The perception of certain work as feminine has had a significant impact on women, both at home and in the workplace. Often feminine jobs regulate women to positions where they earn less money and are less likely to become management than their male counterparts. In addition, at home women are still chiefly responsible for managing the household and child rearing. These mundane and repetitive duties are not considered masculine, like vehicle maintenance and yard work, and therefore fall on the shoulders of women.
Working women constantly battle against horizontal segregation, the separation of women and men into gender specific jobs. These feminine positions, also known as pink collar jobs, mainly involve working with people, domestic duties, and administrative work. Men mostly hold both blue collar jobs, factory and mechanical work, and white collar jobs, professional work. These positions are considered more valuable which translates into higher wages. Additionally, blue collar jobs are often unionized resulting in both higher wages and better benefits.
Another phenomenon that affects working women is vertical segregation, gender separation within the same job classification. For example, female physicians on the average make only 77 percent of what male physicians make. Likewise, female lawyers are less likely to practice criminal law and are more likely to practice family law. In turn, they earn around 70 percent of male lawyers’ salaries.1 Similarly, female college professors typically teach in the humanities and social science disciplines, while male professors are more visible in the physical sciences. The masculine positions are viewed by society to be more important and valuable; therefore, they pay more and command higher respect.
Many women have been denied top-level positions in their professions simply because they are females. Although they have earned the degrees and put in the necessary years of s...