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christine william, glass escalator.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC265H1
Professor
..
Semester
Fall

Description
The Glass Escalator: hidden advantages for men in the female profession. Christine Williams  Williams examined men’s experience in four female-dominated professions (nursing, elementary school teachers, librarians and social workers).  She interviewed 76 men and 23 women in these professions in four metropolitan areas.  The theory of tokenism would predict that any small group (e.g., men in women-dominated professions) experiences discrimination.  However, sexism against women may outweigh any discrimination against men as tokens in these professions.  Research on women in male-dominated professions has found a “glass- ceiling,” a level above women can’t rise due to discrimination.  Williams did not find this effect for men in female-dominated professions. Instead, these men experienced a “glass escalator” that pushed them upwards in the professions.  Hiring:  In these professions, there is a general preference for hiring men.  Men are steered away from the most female-dominated parts of the professions (e.g., teaching lower grades, librarian in the children collection), but this may result in them being “kicked-upstairs” into better paying and more prestigious positions.  Working environment:  Men in female-dominated professions are more likely to be supervised by men than women in male-dominated professions.  This can result in rapport with and special treatment from supervisors. (This isn’t necessarily true for gay men.)  There was some differential treatment of men (e.g., being asked to lift heavy boxes), but men didn’t always experience this negatively.  Discrimination from outsiders:  Men’s movement into these jobs is perceived by the outside world as a step down in status  Men in these professions often experience discrimination from the public, such as stereotypes that they are gay or asexual or that they are unable to get a better job.  Men who work with children may be thought to be pedophiles.  These types of stigma may be a major barrier to men entering these jobs.  However, negative public reaction may also result in men being promoted to jobs with less public contact.  Men are less likely to enter female sex-typed occupations than women are to enter male- dominated jobs  Forms of discrimination, legal, informal and even culture contributes to women’s u
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