Type of Document Dissertation Author Baird, Chardie L. URN etd-08052005-162238 Title Women's Early Career Goals and Attainments at Midlife Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Sociology, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title John Reynolds Committee Chair Irene Padavic Committee Member Mary Ellen Guy Committee Member Patricia Yancey Martin Committee Member Keywords
- Gender And Work
- Career Attainments
- Gender Beliefs
- Community Context
- Career Goals
Date of Defense 2005-07-06 Availability unrestricted AbstractOccupational sex segregation, the gender wage gap, and ghettoization persist despite improvements in women’s opportunities since World War II. Recent research calls for a focus on the social psychological factors in early life that affect women’s career attainments to help us more fully understand the persistence of women’s disadvantaged positions in paid work. This dissertation synthesizes prior research to develop a multilevel model of career goal formation by examining community context, mothers’ attainments, and gender beliefs as factors that shape young women’s career goals. It also considers the degree to which career goals and gender beliefs influence work outcomes in later life. I study the 1979 and 1998 panels of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to identify early life factors that affect young women’s career goals and to assess the extent to which these early goals influence women’s employment situations in later life.
This dissertation has three main findings. First, I find that young women’s early career goals are influenced by women’s disadvantaged position in the labor force more generally, as manifested in relationships with their mothers and women’s status in the broader community. Young women with mothers who have lower occupational earnings, lower occupational prestige, and work with more women are more likely to plan to work in occupations with lower earnings, prestige, and more women themselves. Second, part of the influence of community context and mothers’ attainments is indirect through young women’s beliefs about gender. Third, early career goals and gender beliefs have lasting and cumulative effects on women’s attainments in later life. Young women with less ambitious career goals and more traditional gender beliefs complete fewer years of education and are less likely to work full-time in later life. In turn, less education and fewer work hours are associated with employment in occupations with more women, lower median weekly earnings, lower occupational prestige, and lower hourly wages. Overall, the results provide evidence of the social embeddedness of women’s career goals, and the cumulative impact of early career goals and gender beliefs on women’s mid-life attainments. In addition, the results suggest that women’s disadvantaged position in the labor market persists partly because the career goals of each generation are influenced by the constraints and opportunities experienced by their predecessors.
Filename Size Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds)
28.8 Modem 56K Modem ISDN (64 Kb) ISDN (128 Kb) Higher-speed Access BairdCDissertation.pdf 564.48 Kb 00:02:36 00:01:20 00:01:10 00:00:35 00:00:03