by Kumiko Nemoto
It might be expected that a surge in the number of highly educated women living in an advanced economy and under a democracy should increase gender equality in that society, including the number of women leaders in business. However, despite such a surge in Japan, it remains one of the least gender-equal advanced countries in the world, with women constituting only 11 percent of managers and only 3 percent of board members.
My new book asks why the number of women remains so low in upper management in Japanese companies in Japan.
The absence of women leaders in a workplace hierarchy and a large concentration of women at the bottom is known as vertical sex segregation. The vertical sex segregation of Japanese companies is closely related to corporate management, the employment structure, and institutional features that support corporate customs.
UK Labour Force Survey July-October 2014 quarterly data, N=3377.
by Daniel Laurison and Sam Friedman
How “sticky” is your class of origin? That is, how much does the class you’re born in affect where you end up?
This is the question sociologists of social mobility seek to answer, and they almost always do it by looking at the association between parents and children on one measure of class position – occupation. Decades of this research show that social origin is a strong predictor of life outcomes – that is, there is much less intergenerational mobility than there would be if one’s class origin had no effect on one’s class destination.
But one limitation of this work is that it tends to assume that a person’s trajectory ends at the point they enter an occupation.
In our recent study, we take a different approach by looking at earnings among those in high-status jobs. We show that even when those from working-class backgrounds secure admission into Britain’s elite occupations, they don’t necessarily go on to achieve the same earnings as those from more privileged backgrounds. In other words, workers in the higher managerial and professional occupations experience a “class pay gap.”
by Laura Hanson Schlachter
The United States is experiencing an explosion of interest in worker cooperatives: firms owned and democratically governed by workers according to the principle of one worker, one vote. According to a forthcoming report by the Democracy at Work Institute, two-thirds of American worker co-ops formed after 2000 and the sector has grown 8.5 percent since 2013.
Although some of the energy is coming from longtime employee ownership advocates, a surprising number of unions are also wading into the worker co-op development game.
Union interest was catalyzed, in part, by a 2009 agreement to promote union co-ops between the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Mondragon worker cooperatives in Spain. The agreement marked a turning point in the debate about whether unions and worker co-ops are stronger together. It also helped inspire a new generation of start-up efforts explicitly emulating the USW-Mondragon model.
Democratic worker ownership can offer employment stability, solidarity, wealth accumulation, and other benefits to workers. Yet scaling up worker co-ops is no easy task. Low formation rates, cultural individualism, lack of financing, and unwieldy governance structures are major constraints.
Can directly engaging unions in the worker cooperative formation process help make democratic worker ownership more widely available to workers?
In a recent study, I identify six possibilities and dilemmas of union involvement in worker cooperative development through a case study of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative. This nonprofit incubator has launched three union co-ops since 2011 and become a hub for efforts to implement the USW-Mondragon model across the country.
by Laura Doering and Sarah Thébaud
Sociologists have long argued that we don’t just gender-stereotype individual men and women. We gender-stereotype jobs as well. For instance, we tend to think of firefighters as masculine and preschool teachers as feminine.
This kind of stereotyping has important implications for all kinds of labor market outcomes. It shapes applicant pools, hiring decisions, pay, and performance evaluations, among other things.
But how quickly do jobs get gender stereotyped in the first place? And to what extent do such stereotypes affect the authority that men and women experience? Our research reveals that when we attach gender stereotypes to jobs, both women and men can experience disadvantage.
In our recently published study, we looked at how clients responded to managers in a job that was not already gender-stereotyped because it was relatively new and gender-balanced in its composition: a commercial microfinance loan manager.
Since this job had no clear gender association, we reasoned that clients would treat the role as masculine or feminine based on the first person with whom they interacted. That is, if a client was first paired with a male manager, that client would come to treat the role as if it were a “man’s job.” And if a client was first paired with a woman, he or she would treat the role as if it were a “woman’s job.”