Yavorsky, Jill E. “Cisgendered Organizations: Trans Women and Inequality in the Workplace.” Forthcoming at Sociological Forum

*** Winner of 2013 Clyde W. Franklin Award for Contributions on Gender and Race, The Ohio State University

This article responds to calls to better understand how intersecting “inequality regimes” operate in organizations. Through in-depth interviews with 25 white trans women about their workplace experiences, my analyses highlight how trans women navigate relational practices that are simultaneously gendered and cisgendered—that is, practices that maintain cultural connections between sex and gender and maintain gender as immutable. Findings demarcate three distinct mechanisms by which cisgenderism, a system that devalues women and trans people, operates and strengthens hierarchical privileges at work: (1) double-bind constraints; (2) fluid biases of cissexism and sexism; and (3) group practices of privilege and subordination. In the first regard, analyses reveal unique double binds that trans women face—binds that dictate contradictory feminine and masculine ideal worker expectations but also expectations of gender authenticity. Second, I find that trans women often hover between two subordinate statuses (i.e., gender and transgender status) in a given workday, a fact that prods a more fluid conception of cisgenderism. Finally, this study highlights how cis men collectively mobilize through group practices to repair cisgender system breaches. All three dimensions are critical for understanding the production of workplace inequality between not only trans women and cis men, but all feminine-identified workers.

Yavorsky, Jill E., Philip N. Cohen, and Yue Qian. “Man Up, Man Down: Race-ethnicity and the Gendered Hierarchy of Men in Female-dominated Work.” Forthcoming at The Sociological Quarterly

Scholars have largely overlooked the significance of race and socioeconomic status in determining which men traverse gender boundaries into female-dominated, typically devalued, work. Examining the gender composition of the jobs that racial minority men occupy provides critical insights into mechanisms of broader racial disparities in the labor market—in addition to stalled occupational desegregation trends between men and women. Using nationally representative data from the three-year American Community Survey (2010–2012), we examine racial/ethnic and educational differences in which men occupy gender-typed jobs. We find that racial minority men are more likely than white men to occupy female-dominated jobs at all levels of education—except highly educated Asian/Pacific Islander men—and that these patterns are more pronounced at lower levels of education. These findings have implications for broader occupational inequality patterns among men as well as between men and women.

Schoppe-Sullivan, Sarah J., Jill E. Yavorsky, Mitchell Bartholomew, Jason M. Sullivan, Meghan A. Lee, Claire M. Kamp Dush, and Michael Glassman. “Doing Gender Online: New Mothers’ Psychological Characteristics, Facebook Use, and Depressive Symptoms” 2016. Sex Roles

Online social networking sites, such as Facebook, have provided a new platform for individuals to produce and reproduce gender through social interactions. New mothers, in particular, may use Facebook to practice behaviors that align with their mothering identity and meet broader societal expectations, or in other words, to do motherhood. Given that Facebook use may undermine well-being, it is important to understand the individual differences underlying new mothers’ experiences with Facebook during the stressful first months of parenthood. Using survey data from a sample of 127 new mothers with Facebook accounts residing in the U.S. Midwest, we addressed two key questions: (a) Are individual differences in new mothers’ psychological characteristics associated with their use and experiences of Facebook? and (b) Are new mothers’ psychological characteristics associated with greater risk for depressive symptoms via their use and experiences of Facebook? Regression analyses revealed that mothers who were more concerned with external validation of their identities as mothers and those who believed that society holds them to excessively high standards for parenting engaged in more frequent Facebook activity and also reported stronger emotional reactions to Facebook commentary. Moreover, mothers who were more concerned with external validation were more likely to have featured their child in their Facebook profile picture. Mediation analyses indicated that mothers who were more prone to seeking external validation for their mothering identity and perfectionistic about parenting experienced increases in depressive symptoms indirectly via greater Facebook activity.

Yavorsky, Jill E., Claire M. Kamp Dush and Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan. 2015. “Production of Inequality: Gender Division of Labor Across the Transition to Parenthood.Journal of Marriage and Family. 77(3):662-679.

 ***Winner of the 2014 Jesse Bernard Award for Outstanding Contribution to Feminist Scholarship, National Council on Family Relations

***News Press Coverage: New York Times, TIME, Washington Post, Newsweek, Slate, Chicago Tribune, LA Times

Using longitudinal time diary and survey data from a community sample of dual-earner couples across the transition to parenthood, we examined change in divisions of paid and unpaid work and assessed the accuracy of survey data for time-use measurement. Mothers, according to the time diaries, shouldered the majority of childcare and did not decrease paid work hours. Further, the gender gap was not present prebirth, but emerged postbirth with women doing over two hours of additional work per day compared to an additional 40 minutes for men. Moreover, the birth of a child magnified parents’ overestimations of work in the survey data and had we relied only on survey data, gender work inequalities would not have been apparent. Findings have important implications for 1) the state of the gender revolution among couples well-positioned to obtained balanced workloads and 2) the utility of survey data to measure parents’ division of labor.

Yavorsky, Jill E. and Liana Sayer. 2013. “‘Doing Fear.’ The Influence of Hetero-femininity on (Trans)women’s Fears of VictimizationThe Sociological Quarterly 54(4):511-533.

Through 26 in-depth interviews with male-to-female transsexuals (transwomen), this study examines transwomen’s perceptions of safety, pre- and post-transition. The majority reported higher levels of fear and believed they would be unable to fight off an attacker post-transition even though most were large statured and were socialized as males. Exposure to heterosexual practices and to cultural messages depicting women as physically weak and sexually vulnerable, and transwomen’s embodiment of hetero-femininity play a central role in increasing their fears. Their experiences as women are powerful enough to override decades of prior male experiences and expose the socially constructed nature of fear and bodily agency.

Roscigno, Vincent J. and Jill E. Yavorsky. 2014. “Discrimination, Diversity and Work.” in Routledge International Handbook of Diversity Studies, edited by Steven Vertovec. Routledge Publishers.

EXCERPT: A relational approach to understanding workplace discrimination, diversity, and inequality, as we have outlined, offers several important guideposts and directions for future work. Indeed, it encourages scholars interested in these topics to: (1) move beyond overly simplistic, reductionist accounts of bias and cognition; (2) recognize the centrality of status dynamics and interaction, to be sure, but within structural and cultural contexts that enable and constrain interactions, the salience of statuses, and the leverage actors exert; and (3) acknowledge that compositional diversity rarely automatically equates to either substantive diversity or equality within organizational processes themselves. We believe that doing so will generate a more comprehensive understanding of inequality (Wilson et al. 2013) while also revealing potential points wherein issues of substantive diversity and inequality might be effectively, if not more directly, addressed.


Yavorsky, Jill E. “Hiring Discrimination and the Gendered Construction of Jobs.” Revise and Resubmit at American Sociological Review

* 2015 Graduate Student Paper Award, Southern Sociologists for Women in Society

* 2015 Graduate Student Paper Award, Midwest Sociologists for Women in Society

* 2015 Clyde W. Franklin Award for Contributions on Gender and Race, The Ohio State University

Yavorsky, Jill E., Lisa A. Keister, and Mike Nau. “The Stalled Revolution: Gender and the One Percent Glass Ceiling.” Under review at Social Forces