The University of Texas at Austin
  • Sociologist quoted by USA Today

    By News Administrator
    Published: Nov. 15, 2007
    Sociologist

    Despite years of dialogue about equality and diversity, many occupations remain segregated by gender and stereotypes often prevent people from following their true career passions. “Any gender stereotype is bad,” said Christine L. Williams, a sociology professor at the University of Texas in Austin who has written about gender difference in the workplace. “It forces us into boxes and doesn’t draw on all our capabilities.” The statistics show it’s common for men to work with men and women to work with women. Experts said the trend is curious. Women have made steady strides breaking down barriers that prevented them from joining the ranks of professional workers. But they still contend with more subtle barriers that funnel male and female workers into different jobs. For example, women still are viewed as the primary caregivers for their children. It means they might turn down a job that doesn’t offer flexible hours. And they might need to give up promotions that come precisely at an age when they want to have children, experts said. Men traditionally are viewed as stronger and more technically adept, and the notion of pursuing a career that requires empathy and compassion can be met with derision. “A girl growing up who likes to do boy things is a tomboy. It’s a badge of honor,” University of Texas’ Williams said. “For boys to cross over, not so much.”

    USA Today
    Some Jobs Still Draw From One Gender
    (Nov. 10)

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