My dissertation, which received support from the National Science Foundation as well several internal competitions, employs an innovative audit methodology to investigate hiring discrimination on the basis of gender across different occupations throughout the United States. My analyses draw from an extensive set of résumés applied to diverse jobs across the occupational hierarchy and content coding of all job postings applied to for indicators of gendered attributes sought by employers. This research reflects the most expansive sociological résumé audit project on gender and hiring to date, and findings provide important insights into why occupational segregation gains have been stalled and uneven in the US.
One empirical chapter, currently under review at the American Sociological Review, uncovers the significant role that occupational status plays in determining whether employers have sex-based biases in their hiring decisions. Specifically, my analyses show a heightened level of discrimination in working-class jobs, helping to explain why stark and uneven occupational segregation patterns exist, compared to white-collar domains. Further, unique content analyses of job advertisements for gendered characteristics indicate that employers also discriminate in more subtle ways and disadvantage women in jobs that require more masculine-typed qualifications (e.g., leadership skills). This manuscript won Best Graduate Student Paper Award from both Midwest Sociologists for Women in Society and Southern Sociologists for Women in Society.
These findings will have significant implications for the state of employer’s hiring practices and uncover key causal mechanisms of occupational segregation, a leading contributor to economic gender inequality.