Gender Inequalities in Production and Reproduction
Edited by Jacqueline Scott, Shirley Dex and Anke C. Plagnol
Chapter 2: Changing Career Trajectories of Women and Men Across Time
Erzsebet Bukodi, Shirley Dex and Heather Joshi INTRODUCTION As we know from cross-sectional snapshots and their time trends, women’s and men’s labour market behaviours have grown closer together as women have participated increasingly in paid work. From the midtwentieth century onwards, women have increasingly moved out of the private sphere of the home, into the public sphere previously occupied mainly by men assisted by their large increases in educational qualifications (see Scott et al., Introduction, this volume). Over the same period, men’s employment participation rates have declined, largely linked to sectoral changes and the decline of occupations in the manufacturing sector. What is less well documented is the extent to which women’s or men’s career trajectories have changed, and whether these also have grown closer over time. Career trajectories are the longitudinal and more dynamic elements of working lives that this book is concerned with. It is important to examine them to see whether men and women are still on gendered pathways as they go through their working lives, a task that is implicitly a comparison across generations and across time. There are a number of reasons why we should be interested in the changing career trajectories of women and men. Charting such longitudinal careers over time across generations will help to answer policy-related questions about whether women and men have grown more equal following the 1970s, in which decade sex discrimination and unequal pay for equal work were made illegal. We hope to document how far we have come....
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