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The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the "Female" Professions

Christine L. Williams
Social Problems
Vol. 39, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 253-267
DOI: 10.2307/3096961
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3096961
Page Count: 15
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The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the "Female" Professions
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Abstract

This paper addresses men's underrepresentation in four predominantly female professions: nursing, elementary school teaching, librarianship, and social work. Specifically, it examines the degree to which discrimination disadvantages men in hiring and promotion decisions, the work place culture, and in interactions with clients. In-depth interviews were conducted with 99 men and women in these professions in four major U.S. cities. The interview data suggest that men do not face discrimination in these occupations; however, they do encounter prejudice from individuals outside their professions. In contrast to the experience of women who enter male-dominated professions, men generally encounter structural advantages in these occupations which tend to enhance their careers. Because men face different barriers to integrating nontraditional occupations than women face, the need for different remedies to dismantle segregation in predominantly female jobs is emphasized.

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