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Engendering Change: Organizational Dynamics And Workplace Gender Desegregation, 1975–2005

Matt L. Huffman, Philip N. Cohen, Jessica Pearlman

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We examine workplace-level sources of gender inequality to explore the link between organizational change and levels of workplace gender integration over time. To do so, we analyze the gender division of labor and key structural aspects of U.S. private-sector work establishments, using longitudinal data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1975 to 2005. We find that women's presence in managerial positions is positively related to gender integration, as is both establishment size and growth. Additionally, the results show that trends toward gender integration are due to change within workplaces rather than new, relatively integrated workplaces entering the population overtime. Our results also provide compelling evidence that the effect of female managers varies dramatically across organizational contexts, with the strongest desegregating effects in larger and growing establishments. Finally, the effect of women's access to organizational power structures has sharply diminished overtime.