level. The government publication, Facts on Working
Women: Women Who Maintain Families says that families with only one
parent residing in the household are continuing to become a larger segment
of all families: This is especially true of those families maintained by
women. They accounted for 14.8 percent of all families in 1980 and 17.6
percent in 1992(U. S. Department of Labor, 1993b, p. 1).
The earning gap between men and women is a significant factor of
inequality. The 1993 Report, Earning Differences Between Women and

Men, published on the U.S. Department of Labors Homepage, states that in
1992, for those receiving hourly rates, womens hourly earning were 79.4% of
mens hourly earnings. This represents a gradual closing of the earnings gap
since 1973(1993a. p. 2). When the 41-year period is examined, womens
earnings have increased by 1.3 percent each year while mens earnings have
grown only 1.1 percent(1993a, p. 2). The report concludes that womens
earnings are slowly climbing when compared to mens and predicts that the
earnings gap should continue to narrow as women work more, spend more
years at paid work and continue to increase their educational
investment^.S. Department of Labor, 1993a, p. 8).
2.5 Conclusion: Assessing Similarities and Differences
One significant factor impacting womens inequality is the tenacity of
gender differences in the workplace. The gender inequalities that constitute
external barriers are a product of the patriarchal foundation of our country.
This foundation assumes that women are part of the nuclear family structure
and should be legally tied to male protectorseither the father or husband.
Until the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and the feminist movement in

the 1970s, little was done to change this patriarchal foundation or the
external barriers.
These differences perpetuate external barriers like the glass ceiling,
wage gaps, and sex segregated occupations. The old stereotypes are being
jarred but some remain. Economic conditions require women to work in most
cases. Due to inflation, more money is required to meet the basic needs of
food, housing, and clothing which makes the reality of staying alive harder for
the female head-of-household.

Recommendations for the Eliminating Barriers
This chapter looks at the macro-level recommendations from the
Presidents Commission. The micro-level internal barriers such as
socialization from home, institutions, and cultural norms are examined from
the vantage point of authors from interdisciplinary sources of academia.
Macro-level appraisals of how business is conducted must change and how
this will impact women is presented. Much of the information comes from
research studies conducted after the publication of the Presidents
Commission Report in 1965.
3.1 The Presidents Commission Macro-Level
The Presidents Commission on the Status of Women was the first
major public policy analysis that attempted to correct old problems of
prejudice and discrimination. Margaret Mead pointed out, in the introduction,
that in 1920, there were 8.25 million working women(Kaplan, 1965, p. 3). By
1960, their numbers in the labor force had almost tripled, and yet no definite
federal action on their behalf had been taken to improve conditions for
working women. Regulation of the inadequate wage structure could have

combated the growing poverty. The following quote illustrates the stance of
the Commission:
Greater freedom for women today has rightly been linked in the
Commissions Report with conscious recognition of the American
women who are caught in the grip of poverty, racial discrimination, and
cultural deprivation, the women who are members of minority groups,
and the more than 4.5 million women who are the heads of
households(Kaplan, 1965, p. 6).
The Commission argued that greater development of womens
potential and fuller use of their present abilities can enhance the quality of
American life(p. 16). The aim of the Commission was to correct the
problems by urging changes, many of them long overdue, in the conditions
of womens opportunity in the United States. Reaffirming the individual
rights of the citizen, the Commission called for the freedom to choose among
different life patterns(p. 17) be extended to everyone including women and
the poor.
The report acknowledges that discrimination is written into statutes
and upheld by court decisions. Other forms of discriminatory practices are
present in industry, governmental organizations, and training programs,
hiring, wage structure and in promotional opportunity. The Commission

identified a number of outmoded and prejudicial attitudes and practices^.
20). The members of the Commission pointed out that one out of ten heads
of household in the early 60s were women, and at least half of them were
carrying responsibility for both earning the familys living and making the
home comfortable. The Commission outlined six areas for constructive
1. Employment policies and practices, including those on wages,
under federal contracts.
2. Federal social-insurance and tax laws as they affect the net
earnings and other income of women.
3. Federal and state labor laws dealing with such matters as hours,
night work, and wages, to determine whether they are accomplishing
the purposes for which they were established and whether they should
be adapted to changing technological, economic, and social
4. Differences in legal treatment of men and women in regard to
political and civil rights, property rights, and family relations.
5. New and expanded services that may be required for women as
wives, mothers, and workers, including education, counseling, training,

home services, and arrangements for care of children during the
working day.
6. The employment policies and practices of the Government of the
United States with reference to additional affirmative steps which
should be taken through legislation, executive, or administrative action
to assure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex and to enhance
constructive employment opportunities for women(p. 23).
As the Commissions work progressed, they became convinced that
greater public understanding of the value of continuing education for all
mature Americans was perhaps the highest priority item on the agenda,
particularly for women. Abilities needed to be constantly sharpened and
knowledge and skills kept up to date. Continued opportunity to accomplish
these goals needed to be widely available and broad enough to include
The recommendations dealing with education and counseling were to
help women get into colleges. Women were a minority in higher education at
that time. Women earned only one out of three B.A.s and only one out of ten
Ph.Ds(p. 27). They recommended that schools at all levels should receive
financial support to provide improvement in both teachers salaries and

quality of teachers education and research aimed at curricula and teaching
methods. Financial aid and scholarship programs should be expanded.
Technical training was to be made available for retraining or
upgrading skills. Community Colleges were funded, National Education
Television network was carrying college credit by 1971, and vocational
training gained a new importanceparalleling academic courses(Kaplan,
1965, p. 28).
The Commission formally recommended making continuing education
available to everyone, arguing that it provide practicable and accessible
opportunities with regard to the needs of women. Vocational training was
adapted to the need for skilled and highly educated manpower. Financial
support was to be provided by local, state and federal governments as well
as private groups and foundations. The following additional
recommendations were made:
Research agencies should be encouraged to analyze more data by
sex. Too little is known about factors affecting motivation in girls,
about the effects of economic, ethnic, religious, and regional
backgrounds on their aspirations and their learning processes(Kaplan,
1965, p. 29).

Since females were conditioned to be housewives and mothers, the
Commission recognized the need to reeducate women to have other goals
and aspirations. They recommended that counselors follow a different plan
when advising women:
Among women of all levels of skills there is need for encouragement to
develop broader ranges of aptitudes and carry them into higher
education. Imaginative counseling can lift aspirations beyond
stubbornly persistent assumptions about womens roles and womens
interests and result in choices that have inner authenticity for their
makers. Individuals should be helped to find out what alternatives
exist, aided to reach judgments about them, and encouraged to make
plans to take appropriate steps to execute them(Kaplan, 1965. p. 31).
In regard to childcare, the Commission recommended that childcare
centers be made available for families at all economic levels and that proper
standards for childcare be maintained: Costs should be met by fees scaled
to parents ability to pay, contributions from voluntary agencies, and public
appropriations(Kaplan, 1965, p. 38).
The members of the Commission searched their consciences to
determine how much pressure should be exerted. They recommended a
moderate position be taken. As a result, Congress enacted the Equal Pay

Act in 1963. The law passed was an amendment to the Wages and Hours
Act prohibiting discrimination based on sex that results in unequal pay for
equal work. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was amended in 1963 to
stop dual pay scales.
The Commission urged private employers of all kinds to examine
individual qualifications rather than accepting general attitudes when hiring
women and recommended an Executive Order to this effect: Equal
opportunity for women in hiring, training, and promotion should be the
governing principle in private employment. An Executive Order should state
this principle and advance its application to work done under federal
contracts(p. 48). The outcome was Executive Order 10925 that forbids
discrimination based on sex, race, creed, color, or national origin in
employment under federal contracts. The Equal Employment Opportunities
Commission was charged with the surveillance of this program.
As a result, the federal government as an employer was designated to
become a showcase for equal employment opportunity without discrimination
of any kind. However, only 2% of higher lever positions in the Federal
Government were filled with women, (p. 50) and most women were in the
lower grades, with the distribution very similar to the private sector.

Professional, middle and upper administrative and managerial positions were
held almost exclusively by men.
The Commission made other recommendations: to increase Social
Security benefits for the elderly, and widows with dependent children; to
extend unemployment insurance; and to provide maternity benefits to all
women. They considered various methods for achieving greater recognition
for womens rights, arguing that increased political participation, state
legislative action to eliminate discriminatory state laws, and court cases
involving laws and practices which discriminated against women, should be
the highest priorities for review.
Other activities included asserting the leadership role in the United
Nations in securing humane treatment for all women, establishing various
other state committees and task forces to examine womens status problems,
recommending the designation of a Cabinet Office to make reports to the
President and establishing interdepartmental committees with citizen
advisors as members. Mass media professionals were encouraged to
participate by changing the female image in presentations designed for mass
Many studies were conducted to advise the Commission on howto
further benefit womens rights and changing attitudes by empowering women

to be self-reliant. The Commission concluded that there was a new
responsibility for American culture in bringing women to maturity with a
special measure of opportunity that had not been experienced beforeto
live in a period when American abundance is coupled with a quest for quality,
to show forth excellence in her life as an individual, to transmit a desire for it
to her children, and to help make it evident in her community(Kaplan, 1965,
P- 95).
3.2 Research Studies Explaining the Micro-Level
Internal Barriers
The following discussion is based on research conducted following the
Report of the Presidents Commission on the Status of Women. These
authors are concerned with discovering and describing why problems occur
and how to cope with the dual problem of parental socialization and the
cultural norms represented by major institutions. Their goal is to educate
women about the internal barriers. Most women cope with self-blame, lack of
confidence, self-doubt, feelings of inhibition; most women have difficulty
taking pride in their accomplishments. This places the blame on the victim
the woman who struggles with dual roles as the primary care giver and the

3.2.1 Harragans: Games Your Mother Never
Taught You
Betty Harragans (1977) book, Games Your Mother Never Taught You,
is called a classic with other authors following her lead. Harragan
understood in the 1970s that: Men, too, suffer disappointments during a
long business career, but their reactions are qualitatively different. As a rule,
they are not dumbfounded by the experience(Harragan, 1977, p.41).
Women tend to blame themselves instead of the other person as men do.
Men generally accept the consequences and are not crushingly surprised by
the event. Most female workers in the 70s were labeled by Harragan as
striving women who are naturally inclined to be independent, rebellious, and
assertive. She described women of the 70s as different from the women at
the turn of the century because they had already thrown over the pervasive
cultural conditioning which pressures women into submissive, secondary
roles, so the well-know, army requirements of mindless obedience, mass
living, and incessant order-taking are repellent to their psyches(Harragan,
1977, p. 41).
The military influence on business is remarkable as it contributes to
traditional form and structure. According to Harragan (1977) the combination

of military structure with team sport operations is a natural one from
managements viewpoint(p. 76). The goal of business is to win the war or
make the profit. Males are socialized, conditioned, and trained to become
men in the major leaguesthe wage-earners. Men understand and
appreciate the intricacies of the competitive atmosphere surrounding
organized games, in contrast to women who are trained, conditioned and
socialized to be dependent on the male wage-earner.
Females are diverted to less strenuous, restricted pursuits, and are
rewarded for sustained quietude and meek subservience. Those who were
not daunted acquired the reputation of tomboy. Mothers add to the
socialization process by dressing girls in clothes inappropriate for rough-and-
tumble play, and they are discouraged from playing with the rowdy kids
because they can get hurt. Harragan (1977) concluded that with such
seemingly innocuous sentences such as go to your room and play with your
dolls, or nobody will hit you in the safety of your room, "girls are prevented
from growing up and understanding the business world(p. 70).

3.2.2 Moores: Not As Far As You Think
This book deals with the reality of what women experience in the
workplace. Lynda L. Moore (1986) is the editor of a collections of essays,
Not As Far As You Think: The Realities of Working Women. The collection
is the result of a national conference at Simmons College, in 1984, on women
and organizations. At the time of writing, the editor was the Executive
Director of the Institute for Woman and Institutions. Her purpose was to
explore the popular image of working women, their personal experiences,
and the barriers they encounter. The psychological impact of the presence
of women the work force is discussed by all of the authors as well as by
Lynda Moore.
Lack of self-confidence can be the major factor or internal barrier for
some women to overcome, but the issue is more complex than just the factor
of self-concept. The problems women face vary according to their age,
career stage, organization, and their industry. Each requires a different
solution. The author points out that there are some issues that are shared
collectively and should concern all women:
Some believe that the problems women face are in fact created by the
women themselves, not by men or their organizations. Womens
psychological or internal barriers have received a lot of attentionlack

of assertiveness, the so-called Cinderella complex, the superwoman
syndrome, to name a few. In addition, some say the lack of
appropriate training and experience is the reason women have not
moved up. The real problems, this argument goes, are all the result of
women not doing the right things to make themselves succeed(Moore,
1986, p. 3).
Moore credits Carol Gilligans research for revealing how women
perceive relationships as more important than winning at any cost. She
states that handling conflict and competition for women is a learned behavior
shaped by parental expectations and which is socio-culturally defined. Our
culturally acceptable notions of conflict and competition are deeply rooted in
our values and belief system based on gender differentiation and traditional
sex-role behavior.
The impostor syndrome or feeling of self-doubt is discussed in the
third chapter, "Imposters, Fake, and Frauds, by Lee Bell and Valerie Young
(1986). The study reveals, via personal interviews of university professors,
administrators, training consultants, management development specialists,
and career counselors, womens feelings about themselves that are self-
inhibiting and how sociocultural expectations impact their ability to succeed.

Some males also share this imposter syndrome, but other facts
compound the imposter problem in women. The sex-role expectations of our
culture are not a problem for men who have dominated the workforce for at
least a century. Women are unable to take pride in their own
accomplishments. Some women actually feel like they are not valuable,
permanent member of the workforce. The co-authors work focuses on
womens internal psychological barriers by examining the ways in which
women dismiss proof of their abilities and the sources of the fraudulent
From the same edited book, Jacqueline Landau and Lisa Amos (1986)
discuss why women with MBAs are not promoted as rapidly as their male
counterparts in "Myths, Dreams, and Disappointments: Preparing for Women
for the Future. They surveyed 1200 alumni of a medium-sized business
school, most them between the ages of 21 and 35, and who have
experienced problems with their careers. In reporting the significant findings,
the co-authors point to commitment as one factor preventing success. Males
tend to be committed to their employment only and women tend to be
committed to both employment and the personal lives including home and

In the tenth chapter of the book, Nicholas Beutell and Jeffrey
Greenhaus (1986) discuss the same issues in Balancing Acts: Work-Family
conflict and the Dual-Career Couple. The co-authors suggest some
strategies to resolve the work-family conflict that will create more satisfied,
productive people: One important by-product of the changing American
workplace is an increasing awareness that employees work and family lives
are interdependent(Beutell and Greenhaus, 1986, p. 149). Dual-career
lifestyles have become an economic necessity.
The co-authors are quick to point out that men and women both
experience stress:
One way to view your work and family lives is in terms of interference
or conflict. When you feel the strains of competing work and family
demands, you are experiencing work-family conflict. The more you
concentrate on work (or on family) activities, the more difficult it is to
respond to family (work) demands(Beutell et al, 1986, p. 150).
Traditionally, women have had stronger pressures to conform to family
role demands over work and the reverse is true for men. Therefore, men are
more likely to experience work-family conflict differently than women..

3.2.3 Babad, Bimbaum, & Bennes: The Social Self
Numerous researchers have discredited the rigid, outdated sex role
stereotypes, but gender role norms continue to impact working womens
lives. In order for women to become equal players in the workforce, the
stereotypical beliefs must be eliminated. E. Bahad, M. Bimbaum, and K.
Benne, (1983) believe that technology will continue to play a primary role in
these changes and explain how they see the problem in the following
While the anatomical and physiological differences between the sexes
are more or less universal, the roles of men and women, the ways they
are perceived, and the expectations with regard to what constitutes
appropriate behaviors for each sex group vary greatly from culture to
culture, and vary from one historical period to another within the same
culture(Bahad, Bimbaum, and Benne, 1983, p. 163).
Many women are labeled as powerless. They have less access to
leadership positions when compared to men. The old myths of women being
inferior, self-conscious, easily intimidated, modest, shy, sweet, patient, vain,
affectionate, gentle, tender, soft, non-aggressive, quiet, passive, innocent,
and noncompetitive still define many women workers in the male traditionalist
view. These stereotypes are reinforced by the home, family, school and

religious institutions. Bahad, et al note, "Mass media consistently portray
women more negatively than men... as passive, insecure, dependent, and
less adventurous( Bahad, etal, 1983, p. 179).
Daily language, perceptions, and communication patterns of men are
markedly different than those of women. Boys are trained to become
adventurous, active leaders. The same behavior will be viewed negatively if
a female is adventurous. For example, a businessman is aggressive, but a
businesswoman is bossy. He is good on details but she is pushy. He follows
through but she doesnt know when to quit(1983, p. 181). Women rarely
move beyond the middle rung of the responsibility, prestige, and power on
the promotion ladder. Management and supervisory skills can be learned.
Proper training can assist women in breaking through the glass ceiling
toward higher-level positions.
With the changes in technology, women stand on equal ground in
most professions. The need for physical strength is no longer a criterion in
the workplace where technology is utilized. The old excuse of the women not
being strong enough to earn equal pay with males doing comparable tasks is
no longer valid. Many procedures are computerized, manufacturing is
mechanized, and high tech computer knowledge is a requirement for the

workforce of the future. Women are as capable as men to be successful in
business, engineering, or industrial management.
3.3 External Barriers in the Workplace from the
Leadership Perspective
Despite womens economic advances in some occupational groups,
workplace gender roles continue to exist. Old prejudices and stereotypes are
difficult to eliminate, but education can be a significant factor in eliminating
barriers to equal pay in the workplace. Introduction of management training
programs, modification of accepted management styles, and continued
education can make the difference in eliminating the external barriers to
womens success in the workplace.
3.3.1 Hills: Becoming a Manager
Professor Linda A. Hill, (1992) of the Harvard Business School, gives
practical guidance to new managers of either gender in Becoming a
Manager: Mastery of a New Identity. The purpose of this book is to assist
manager training programs become more successful in retaining new talent.
This training method will help to develop women who can be effective top

level managers. Developing an effective leadership style can be challenging
in this age of rapid technological change. Hill states, "Consider how the new
managers learned their roles and identities and the resources upon which
they relied, the management development program should be designed as
apprenticeship(Hill, 1992, p. 207). Just as novices learn a new craft, each
new manager should be matched with an older mentor who listens and gives
advice. The mentor/coaching program is just the first step in a well designed
program that benefits both males and females.
Classroom activity should introduce concepts and techniques in an
interactive format, take place several times a year, and provide a rich
curriculum in interpersonal skills, supervision, common stresses, problem
solving, negotiation, and management vulnerabilities. A support group
designed for new managers can assist in solving the transitional problems.
Self-assessment should be offered at every opportunity.
Many companies are converting to a learning culture in contrast to the
old scientific management concepts. Most MBA programs do not offer
instruction in the soft-skillsinterpersonal skills which prepare new
managers for the day-to-day realities. Some MBA programs are overhauling
their curriculum to address new issues in pedagogy and reaffirm their
commitment to high-quality teaching. This book describes the transitional

challenges from a new managers perspective and prepares the new
manager for the rapidly changing global market faced by many executives. It
reminds us of how intellectually and emotionally demanding job management
can be.
3.3.2 Roseners: Reach for the Top
Judy B. Rosener, Professor in the Graduate School of Management at
the University of California at Irvine, defines womens management style in
Ways Women Lead as interactive, transactional and participatory.
According to Rosener (1994), Women mangers who have broken the glass
ceiling in medium sized, nontraditional organizations have proven that
effective leaders dont come from one mold(Nichols, 1994, p. 13). Rosener
defines this interactive type, as "getting subordinates to transform their own
self-interest into the interest of the group through concern for a broader
goal(p. 14). These women use personal characteristics like charisma,
interpersonal skills, and hard work.
The first wave of women executives used the command and control
male style management in some cases. The second wave has developed a
style unique to their own socialization. The success of these women show

that a new nontraditional, interactive leadership style will work in some
organizations that allow innovation and diversity.
Each manager interviewed by Rosener encouraged participation from
subordinates, shared the power and information, enhanced other peoples
self-worth, and got others excited about their work thus creating a win-win
situation for the employees and organization. This type of management
makes people feel like they are a part of the organization and actually have a
say in the outcome by setting their own performance goals to determine the
strategy. This process energizes the employees and creates a feeling of
inclusion in the process
Being inclusive, as this management style dictates, does have its
disadvantagesit takes more time, requires giving up some control, opens
the door to criticism, and turf conflicts. Accepting those employees who dont
want to participate is part of the give and take required to make this style
work. By taking the chance, inclusion creates loyalty, trust, increases the
communication flow, and creates mutual respect. Most importantly, this will
enhance individual self-worth and create enthusiasm for work.
Characteristics of this type of leadership are becoming more common
place today. Fast-changing environments play havoc with traditional
methods. Coming up through the ranks and being part of an established

network are no longer important. Performance is critical in this type of
organization. Interactive leadership has proved to be effective and is not
limited to just women. Rosener (1994) advises that established
organizations should expand their definition of effective leadership^. 23).
Organizations which value the diversity of leadership style will find the
strength and flexibility to survive in highly competitive, increasingly diverse
economic environment.
3.3.3 Roseners: America's Competitive Secret
Rosener advises that the glass ceiling must be eliminated if American
is going to stay competitive in the new economic technological revolution.
Rosener quotes Peter Drunker who in 1993, took another slap at
conventional management theory when he said post-capitalist society must
change the command and control style and start creating relationships in
their work.
Rosener (1995) clarifies the paradox of gender by restating that all
men do not use the command and control leadership style just as all women
do not use the interactive leadership style: All men do not behave in the
same way, nor do all women. Clearly gender differences exist along a

continuum(Rosener, 1995, p. 10). Her own research indicates that gender
differences do carry over into leadership styles. During the study that formed
the basis for the article, Ways Women Lead, she found that men do tend to
use and prefer the command and control leadership style. In
nonhierarchical, flexible organizations, the interactive style of leadership
works well when rapid change is needed.
The interactive style is collaborative rather than top-down. It
empowers workers at all levels, has multidirectional feedback and
performance evaluation, and is similar to how women are socialized. This
interactive or participatory style comes naturally to women, is common sense,
and is not consciously adopted by them. This style is a result of their
socialization and the fact that most women have lacked formal authority over
others. They all had to find ways to get others to work for them by means
that were socially acceptable at the time. The degree of acceptance for this
interactive style depends heavily up the type of organization involved.
3.3.4 Kanters: The Change Masters
Professor Rosabeth Kanter, (1983) Yale University, is considered an
expert in the field of management and an advisor to the Fortune 500

companies. Kanters (1983) The Change Masters is based on research which
took place over a period of five years of innovation, change, and corporate
responsiveness to new demands. She observes that, as organizational
boundaries become more fluid and blurred with externalization of
employment patterns, use of temporary workers, networking, and
collaboration will have to play a greater role in successful management
In recent years, the United States has gradually lost a share of the
economic sectors such as steel, shipbuilding, consumer electronics, small
cars, and other industries. This changing economic climate has forced
corporate leaders to question the traditional theories of management as the
way to run their organizations. All business and corporate practices must be
revamped and reinvented if they are to remain viable in the future market
place. Kanter advises that American corporations must develop a
renaissance in the development of participatory management skills which is
womens preferred method of supervision. Using major corporate success
stories, she wants to persuade business to retire the old traditional style of
management of command and control, if they wish to stay in business during
this age of technological advancement. Many Fortune 500 corporations
consult with Kanter and follow her advice and strategies.

Kanter recommends that foreign competitors methods be examined
for concepts that would make them profitable. Tools to stimulate
performance from employees and mangers and systems that reward
individual achievement to cross-level-problems solving teams(Kanter, 1983,
p. 363) could improve corporations advantage in the fast paced economy.
Kanter advises that corporations educate their employees, encourage
innovation at all levels, build an inclusive environment that empowers all
employees to take the initiative, and reward their efforts openly. One of the
most successful foreign management system is Theory Z. These
fundamental changes can result in the renaissance for corporate America.
3.3.5 Ouchis: Theory Z: How American Business
Can Meet the Japanese Challenge
Another leader in renaissance in management is William Ouchis
(1981) Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet the Japanese
Challenge. He points out that U.S. fails to practice good management
techniques by failing to invest funds to develop our understanding of howto
manage and organize people at work(Ouchi, 1981, p. 4). Ouchi explains:
Our (Japanese) corporations have learned by studying the Japanese
who manage people and solve the problem of productivity by

encouraging the workers to participate and work together effectively.
People who have a strong sense of communal responsibility to the
production will work together. Trust is a way of working together in the
Z culturea way of communicating to employees that they matter as
people, not as parts(Ouchi, 1981, p. 203).
Americans traditional method of conducting business has been to discount
the workers.
In Theory Z, the managers and workers have common goals. Semi-
autonomous work groups depend on each other by using team building that
encourages cohesiveness and increases productivity while merging job
satisfaction with high performance. Theory Z requires supervisors to use
Management By Walking Around (MBWA) that conveys the necessity of
hands-on, direct participation by managers, not distant order-giving(Ouchi,
1981, p. 209). This type of system relies heavily on trust, truthful information,
and the humbling experience of interactive management that listens to the
In order to know if Theory Z works, the author suggests that one must
examine the profits of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Hewlett-Packard,
General Electric, Westinghouse, IBM, Texas Instruments, Intel Tektronix,
Pillsbury, Honeywell, Lockheed, Eli Lilly, Baxter-Travenol, Syntex, Toro,

Brunswick and International Harvester. The normal principles of scientific
management have needed a new discipline to reduce turnover and
absenteeism. A new paradigm will result in a better quality product and
higher profits. Organizations are similar to biological organisms. Ouchi
argues, Only through intergenerational change can a population of
organisms change its dominant properties(1981, p. 222).
3.4 Summary of Macro- and Micro-Levels
With the breakdown of the traditional family structure, and the
concomitant divorce rates, more woman are working full-time. Childcare has
improved with increased availability of care, both for those who can pay and
those who need financial help with daycare expenses. The battle against
sexism takes place in the classroom in most higher education institutions.
Universities and colleges have curricula designed to enlighten woman as to
their true history, their legal rights, howto protect themselves against
discrimination, and how to make decisions for themselves. More women than
ever are entering nontraditional occupational groups where their pay is equal
to mens pay.

Technology is creating jobs in the workplace where men and women
should get equal pay since physical strength is no longer a factor. The
traditional belief that rigid gender roles are natural is changing. Educated
individuals realize that gender stratification limits human potential, clusters
women in occupations with no power or status, and creates external barriers
such as the glass ceiling and wage inequalities.
The business world is developing innovative methods for survival in
the rapidly changing climate. Globalization has eliminated much of the
manufacturing sector of employment in the United States. Business leaders
are re-evaluating how they operate. Traditional theories of management are
being replaced with a participative, interactive, collaborative mix of styles.
Top-down hierarchical structures are being replaced with self-directed work
teams. The rapidly expanding computer industry and use of computer
technology is revolutionizing the way business is conducted.
One of the goals of the Presidents Commission on the Status of
Women was to improve womens access to continuing education which will
result in higher wages and a lower rate of poverty for female heads-of-
household. Several regulations were designed to remove pay inequality:
The Fair Labor Standards Act, Equal Pay Act, and the Equal Employment
Opportunity Act. Other regulations increased womens access to education:

the 1972 Education Act, Public Law 88-210, the 1964 Higher Education
Facilities Act, the 1963 Health Professional Educational Assistance Act, the
Library Services and Construction Act of 1964, and the Nurse Training Act of
1964. The political system responded to the Report of the Commission on
the Status on Women with regulations to eliminate barriers, but the reality of
equal pay for equal work has not been achieved.
Most government regulations and recommendations are inadequate in
making significant changes in the cultural norms. Legal court action has
helped to stimulate changes in the systems that perpetuate the inequality.
The internal barrierssocialization, gender roles, passive self-concept, and
role prejudice can not be eliminated by laws, court battles and government
recommendations. Education will assist in discarding the rigid stereotypical
sex roles and will assist in training managers as to the importance of diversity
and fair labor practices. More research needs to be conducted on this topic,
children need to be raised without prejudice, gender-neutral, and socialized
to be a life long learner. Computer skills must be emphasized at a young
age, reinforced by the public school system, and refined at home. The
Presidents Commission made excellent recommendations and changed
public policy to favor creating equality for women who work.

Three Barriers to Equality
According to Bernice Lott, (1994) author of Womens Lives, three
major barriers that function to keep women poor are (1) gender-segregated
occupations, (2) the wage gap or discrimination in earnings, benefits and job
security, and (3) the glass ceiling. Lott summarizes her recommendations
with this quote:
But, unless our society and its important institutions actively and
explicitly promote the ideal that women should work on an equal basis
with men, women will not have the opportunity to acquire skills,
attitudes, and objectives that maximize their potential to fully function
in the public sector or work. We must work toward encouraging
women to make full use of their skills and aptitudes and toward
decreasing the formidable obstacles now faced in the workplace(Lott,
1994, p. 267).
4.1.1 Gender Segregated Occupational Groups
Occupational gender segregation refers to the phenomenon of female
in tend male dominated occupations that show no members or very

few of the opposite sex employed in that occupation. The Report from the
Commission on the Status of Women (1965) stated that the largest
concentration of women was be found in the clerical field, as service workers,
factory workers, or in the professional range of teachers, nurses, accountants
and librarians. Not much has changed since the writing in the 1960s. Lott
comments on this barrier:
In 1988, women made up 80 percent of all administrative support
clerical workers and 69 percent of all retail sales and personal service
workers. Among employed women, 40 percent are found in just 10
traditional womens occupations(Lott, 1994, p. 243).
Hiring women and downsizing which eliminates middle management
positions were a central part of the corporate strategy to restore profitability.
When womens wages are lower than mens, women are more willing to
accept temporary work and no benefits, and women are less likely to
organize into unions or file legal suits. By hiring women at lower wages, the
profit margin is greater.
Occupational groups that were already predominately female
increased during this time of corporate profit. Since globalization, many
American corporations have eliminated manufacturing jobs by moving
production overseas. Manufacturing jobs now pay less than before, have

been eliminated by globalization, or are being eliminated by technology. The
rapidly expanding service sector hired women in greater numbersboth
women entering the labor market for the first time and women displaced from
Segregation of jobs by gender has many consequences.
Occupational segregation contributes to the disparity between womens and
mens earnings, and is unrelated to womens education or background. Lott
(1994) comments that there are few women surgeons, women are under
represented in higher levels of administration, and they are absent from
many types of financially rewarding work. Positions with power are still held
by men.
A few women are breaking the barrier of segregation. Women can
now be found in practically every occupation, but their numbers are few in
jobs traditionally held by men. According to the 1982, Comparable Worth
Compliance Handbook, comparable work is defined as equity in
compensation should be broadened to include equal pay for work of equal
value(Brady, Persson, and Thompson, 1982, p. I-8). This handbook is
designed to assist employers comply with the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The
authors point out that during the Depression, the norm was for women not to
hold jobs. So, women workers became clustered in low-paid, low-skilled jobs

in clerical sales, food service, and factory areas where they were needed for
production. In 1978, 80% of all clerical worker, 64% of retail sales, and 63%
of service workers are women. (See Appendix A. Table 4.1 for complete
listing of feminized occupation groups).
Occupational segregation by sex is less severe today than it was 50
years ago, but the condition still exists35 years after the Equal Pay Act of
1963. Brady, et al point out: Womens rights and equal employment
opportunity advocates argue that the earnings gap is a direct product of sex
discriminationthat women's jobs are worth less because women do
them(1982, p. I-5). This extreme statement is still impacting womens
opportunities in the 1990s. Affirmative action has not corrected the problem.
Brady, et al (1982) point out that there is no easy solution but make
excellent suggestions how to repair the damage to women. The most radical
is to reduce mens earning to be equal with womens earnings. Next is to
enforce equal opportunity laws and affirmative action guidelines which will
remove the discriminatory barriers that hinder womens entry into higher
paying jobs. Employees are opposed to correcting the situation because
only some respond positively. These employers says that raising wages will
prevent women from entering nontraditional careers. This issue was not
settled in the early 1980s and still is a hot topic in the court system. This

Handbook recommends that new job analysis system for classification be
incorporated into wage structure which will measure tasks rather than sex of
the worker.
4.1.2 Inequality in Wages: The Gender Gap
The next barrier is discrimination in the earnings rate. The gender gap
in wages is shrinking, although the interpretation of this change is mixed.
Reasons for these reductions depend on whom one asks. Economists
emphasize that womens work experience is increasing. Sociologists state
that changes in the labor market have reduced mens earnings.
The U.S. Department of Labor has made available the percentage
ratios of womens earning to mens since 1979 in the hourly and weekly
format. The data comes from the Current Populations Studies that are
conducted systematically by the U.S. Census Bureau. The information is
collected by field interviews and is monitor by the Womens Bureau. The
males earning average is used as a yardstick to measure womens earnings
average. The difference between the percentage ratio is the earnings gap.
The Facts on Working Women Report, Earnings Differences Between
Women and Men explains the three measures:

Median weekly earnings and median annual earnings relate to full-
time wage and salary workers while hourly earnings are reported for
wage and salary workers who are paid an hourly wage, without regard
to whether or not they are full-time workers or year-round workers and
salary workers(U.S. Department of Labor, 1993a, p.1).
The data in Table 4.2 represents how womens earning gap has been
reduced in the past 20 years.
Table 4.2 Earnings gap list by year and type of worker.
1979 64.1% 62.5% 59.7%
1980 64.8% 64.4% 60.2%
1981 65.1% 64.6% 59.2%
1982 67.3% 65.4% 61.7%
1983 69.4% 66.7% 63.6%
1984 69.9% 67.8% 63.7%
1985 70.0% 68.2% 64,6%
1986 70.2% 69.2% 64.3%
1987 72.1% 70.0% 65.2%
1988 73.8% 70.2% 66.0%
1989 75.4% 70.1% 68.7%
1990 76.8% 71.8% 71.6%
1991 77.5% 74.0% 69.9%
1992 79.4% 75.4% 70.8%
1993 79.8% 76.8% 71.5%
1994 80.6% 76.4% 72.0%
1995 80.8% 75.5% 71.4%
1996 81.2% 75.0% 73.8%
Source: BLS Bulletin 2340 (unpublished) located at

The solution is to have women do the same work as men and be paid
the same rate. If not, the employee can file suit against the employer. Many
programs exist to help women gain entrance into apprenticeships and
training programs in the trades where men have dominated. Congress has
passed several pieces of legislation to help women become trained for male
occupations. The 1992 Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional
Occupations (WANTO) Act, the 1991 Nontraditional Employment for Women
(NEW), and 1983 Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) are designed to
provide technical assistance to employers and labor organizations for the
implementation of training for women. They award grants to develop
strategies, and conduct seminars in mentoring, sexual harassment, support
groups and training. Several methods are being used to get the word out to
women who need to knowprogram notices, workshops, conferences,
seminars, videos, notices at churches, welfare agencies and community
resource centers.
The Womens Bureaus purpose is to provide working women with
effective tools to improve their pay and benefits, by disseminating information
on discrimination, offering practical resources to balance work and family
needs, and empowering women to gain training and employment. In 1997,
the Womens Bureau established the Fair Pay Clearinghouse to provide

information and resources to those who are interested in improving wage
setting practices. Strategic plans are in place to ensure the goals will be met
to increase access to educational materials. Women can achieve freedom
from discrimination and increase awareness about placement for women in
nontraditional apprenticeships and training programs. This service can result
in higher pay for women in nontraditional occupations.
4.1.3 Glass Ceiling
The next barrier that must to be eliminated is the glass ceiling. This
term describes what women continue to face as they are making their way up
the corporate hierarchy to position of power and authority. It is the invisible,
artificial barrier that prevents women from being promoted to a higher levels
of administration. Even though women are working as hard as men, have the
same educational background, the same level of self-esteem, and take
responsibility for their own failures, they are passed over at promotion time
because they are women. The glass ceiling prevents women from advancing
as quickly as their male counterparts.

The report of the results of the Glass Ceiling Benchmark Survey, a
1992 joint project between the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and the
Human Resource Planning Society (HRPS), describes this phenomenon:
Nontraditional managers (white women, native-born people of color,
and immigrants) are in the workforce in greater numbers than ever
before, and their presence is predicted to rise. Yet their increased
numbers have not been matched by a corresponding rise in their
representation in senior levels of management. This phenomenon,
referred to as the glass ceiling, presents a challenge to organizations:
that of identifying the barriers to the upward mobility of nontraditional
managers and implementing practices that successfully overcome
these barriers(Morrison, 1995, p. 1).
The report attributes the following reasons for maintenance of the glass
White men already in place, keep others out because they have a
greater comfort with their own kind, lack of accountability or incentives
for developing diversity, business reactions (such as downsizing),
inertia, risk-averse culture, inadequate or misguided career
management, and they are threatened by people who are
different(Morrison, 1995, p. 13).

A second study in the same book, the Leadership Diversity (GOLD)
Project Research (1995) conducted in 1992 by the Center for Creative
Leadership comes to similar conclusion. They attributed the reasons for the
barrier as:
White men already in place, keep others out because of prejudice,...
because of greater comfort with their own kind, ... because of other
reasons (could not be further classified), poor work environment,
cannot find qualified nontraditional candidates because they lack
organizational savvy, and cannot find nontraditional candidates
because they have difficulty balancing career and family(Morrison,
1995, p. 13).
4.2 Methods to Eliminate the Barriers
How can the discomfort barrier be addressed? Participants in the
Glass Ceiling Benchmark Surveys suggested that the organization develop
and maintain a liberal, progressive or benevolent image, and that policies be
created against racism and sexism. The creation of networks and support
groups, and an apprenticeship program must exist for identified high-
potential employees: Combating the problem of discomfort is an intimidating

task, and it seems to require a variety of types of practices to make
progress(Morrison, 1995, p. 20). Most corporations executives do not see
fair employment practices as contributing to profits.
The accountability problem is more complex. The corporation has to
want to allow women into top management circles and make it a goal. Many
times, just having a policy does not work. Management activities to reward
and encourage employees can have a stronger impact. Inclusion of
accountability on the performance evaluation has more power than merely
creating a policy. The participants in the survey recommend the following:
In the performance-appraisal process, goals are made explicit and
concrete, and the results of managers efforts to achieve these goals
are officially recognized. Because performance appraisal feeds into
many other administrative tools, such as compensation and
promotions, it serves as a the backbone of an accountability
system(Morrison, 1995, p. 26).
These projects identity two factorsthe discomfort factor and the lack of
accountability. The responses from the two surveys are combined and
ranked by the researchers. The most prevalent diversity practices and
percent rated importance for eliminating the glass ceiling are illustrated in
the following Table 4.3.

Table 4.3 Information is from Glass Ceiling Benchmark Survey illustrate
respondents solutions to eliminating the glass ceiling in the workplace.
Organization has policies against racism, sexism 83%
Organization has grievance procedures or
complaints resolution process 68%
Organization sponsors access to
external training and seminars 49%
Organization has active AA/EEO Committee/Office 39%
Organization supports an internship program 44%
Organization conducts internal audits
_______or employee attitude surveys____________________47%
Source: Morrison, 1995, p. 17
If these suggestions were followed, more women would be in positions
of power and authority. Placement of women in the controlling ranks would
result in more women who would benefit from their mentoring. Wage equality
would have a better chance of becoming a reality.
4.3 Curriculum Designed to Help Women
Understand the Issues
Todays educators need to emphasize the growing need to commit the
public school system to prepare more women for leadership roles. Teachers
must be supportive of young females for entry into in nontraditional
occupations, math, and science fields. The old stereotypes must be

eliminated in the earliest grades. The growing influence of the feminist
writers against sexism has influenced improvement in academic curriculum.
Religion, which perpetuated womens submissive role as caregivers, now has
less impact on young women
4.4 Conclusion: Public Policy Against Poverty
Lott (1994) advises that we must accept the idea that working for pay
is part of a womens identity and work to eliminate the dilemma between
personal relationships and achievement, and a job or career. Women, like
men, should be encouraged to strive for both(Lott, 1994, p. 267). This can
be accomplished by socializing our children differently. The educational
curriculum in public school must address the equality of education between
the sexes. Women must learn what works for them and what can prevent
them from succeeding.
The problem of unfair treatment refuses to go away even with
legislation that is enforceable. Most women dont realize they are being
subjected to discrimination. Many employers still discriminate on the basis of
sex through a variety of recruitment practices. Women accept low paying
jobs and do not understand that this is the tool with which management

reduces cost. Many employers ignore state and federal mandates and
regulations and are more interested in money than advancing their workers.
Thirty-five years after President Kennedys called for womens equality
with men in the society and workplace, poverty still continues to grow in
female-headed households. Many women are still unable to take advantage
of educational opportunities and accept discrimination in the workplace. Sex
discrimination exists in the American workplace in many different forms.
Federal agencies, responsible for enforcement of civil rights legislation,
continue to bring and win cases where sex discrimination has occurred.
Women must report discrimination, in spite of the fear of intimidation or the
basic need to survive. If women do not report these situations forcefully,
discrimination will continue. Women must have resources available to them,
like the Womens Bureau, to assist them in understanding what
discrimination is, and howto combat it. Affordable legal assistance must be
available to those women whose rights are being violated.
Women need to be selective when they accept employment. Many
civil and government jobs follow federal guidelines, pay equally, and have
programs to support diversity. All women need to educate themselves as to
what is required for success. Corporations must value their workers, and
change managements outdated theories. Management can invest in the

future by improving the workplace. Educators need to improve their
curriculum to help corporations improve the quality of their managers. If all
these suggestions were implemented, women would become equal in the
workplace and the problem of poverty among women would be greatly

Appendix A
This is an example of feminized occupational groups that create the
wage gap. This type of occupation pays at a lower rate, most females are
channeled into these groups and a male in the same occupation may be paid
at a higher rate than a female who is doing the same task.
registered nurses
elementary school teachers
Kindergarten teachers
archivists, and curators
bank tellers
billing clerks
file clerks
keypunch operators
teachers aides
telephone operators
Operatives: dressmakers
sewers and stitchers
Professional, Technical Workers:
Clerical Workers:

Private Household Workers: child care workers private household cleaners servants
Service Workers: lodging-quarters cleaners food counter and fountain workers waiters, waitresses, and helpers
Health Care Workers: dental assistants health aides and trainees nursing aides practical nurses orderlies and attendants
Personal Service workers: child care workers hairdressers and cosmetologists
Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics reprinted in
Comparable Worth Compliance: A Wage and Salary Handbook, Brady,
Persson, and Thompson, 1982, p. I-3)

Appendix B
The males earning average is used as a yardstick to measure womens
earning average. The difference between the percentage ratio is the
earnings gap. Most women are hourly or weekly workers in contrast to men
who are classified as annual workers.
1979 64.1% 62.5% 59.7%
1980 64.8% 64.4% 60.2% .
1981 65.1% 64.6% 59.2%
1982 67.3% 65.4% 61.7%
1983 69.4% 66.7% 63.6%
1984 69.9% 67.8% 63.7%
1985 70.0% 68.2% 64.6%
1986 70.2% 69.2% 64.3%
1987 72.1% 70.0% 65.2%
1988 73.8% 70.2% 66.0%
1989 75.4% 70.1% 68.7%
1990 76.8% 71.8% 71.6%
1991 77.5% 74.0% 69.9%
1992 79.4% 75.4% 70.8%
1993 79.8% 76.8% 71.5%
1994 80.6% 76.4% 72.0%
1995 80.8% 75.5% 71.4%
1996 81.2% 75.0% 73.8%
Source: Bureau of Labor Standards Bulletin 2340

Appendix C
The report of the results of the Glass Ceiling Benchmark Survey, a 1992
joint project between the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and the
Human Resource Planning Society (HRPS) identites two factorsthe
discomfort factor and the lack of accountability. The responses from the
two surveys are combined and ranked by the researchers. The most
prevalent diversity practices and percent rated importance for eliminating
the glass ceiling are illustrated in the following which illustrates the
respondents solutions to eliminating the glass ceiling in the workplace.
Organization has policies against racism, sexism 83%
Organization has grievance procedures or
complaints resolution process 68%
Organization sponsors access to
external training and seminars 49%
Organization has active AA/EEO Committee/Office 39%
Organization supports an internship program 44%
Organization conducts internal audits
or employee attitude surveys 47%
Source: Morrison, 1995, p. 17

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