In this study, we investigate how the sex of the social contact women use to find jobs affects the segregation of women into jobs in female-dominated occupations. Using women in the Metropolitan Employer-Worker Survey (MEWS), we test two competing hypotheses from the literature. One body of literature argues that women who use men as social contacts in job search have a higher probability of finding a non-female-dominated job; another body of literature argues that sex of social contact has no effect on the probability of finding a non-female-dominated job. There are 1131 working women in the MEWS; 73% are white, 20% African American, and 2% other races. Our analysis shows that women are significantly less likely to find jobs in female-dominated occupations when their social contact is a man rather than a woman and this holds true regardless of the strength of the tie to the social contact or whether or not the social contact is work-related. We discuss the implications of these findings for theory and research on sex segregation.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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