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Abstract

In order to achieve gender equality, it is critical to resurrect women’s interests as a driving force in the formulation of workforce development policies and programs. Current workforce strategies are centered on helping economically disadvantaged individuals gain employment in high demand industries that offer opportunities to earn family-sustaining wages. Yet many of these high-growth industries consist of male-dominated occupations, which provide lower earnings and advancement potential for women. Because women continue to be channeled into lower-paying fields, demand-driven workforce policies may result in lower earnings for women. To address gender biases, increased emphasis should be placed on selecting jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency, helping women access male dominated jobs, building career ladders for traditionally female-dominated fields, investing in math and science preparation for women, and closing the gender wage gap.

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