STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

The gender pay gap isn't just about what you make. It's about what you do

Secretaries. Nurses. Elementary school teachers.Historically, we think of these as "female" jobs. But that's n...

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 5:45 PM
Updated: Apr 10, 2018 5:45 PM

Secretaries. Nurses. Elementary school teachers.

Historically, we think of these as "female" jobs. But that's not only an assumption - it's also the actual job market.

"Occupational segregation" is the term academics use to refer to this split, with women historically relegated to lower-paying, "support" jobs (think secretary or office manager) and men taking the higher-paying, "glamour" jobs (think boss, manager, etc.).

Related: Looking back at 'Lean In,' five years later

The split starts even earlier than you'd think. We can even see this happening with teenage workers, says Yasemin Besen-Cassino, sociology professor at Montclair State University and author of "The Cost of Being a Girl."

Besen-Cassino says occupational segregation happens as early as age 14. Boys pick up higher-paying odd jobs like yard work or snow removal, while girls stick to babysitting. In later years, boys tend to move into shift work and minimum-wage jobs earlier than girls do.

Once they're in service jobs, girls and boys are still relegated to different roles - girls are told they're good with people, so they're hired as hostesses at restaurants or as customer-facing positions in retail. These jobs have high "aesthetic labor" requirements - meaning girls could have more negative experiences with customers.

Related: The poisonous myth of confidence culture

Recent data from LinkedIn shows that over four decades, some of this has changed. Women are slowly infiltrating high-paying, male-dominated fields like science, tech and engineering. Industries like software and IT services, manufacturing and public safety are hiring more women into leadership roles.

But experts warn that this doesn't mean the end of occupational segregation.

Women are often still performing "feminine" work within these male-dominated fields, says Nick Eng, senior data scientist for Economic Graph at LinkedIn. Women working in software, for example, may not all be working as engineers. A significant number could be in the public relations or human resources departments.

But there's a more optimistic view to numbers like this, says Ariane Hegewisch, study director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research. When introducing potential career paths to young women, highlighting the growth could help contribute to the small shift in occupational segregation. Telling young women that men make up the bulk of the STEM workforce, for example, may dissuade women from entering the field, but pointing out that there's been growth in female representation could instead motivate them to pursue a career in that industry.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 78°
Brookings
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 82°
Crater Lake
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 78°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 78°
Klamath Falls
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 71°
Warmer tomorrow, smoke potentially returns on Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, September 20th Afternoon Weather

Image

FLU VACCINE

Image

Monday, September 20 morning weather

Image

Sunday, September 19th Weather

Image

Tropical Storm Peter forms as the 16th Atlantic storm of 2021

Image

2021 Man Cave Makeover winner

Image

Sunday, September 19th Weather

Image

Oregon wraps up non-conference play with a steamrolling of Stony Brook

Image

Vidlak makes Beavers debut in Oregon State's 42-0 win

Image

Raiders struggle in road loss to College of Idaho, 29-3