Women in Men's Worlds. Strategies to Overcome Job Segregation By Gender in Six Occupations in Spain

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:40 PM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Marta IBANEZ , Sociology, University of Oviedo, Spain
Linda S. PERRY , Department of Accounting and Business, York College, City University of New York, NY
Amparo ALMARCHA , Sociology, University of A Coruña, Spain
Esmeralda BALLESTEROS DONCEL , Sociología IV, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Ana Belen FERNANDEZ-CASADO , Sociology and Social Policies, University of Murcia, Spain
María del Mar MAIRA , Sociología III, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Claudia R. NAROCKI , ISTAS (Union Institute of Work, Environment and Health), Spain
The sexual division of labor, the cornerstone of patriarchal society, remains in paid work. After more than 30 years of active employment policies for equality, gender segregation of work is still dominant, and is one of the significant explanatory factors in understanding the wage gap between the sexes. The research group "Women in Men's Worlds" seeks to understand the career paths of women in traditionally male occupations, because through their life stories we can analyze what factors or social actors are positive and / or negative in these processes. Specifically, we present the first results of a research project funded by the National R + D + i Spanish (MICINN-12-FEM2011-25228) which explores the career paths of women in six very male dominated professions: construction painters , car repair, repair of computers (hardware), police and security guards, airline pilots and train drivers. In-depth interviews with these women are accompanied with the vision of entrepreneurs and male workers, in order to understand the processes of change within patriarchy, and especially to identify the factors that help to foster this change.

At this point, the ongoing investigation has already developed typical career paths of women in these very masculinized jobs (Weberian ideal types). In these trajectories, patterns of training and access to employment have been central, differentiated by the business structure of each occupation.   (Consider the institutional context of airline pilots, mostly working in Iberia, or of railroad engineers - all working in the state railway company).  In addition to institutional context of the occupations, the human profile of the occupation, ie the type of colleagues, bosses and clients of each occupation have also been important factors.  The research also examines how work attitudes, especially reconciliation of work and personal life, are explanatory factors.