Date of Award
Campus Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
In this paper I explore how the sex composition of occupations affects the work-family benefits made available to employees. Conducting a secondary data analysis on a subsample from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY 2010), I utilize a logistic regression modeling strategy including individual-level, workplace-level, and occupation-level characteristics. Previous literature suggests that male-dominated occupations may be unlikely to make work-family benefits available. I hypothesized that female-dominated occupations would be more likely than male-dominated occupations to offer work-family benefits. Consistent with the literature, I found that male-dominated occupations are not likely to offer parental leave or flexible schedules, especially if they are low-prestige occupations. Surprisingly, however, women in male-dominated occupations were especially likely to have parental leave available. Also surprising, I found that occupations with balanced sex compositions offered men the best access to parental leave compared to men in male-dominated occupations and offered both men and women the best access to flexible work schedules compared to male- or female-dominated occupations. My study suggests that efforts to balance occupational sex compositions may result in better availability of work-family benefits for both men and women. Importantly, I argue that the unequal distribution of benefits discovered within male-dominated occupations may create barriers for women trying to enter these occupations, reinforcing sex segregation in the United States' labor market.
Heymann, Orlaith D., "The Disadvantage of a Sex-Segregated Labor Market: Sex Composition and the Availability of Work-Family Benefits" (2013). Graduate Masters Theses. 185.