2004
Volume 94, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0025-9454
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2816

Abstract

Abstract

Women still have limited access to positions of authority in the workplace. Although the slow progress in this regard is much debated, research shedding light on trends in women’s workplace authority remains scarce, particularly outside the US. Moreover, rigorous empirical tests of which processes drive developments in women’s access to authority positions are largely lacking. This study addresses these research gaps. We examine trends in women’s workplace authority and investigate what drove them, concentrating on the role of historical shifts in the composition of the female labor force, labor market conditions, and societal gender ideology. By focusing on the Netherlands, we complement prior studies in the US and Sweden. We use representative, detailed longitudinal data from the Dutch Labor Supply Panel. Results revealed an upward trend in working women’s likelihood of holding positions of supervisory authority between 1985 and 2008. This trend accelerated in later years. Changes in the composition of the female labor force regarding education and experience formed important drivers of this trend. The findings on compositional changes regarding family status and working hours were unexpected. Changes in the composition of the female working population appeared to differ from those in the total female population. As a consequence these changes led to a decrease instead of an increase in women’s authority. Shifts in contextual conditions were also not found to play a role in explaining the trend.

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2019-03-01
2021-06-21
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): compositional effects; contextual effects; trends; women; workplace authority

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