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WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY. INTRODUCTION CHERYL CARLETON ASHER VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY. There have been rapid and large changes in the roles of men and women At work In relation to each other In the nature of families. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY.

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  2. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY • There have been rapid and large changes in the roles of men and women • At work • In relation to each other • In the nature of families

  3. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY • There has been much focus on the rising labor force participation of women • There has been a focus in the press on the rise of women in nontraditional occupations, and on women who are “first” in their field.

  4. Women in the Economy • Example: Nancy Pelosi • Let’s look at some general trends in labor force participation for all adults, and for women: all women, married women, mothers • DEFINE LFP: • NOTE: in 2005 the civilian noninstitutional population of the US was 226 million.

  5. Women in the Economy • What has been the trend? • See Figure 1 from Changes in Labor Force Participation in the United States by Juhn and Potter

  6. Women in the Economy

  7. Women in the Economy • Why are trends in LFP so important? • See Bernanke’s comments • What are the trends for men and women? • See Figure 2 and Table 2 in Changes in Labor Force Participation in the United States by Juhn and Potter

  8. Women in the Economy

  9. Women in the Economy

  10. Women in the Economy

  11. Women in the Economy • What led to the change? • Demand Side Factors • Supply Side Factors • Changing Social Norms • Legal Changes

  12. Women in the Economy • Implications for the future? • Also see articles on changing benefits offered by firms!

  13. WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE 2004: • With a labor force participation rate of 59.2 percent, women represented 46 percent of the total United States labor force. • Women are projected to comprise 47 percent of the total labor force in 2012 as they did in 2003. They will also account for 55 percent of the increase in total labor force growth from 2002-2012.

  14. WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE • There were 64.7 million employed women in the U.S. in 2004. Seventy-four percent worked full time, while the remaining 26 percent worked part time. • The largest percentage of employed women (38 percent) worked in management, professional, and related occupations, while 35 percent worked in sales and office occupations. • Smaller percentages worked in service occupations, 20 percent; 6 percent worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 1 percent worked natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations. • Approximately 4 million women were self-employed in nonagricultural industries. These self-employed women represented nearly 6 percent of all employed women.

  15. WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE • The seven occupations with the highest median weekly earnings among women who worked full-time in 2004 were pharmacists, $1,432; chief executives, $1,310; lawyers, $1,255; computer and information systems managers, $1,288; computer software engineers, $1,149; computer programmers, $1,006; physicians and surgeons, $978; and human resource managers, $958. • Souce: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  16. Women in the Economy • Examine current occupational and industry distribution

  17. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION • While women’s labor force participation has been increasing, it is also of interest to examine WHICH jobs, or occupations women are entering • Compared with the impressive change in women’s LFP, the kinds of occupations in which women have been employed has changed relatively little • (see data) (Table 5.1)

  18. Occupational Differences • NOTE: These are MAJOR occupational categories (more later!_ • What are the three largest categories for women? • What are the three largest categories for men?

  19. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION • The BROAD occupational categories, especially professional and technical workers, has been relatively gender integrated over time. • KINDS of prof. and technical jobs held by women and men are quite different • (see Table 5.4)

  20. Occupational Distribution • If we look WITHIN this occupational category, what do we observe? • Certain occupations are dominated by women, and have been for decades • Which occupations have women made substantial inroads into?

  21. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION • These are aggregations of disparate JOBS (more on this later) • Example: women in the occupational category “Baker” tend to hold jobs in store bakeries, male bakers are concentrated in more lucrative production baking jobs

  22. Industry Distribution • See Table 5.2 • The ranks of women are concentrated in a few industries: consumer products, financial services, retail, publishing, and media • All these are businesses with a large number of women customers

  23. Women and College • See article by Goldin, Katz and Kuziemko, The Homecoming of American College Women, Figure 1 (figure on next slide). . What is the level of education of your Moms, Dads, and/or grandparents?

  24. Women and College

  25. Women and College • Ratio of men to women in college in 1960: • Ratio of men to women in college in 1980: • Ratio of WOMEN to MEN in college in 2003:

  26. Women and College • What is the connection between women’s enrollment in college and women’s labor force participation? • What factors do YOU think determine whether an individual attends college and graduates? • What do the authors believe is the source of the “College Gender Gap Reversal?”

  27. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY • While women have made progress in the work place, they still continue to have MOST of the responsibility for nonmarket work • There is still a great deal of occupational differences between men and women • There still exists a “glass ceiling” for women

  28. WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE • Only 1.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women • Only 7.9% of Fortune 500 top earners are women • The world’s biggest companies are still almost exclusively run by men • In academia there is a big gap in the representation of women in science and engineering

  29. Women and the Glass Ceiling • See CNNMoney.Com article, “10 Best-Paid Executives: They’re all men” • Also see, “CEO Barbie Criticized for Promoting Unrealistic Career Images” in The Onion.

  30. WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE • WHY? • Harvard President Larry Summers suggested it might be because: • Women are not so interested as men in making the sacrifices required by high-powered jobs • Men may have more “intrinsic aptitude” for high-level science • Women may be victims of old-fashioned discrimination


  32. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY • Is there/was there a “traditional” role for men and women? • What influences the development of these roles? • Biology • Social norms • Economic necessity • discrimination

  33. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY • Are there biological differences? • Do any biological differences mean that men and women are each better suited to different tasks? • What makes a good leader? • Is science an objective pursuit, or are our methods of discovery even influenced or “tainted” by social norms and culture?

  34. WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY • The Science Wars, by Sharon Begley, Newsweek, April 21, 1997, pp. 54 – 56 • Questions is science an objective pursuit • Critics say the questions it asks, the way it interprets observations, even what counts as data is subject to the political, cultural and social influences of the time.

  35. THE SCIENCE WARS • Thus science itself can be considered a “social construct” and its discoveries and conclusions have no special claim on truth. • So, society and culture affect WHAT gets studied. Affects acceptable roles for women. Affects what we question (or don’t question).

  36. THE SCIENCE WARS • Examples of “fashionable ideas” affecting what becomes accepted as scientific truth • Examples of studies “proving” the intellectual inferiority of women, blacks, or immigrants

  37. THE SCIENCE WARS • Last paragraph: “The real trick for scientists, and for those who base public policy on their work, is to tell when the research is still being skewed by social and political values and when those biases have been recognized and neutralized by the scientific method.”

  38. MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BRAINS • “Who says a Woman Can’t be Einstein?”, by Amanda Ripley, TIME magazine, March 7, 2005, pp. 51 – 60 • Examines the issue of whether indeed men’s and women’s brains are different, and if so, what does it matter. • There are indeed real differences between the male and female brain

  39. BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES • However, the brain is not static, the brain constantly changes in response to its environment. • Haier, one of the researchers, notes, “Men and women have different brain architectures, and we don’t know what they mean”.

  40. BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES • One of the sociologists, whom Summers cited, states that “I don’t exclude biology as an explanation, but I know biological factors would not play a role unless they interacted with social conditions.” • Thus, while there are biological differences between men and women, they don’t explain all the variations one observes

  41. WOMEN’S ROLES IN SOCIETY • The relative status of women has varied over time and across societies. • What determines status? • Property ownership • The structure of social relationships (do men and women share in providing for the family, or do men occupy the public sphere, while women are confined to the home?)

  42. WOMEN’S ROLES IN SOCIETY • U.S. experience: • Preindustrial period • Industrialization • Family shifted from a production unit to a consumption unit • Men earned the living; women and children were dependent on the husbands/fathers earnings • Thus the economic role of women changed within the family as did the image of the ideal wife

  43. WOMEN’S ROLE IN SOCIETY • This provided the genesis for the “traditional” family. • This abstracts from the fact that in many poor, black and immigrant families women worked. • Dedication to the role of mother and wife was accepted as the only proper role for a woman.

  44. WOMEN’S ROLE IN SOCIETY • In more recent years, women have been entering into the labor force in increasing numbers, and staying there even after marriage and children • We will explore the reasons for these changes thruout the course • But again, the role of women in society is changing

  45. WOMEN’S ROLE IN SOCIETY • SOME CONCLUSIONS: • The role of women and men in society and the social rules that prescribe appropriate behavior are NOT shaped by biology alone • The more women participate in “productive” work, the less likely they are to be seen as dependents, defined solely in terms of their role as wife and mother

  46. WOMEN’S ROLE IN SOCIETY • The roles of women and men tend to hold long after they cease to be functional.

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