Women In The Workforce And There Networks

1690 words - 7 pages

Women in the Workforce: There NetworksIn the past, men were generally meant to be the bread winners in the family while women were suppose to be the caretakers of the children and home. Financial challenges, combined with better and expected educational opportunities, started the mobilization of women into the work force. Many colleges, universities, and Ivey league schools, once closed to women, opened their doors, making coed education dominant over single sex education. This all contributed to the changing definition and involvement of a woman's role in the business world. Many women sought work outside the home and started to compete for the previously male dominated occupations, but, despite all these changes and advancements for women, they encountered occupational sex segregation in the work force. Women found themselves channeled into female dominated jobs with lesser pay and fewer benefits as compared to male dominated jobs. (Drentea 1998) There is evidence that the roots of this discrimination can be contributed to the different job search methods used by men and women. It is these different search methods or social resources used by both sexes that have helped to create goal constraints and sex discrimination in the male dominant business world for women."Search methods or network ties have frequently been described as social resources that offer valuable support, acquaintances, and information (Moore 1990; Lin 1982; McPherson and Smith-Lovin 1982; Campbell, Marsden and Hurlbert 1986)." While studies show that both men and women may have networks similar in size, the compositions of the networks are very different. Men have more "extensive ties than women, especially to powerful persons in work organizations (Moore 1990; Miller 1986; Brass 1988)." These extensive ties go beyond family and immediate friends and are considered "weak ties" in that these relationships reach broader diverse groups with more social involvement. Men are able to have many more of these "weak ties" to higher professional organizations just because of how the male network system is set up (Granovetter). Women's ties are those considered to be strong, networks to friends and family rather than workers in various occupational positions. Connections to more "heterogeneous" groups provide more diverse job information therefore providing the job seeker with more job information (Moore 1990). These heterogeneous groups also provide greater access to personnel in higher paying positions with more power. In other words, being able to interact with contacts that have the authority to hire (Moore1990) provides men with more opportunities for placement and advancement in the job pool. Mobilization is always greater when networks move "beyond immediate circle of contacts (friends and family) and there is greater access to an interaction with non-kin networks (Moore 1990)." In the networks used by men, men also rely on each other for information leading to better or new jobs...

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