Sex-based occupational segregation in U.S. state bureaucracies, 1987-97.
The literature on the distribution of women and men in public-sector jobs and the integration of women into government managerial ranks is replete with evidence that women often face glass walls, especially in certain types of agencies (Lewis and Emmert 1986; Pfeifer and Davis-Blake 1987; Kellough 1989, 1990; Guy and Duerst-Lahti 1992; Bullard and Wright 1993; Cornwell and Kellough 1994; Guy 1994; Lewis and Nice 1994; Naif 1994; Newman 1994; Riccucci and Saidel 1997). The glass wall metaphor refers to occupational segregation attributed to barriers that restrict women's access to certain types of jobs (or agencies) or to factors that concentrate women within certain types of jobs (or agencies). Glass walls are likely to persist when (1) the agency and its clientele do not engage in efforts to remove impediments to change; and/or (2) skills necessary to perform jobs in a given agency are not highly valued outside the agency.
Large-scale studies of sex-based occupational segregation have been conducted on U.S. federal government (Rosenbloom 1977; Lewis and Emmert 1986; Kellough 1989, 1990) and municipal government workforces (Miller, Kerr, and Reid 1999), but the lack of access to comparative public employment data on states has resulted in a dearth of generalizable empirical studies on employment in state-level bureaucracies. Numerous studies employ summary data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Job Patterns for Minorities and Women In State and Local Government (Cayer and Sigelman 1980; Moore and Mazey 1986; Sigelman and Dometrius 1986; Lewis and Nice 1994; Dometrius and Sigelman 1997). (1) Many other studies are based on samples drawn from one state or just a few states (Bayes 1989; Rehfuss 1986; Hale, Kelly, and Burgess 1989; Kelly et al. 1991; Duerst-Lahti and Johnson 1992; Guy 1992; Newman 1994). The data employed by Bullard and Wright (1993) and Riccucci and Saidel (1997) are limited to agency heads from across the 50 states and gubernatorial appointees from nearly all 50 states, respectively. Previous research on the distribution of state jobs provides some useful conceptual and analytic frameworks, but findings from these studies provide little basis for generalizing about the employment patterns of career administrative and professional personnel.
In this article, we examine the distribution of women and men in state-level administrative and professional positions by agency type and over time in each of the 50 states to determine whether agency missions are associated with the extent and nature of glass walls. We are interested in the following questions: (1) what is the distribution of female and male administrators and professionals in various functional areas in state governments (police, corrections, natural resources/parks, highways, public welfare, etc.); and (2) is the underrepresentation and/or overrepresentation of female or male administrators and professionals in various functional areas related to the agency missions in those functional areas?
These questions are important for several reasons. Greater access to quality jobs, including public-sector managerial positions, promotes the economic, social, and political progress of women, and it may result in longterm benefits through altered socialization processes (Kanter 1977; MacManus 1981; Tolleson-Rinehart 1991; Guy and Duerst-Lahti 1992). Greater representation for women among managerial personnel is also likely to result in changes in management styles and leadership processes, perhaps making them more innovative and democratic (Tolleson-Rinehart 1991; Duerst-Lahti and Johnson 1992; Stivers 1993). The increased presence of women is also likely to have a distinctive impact on policy outputs (Mezey 1978; Stewart 1980; Stanwick and Kleeman 1983; Welch 1985; Gelb and Palley 1996; Carroll, Dodson, and Mandel 1991; Dodson and Carroll 1991; Tolleson-Rinehart 1991; Thomas 1994; but see Donahue 1997; Ford and Dolan 1999).
The focus on women in state bureaucracies is important because state governments function as distinct entities with their own constitutions, laws, and independently raised revenues (Kelly et al. 1991). Osborne (1988) and Van Horn (1989) argue that state governments have become more responsive, innovative, and effective; however, these efforts are by no means distributed uniformly across all states (Brudney, Hebert, and Wright 1999). Nonetheless, over the last three decades there has been a marked increase in state agency activism (Wright, Yoo, and Cohen 1991; Bullard and Wright 1993). Bullard and Wright (1993) argue that administrative activism in the states converged with women's activism to create expanded opportunities for women at the state level, often in the form of newly created agencies and programs. They also argue that, all else being equal, new agencies and programs are less likely than existing agencies and programs to be subject to constraints invidious to women (Bullard and Wright 1993). Such expanded opportunities provide reason to think that, in general, employment patterns should indicate evidence of growth in women's share of managerial positions in state government.
Theory and Hypotheses
When and where women enter public-sector management positions varies by agency type or mission (Saltzstein 1986; Stein 1986; Pfeifer and Davis-Blake 1987; Bullard and Wright 1993; Lewis and Nice 1994; Naif 1994; Newman 1994; Kearney and Sellers 1996; Miller, Kerr, and Reid 1999; Reid, Kerr, and Miller 2000). Lewis and Nice (1994) find that women employed in state and local governments are heavily overrepresented in public welfare, housing, and health agencies, while men are overrepresented in streets and highways, fire, and police departments. Riccucci and Saidel (1997) find that among state-level political appointees, women are severely underrepresented in utilities and transportation, police, fire, natural resources, and corrections agencies, but that women approach or surpass parity in public welfare, employment security, health, labor and human resources, and civil and human fights agencies. Bullard and Wright (1993) find that, as late as 1988, women were not represented at all or were extremely underrepresented at the highest administrative levels in law enforcement and corrections, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, attorneys general, economic development, labor, oil and gas, water pollution, and water resources agencies. The general picture that emerges is that women are poorly represented in regulatory and distributive agencies, but they are relatively well represented in redistributive agencies.
Some of the most interesting theoretical work on the relationship between agency missions and occupational segregation has been done by Lowi (1985) and Newman (1994). Lowi's (1985) general argument is that sex-based occupational segregation among managerial personnel varies depending on whether agency missions are, on balance, distributive, regulatory, or redistributive (see also Newman 1994; Miller, Kerr, and Reid 1999). Newman's (1994) analysis of Florida state bureaucracies suggests that most women work in redistributive and regulatory agencies. She argues that discrimination in the hiring and promotion of women is most severe in distributive agencies (Newman 1994). We follow the contributions of Lowi (1985) and Newman (1994) in order to test our theoretical arguments about sex-based occupational segregation in state bureaucracies for 1987-97 across all 50 states.
Typical distributive functions performed by state governments include (1) construction, repair, and administration of highways and bridges; (2) administration and management of forest and other state lands; (3) provision and operation of parks and recreational facilities; (4) historic preservation and beautification; and (5) development and management of water resources. The corresponding functions on the EEO-4 form (see appendix for a description of functions) are highways and streets, natural resources and parks and recreation, and community development (EEOC Form 164).
Newman (1994) and Lowi (1985) argue that mutually reinforcing relationships between agencies and their clientele make distributive processes resistant to change, thereby making it more difficult for women to enter these occupational areas. Distributive agencies are characterized by a reliance on professional and occupational norms, promotion of specialists (engineers, biologists, physical and social scientists, and the like) rather than generalists, limited due process requirements, relatively wide fields of discretion, and limited sensitivity to discriminatory practices (Corson and Paul 1966; Lowi 1985; Lewis and Emmert 1986; Newman 1994). Because of these factors, we believe males will be heavily overrepresented among managerial workforces in distributive agencies, and, over time, there will be little or no progress toward gender balance in these agencies.
Regulatory functions performed by state governments include (1) police protection; (2) operation of prisons, reformatories, and detention homes, including activities related to parole and probation; (3) fire protection; and (4) regulation of numerous business practices such as labor relations, securities, environmental conditions, banking, insurance, water transportation; utilities, energy, oil and gas, etc. The corresponding job categories on the EEO-4 are police, fire, corrections, and utilities and transportation (EEOC Form 164).
Regulatory policies impose obligations and sanctions that seek to control individual and collective behavior (Lowi 1964, 1972). Policies dealing with criminal behavior involving persons and property are clearly regulatory in nature.2 So are other policies, such as regulation of business, under which the likelihood of coercion is immediate and the applicability of coercion works through individual contact (Lowi 1972). We retain the regulatory policy label for convenience sake, but wish to point out that it may not simply be the regulatory nature of police and corrections that makes them gender segregated. Traditional policing agencies do not promote gender balance (Cayer and Sigelman 1980; Riccucci 1986; Warner, Steel, and Lovrich 1989), and these agencies have developed a host of practices that exclude women from high-level positions (Steel and Lovrich 1986; Stein 1986; Mladenka 1991; Newman 1993). Nor do we think that nonpolicing state regulatory agencies--those other than police, fire, and corrections--will hire large numbers of women into administrative and professional positions. However, we do expect the percentage of women in nonpolicing regulatory agencies-in this case, utilities and transportation--to be greater than percentages in traditional policing functions because (1) these agencies are likely to hire attorneys (see Newman 1994); and (2) women's enrollment in law schools has increased over the last two decades (Chronicle of Higher Education 1999).
Redistributive functions performed by state governments include (1) management of public welfare programs; (2) management of employment security; (3) mental health and retardation programs; (4) programs for the aging; (5) vocational rehabilitation; (6) maintenance and operation of homes and other institutions for the disabled and needy; and (7) provision of public health services. The corresponding functions on the EEO-4 are public welfare, hospitals and sanatoriums, health, and employment security (EEOC Form 164).
Redistributive policies shift wealth and/or rights between groups or classes (Lowi 1964). Redistributive agencies are likely to support affirmative action goals, often hiring from among their clientele, and they are likely to promote employees internally to top management positions (Wildavsky 1979; Newman 1994; Miller, Kerr, and Reid 1999). Policy missions in redistributive agencies should be favorable to the hiring and promotion of women. Thus, an overwhelming majority of these agencies should achieve gender balance among their administrative and professional workforces.
In sum, the hypotheses we test are: (1) women will be underrepresented among administrative and professional workforces in distributive and regulatory functions (glass wall hypothesis); (2) within regulatory functions, we expect levels of occupational segregation to be greatest in police and fire; and (3) in redistributive functions, states will achieve gender balance among administrative and professional workforces (gender balance hypothesis). We expect to observe little or no movement over time toward gender balance in police and fire, but in corrections, distributive, and nonpolicing regulatory functions (utilities and transportation), we expect to observe slight movement toward gender balance. We employ Lowi's argument as a loose conceptual framework with which to answer the research questions. Although we recognize that Lowi's policy categories are subject to problems with reliability, exclusiveness of categories, and inclusiveness of policies (see especially Froman 1968), we find the heuristic benefits and the benefits in analytic leverage associated with this framework far outweigh its shortcomings.
Data, Variables, and Method
The data for our analysis were provided by the EEOC and are not publicly available. (3) We obtained data for 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 1997 that include all EEO-4 reports for U.S. states. These reports are the most complete source of state employment data in existence. They include all state employees, except those who work in public school systems and institutions of higher education. (4) The data included in these reports permit analysis of sex-based occupational segregation by job category (administrators, professionals, etc.) and functional policy area (natural resources and parks, police, public welfare, etc.).
Variables and Method
Our objective is to determine whether functional areas within states show evidence of glass walls or, conversely, evidence of gender balance. In order to test our hypotheses about glass walls and gender balance, we compare the distribution of women and men in administrative and professional positions by functional area for the period 1987 through 1997. (5) We follow previous research by employing a cutoff point of 30 percent for gender balance (Tomaskovic-Devey 1993; Tomaskovic-Devey, Kalleberg, and Marsden 1996; Miller, Kerr, and Reid 1999). (6) The 30 percent mark represents a reasonable standard for evaluating the employment performance of states because our goal is to identify job categories and functions in which women and men are equally or nearly equally represented (Tomaskovic-Devery 1993). Furthermore, once an agency reaches or surpasses the 30 percent threshold, a critical mass of female managers is in place, increasing the likelihood that (1) female managers can be retained and promoted, and (2) women will have increased opportunities for influencing policy outputs. Accordingly, functions within states are classified as meeting the goal for gender balance in a certain job category if their administrative or professional workforces are at least 30 percent female; if a workforce is less than 30 percent female, we interpret this as evidence of the existence of glass walls. Such a conservative benchmark will tend to overestimate the incidence of gender balance; in state agencies. Because the data set includes the entire population of state-level administrative and professional employees by functional area and sex, we do not need to rely on inferential statistics in order to test our hypotheses.
Following the suggestions of Lowi (1985), we group functional categories as distributive, regulatory, or redistributive. Grouping agencies into functional areas results in some inconsistencies in classification, largely because Lowi's categories, which were intended to apply to the federal government, do not correspond exactly to the EEOC's functional areas. If policy missions are fairly equally divided between two policy types, we classify the function as indeterminate. Natural resources and parks and recreation, highways and streets, and community development are predominantly distributive. Police protection, corrections, fire, and utilities and transportation are classified as predominantly regulator. (7) Employment security, public welfare, housing, health, and hospitals and sanatoriums are predominantly redistributive. Financial administration and general control does not fit neatly into a single policy category because it includes an array of missions (tax assessment, budgeting, treasury, auditing, and judiciary). Accordingly, we classify this function as indeterminate.
We examine two job categories listed on EEOC Form 164 (various years): officials and administrators, and professionals. Officials and administrators are occupations in which employees set broad policies, exercise overall responsibility for execution of these policies, direct individual departments or special phases of the agency operations, or provide specialized consultation on a regional, district, or area basis (EEOC Form 164 1986, 5). Professionals are occupations that require specialized and theoretical knowledge, usually acquired through college training or through work experience and other training that provides comparable knowledge (EEOC Form 164 1986, 5).
Occupational Segregation among Administrators
Table 1 reports the indicators of occupational segregation for administrative personnel by year and functional policy area. Because our primary interest is how states perform in the areas of sex-based occupational segregation and gender balance, our unit of analysis is the functional area in each state. Accordingly, we focus most of our attention on the percentage of states with administrative workforces in discrete functional areas that reach the benchmark (or wall goal) of 30 percent women. In table 1, we also report the median percentage of women among state administrative workforces by year for each functional area.
Distributive Functions. Sex-based occupational segregation among administrators is pervasive in highways and natural resources and parks. In highway departments, as late as 1997, only three of 47 states (roughly 6 percent) had reached the goal among administrative workforces, and the median share of women among administrative cadres in these departments was 14 percent. In natural resources and parks, approximately 14 percent of the states (seven out of 49) had reached the benchmark for gender balance in 1997. Furthermore, these functions evince only slight movement toward gender balance between 1987 and 1997. In sum, the indicators for these functions provide clear evidence in support of the glass wall hypothesis.
Patterns of occupational segregation are less pervasive in the community development function. Approximately half of the states reporting administrative employees in community development in 1987 (about 52 percent) and nearly two-thirds of those reporting in 1997 (64 percent) had reached or surpassed the goal of 30 percent female, indicating significant improvement among these departments. By 1997, the median state's administrative workforce in community development was 34 percent female. Why is there less sex-based occupational segregation in community development than in natural resources and parks and in highways? Community development embodies a clear distributive component; however, some of the missions in this function, most notably open spaces policy, beautification, and preservation, are not likely to be dominated by traditional banking and real estate interests, interests typically dominated by men. Furthermore a few agency programs in community development focus on redistributive policy (for instance, residential and business redevelopment in low income areas), and thus are not likely to exhibit high levels of sex-based occupational segregation.
Regulatory Functions. We hypothesize that women will not be well represented among administrative personnel in regulatory agencies that perform traditional policing functions, and that there will be little, if any, trend toward gender balance among these administrative workforces. In very few states, four out of 46 (or about 9 percent), had police agencies achieved the wall goal among administrative personnel in 1987. Ten years later, only about 8 percent of states had reached the wall goal in police. The indicators reported in table 1 for the share of all male administrative cadres in police show marginal improvement between 1987 and 1997, as the percentage of all-male administrative workforces decreased from 35 percent to 13 percent. Nevertheless, as late as 1997, the median state's administrative workforce in police was comprised of just 15 percent women. Just a handful of states--only 10 in 1997--reported administrative personnel in fire agencies; however, because of the historical and legal importance of personnel policy in fire, we elected to report the indicators for fire agencies. In 1997, six out of 10 states employed all-male administrative cadres in fire agencies, and only one of the 10 states had reached the wall goal, suggesting higher levels sex-based occupational segregation in fire agencies than in police agencies. We cannot be sure why fire agencies perform worse than police agencies; however, it is likely that state-level fire agencies, which often have responsibility for firefighter training, hazardous materials incident responses, fire safety code adoption and enforcement, and the like, are not as aggressive as police agencies in creating managerial positions considered suitable for women (such as victims advocacy positions and community outreach and relations positions). Thus, there are fewer women in the professional ranks that can be promoted to the administrative ranks. Though less pervasive than in police and fire, occupational segregation among administrative personnel in corrections departments is significant across the states. Between 1987 and 1997, the percentage of states that had reached the wall goal in corrections increased from 8 percent to 17 percent, and the median state's female workforce share among administrators increased from 15 percent to 24 percent. Even with this improvement over time, we wish to emphasize that approximately 83 percent of states, 40 out of 48, had not reached the wall goal by 1997.
Thus, our hypotheses that posit widespread sex-based occupational segregation in police and fire, and slightly less segregation in corrections, are supported. Moreover, consistent with our hypothesized relationships, we uncover only marginal movement toward gender balance among administrative workforces in regulatory agencies with traditional policing responsibilities.
In utilities and transportation, there was little decrease between 1987 and 1997 in the level of sex-based occupational segregation among administrators, but there is less segregation than in police and fire. Approximately 20 percent to 30 percent of states achieved gender balance, and the median state's administrative workforce is approximately 20 percent female for each year we examine. Generally, however, the evidence supports the glass wall hypothesis in utilities and transportation.
Redistributive Functions. We predict that women will be well represented among administrative ranks in redistributive agencies. The patterns in table 1 indicate (1) support for the gender balance hypothesis, and (2) trends toward greater gender balance in state-level agencies with redistributive policy commitments. Health agencies in a majority of states are gender balanced (from 58 percent in 1987 to 88 percent in 1997), and, in 1997, the median state's administrative workforce in the health function was 46 percent female. An even greater percentage of states reached the wall goal in public welfare agencies; in such agencies, employment patterns indicate dramatic movement toward gender balance, as the percentage of states reaching the wall goal ranges from 74 percent in 1987 to 96 percent in 1997. As expected, administrative cadres in state hospitals also indicate relatively high levels of female representation. In employment security, only 31 percent of states had reached the wall goal among administrative personnel in 1987, but by 1997, 71 percent of states had reached the goal, with the median state's administrative cadre in employment security reaching 38 percent women. The patterns in housing agencies, however, do not provide clear support for the gender balance hypothesis. There is a moderate trend toward gender balance between 1987 and 1997, but by 1997 only about half of the states (11 of 21) had reached the wall goal.
With the exception of housing agencies, then, our findings indicate clear support for (1) the gender balance hypothesis in redistributive agencies; and (2) the proposition that, through the 1980s and 1990s, increasing numbers of women gained access to administrative positions in departments with redistributive policy commitments. Although these trends are encouraging, we once again emphasize that salaries tend to be lower in redistributive agencies. Furthermore, as Lowi (1985) observes, redistributive agencies are the most centralized and rule bound; middle- and upper-level managers in state redistributive agencies typically have limited administrative discretion, they describe their leadership style as "managing by the book," and the majority of their clientele are women.
Financial Administration and General Control. The financial administration and general control function includes agencies with a diverse range of missions. All judicial agencies and offices are reported in this function, as well as the offices of treasurer, auditor, and comptroller. Our indicators for financial administration and general control show that administrative workforces became much more gender balanced between 1987, when 27 percent of states had reached the wall goal, and 1997, when 73 percent of states had reached the goal. We now turn to an analysis of sex-based occupational segregation among professional workforces.
Occupational Segregation among Professionals
Distributive Functions. Sex-based occupational segregation among professionals in highways and natural resources and parks is not as pervasive as it is among administrative workforces, though fairly substantial levels of segregation do exist (see table 2). In highways, as late as 1997, only 10 percent of states had reached the benchmark for gender balance--and the median state's professional workforce was 21 percent female. Professional workforces in natural resources became much less segregated between 1987, when 8 percent of states had reached the wall goal, and 1997, when 37 percent did. Yet, by 1997, 63 percent of the states still had not reached the 30 percent cutoff point for gender balance. There is far less occupational segregation in community development agencies than in other distributive agencies. Ninety-four percent of states, 31 out of 33, achieved gender balance among their professional cadres in community development. In sum, despite the better performance of states in the area of professional employment vis-a-vis administrative employment in distributive agencies, and despite movement toward[ gender balance over time, we still find some support for the glass wall hypothesis in highways and natural resources and parks. On the other hand, our exanfination of professional workforces in the community development function provides no support for the glass wall hypothesis.
Regulatory Functions. Police and fire professionals include individuals with the rank of captain and lieutenant (EEOC Form 164). The indicators reported in table 2 show significant progress toward gender balance among state-level professional workforces in police. While only about 17 percent of professional police workforces (eight out of 46) had reached the wall goal in 1987, by 1997, 67 percent (32 out of 48) had achieved the benchmark for gender balance Most likely, much of this progress is due to a nationwide trend toward creation of nontraditional policing positions in areas such as community relations, victims' advocacy, and school resources. A slightly less optimistic picture emerges in the fire function, where our indicators show the percentage of states achieving gender balance grew from 8 percent to 27 percent between 1987 and 1997. Professional work forces in state corrections departments are much more gender-balanced than those in police and fire. By 1997, 94 percent of states (45 out of 48) had reached or surpassed the gender balance benchmark. On one hand, the pattern of gender balance is encouraging, but on the other, we wish to emphasize that, on average, salaries in police and fire are higher than those in corrections agencies. The patterns in the data support the generalization that the female share of positions is inversely related to the salary levels of both men and women working in those agencies (Pfeffer and Davis-Blake 1987; Baron and Newman 1989; Lewis and Nice 1994).
Redistributive Functions. We find strong support for our hypothesis that posits gender balance in redistributive agencies. By 1997, all states had achieved the benchmark for gender balance in public welfare, hospitals, and employment security--and 48 out of 49 states had met or surpassed the wall goal in health agencies in 1997. Even in the most poorly performing redistributive function, housing, 19 out of 21 states employed gender-balanced professional workforces in 1997.
Financial Administration and General Control. State professional workforces in financial administration and general control are as gender balanced as professional workforces in redistributive agencies. By 1997, fully 100 percent of reporting states--49 out of 49--had reached or surpassed the benchmark for gender balance, and the median state's professional workforce in this function was 49 percent female.
Summary and Discussion
In general, our analysis of sex-based occupational segregation in state agencies provides empirical support for the theoretical arguments made by Lowi (1985) and Newman (1994). State agencies with distributive and regulatory policy commitments typically employ administrative workforces characterized by high levels of sex-based occupational segregation. Moreover, administrative workforces in these agencies have become only slightly more gender balanced over time. On the other hand, professional workforces in some distributive and regulatory agencies, especially those in natural resources and parks, police, community development, and corrections, became significantly more gender balanced between 1987 and 1997. The indicators for professional workforces in highways and fire, however, show high levels of occupational segregation alongside patterns of relatively modest improvement over time. We find strong support for the hypothesis of gender balance among both administrative and professional workforces in state agencies with redistributive policy commitments, but again, we emphasize that salary levels in redistributive agencies tend to be lower than those in other agencies and that levels of discretion provided to managerial personnel in these agencies tend to be low. Furthermore, we wish to add that using a conservative cutoff point of 30 percent tends to overestimate the incidence of gender balance in all types of agencies. It follows that operational definitions of parity based on an equal share of jobs would produce a portrait of agency gender profiles that is more inequitable than what is presented here.
With this in mind, our findings on occupational segregation may have important implications for future research on the advancement of women into the top administrative positions in state governments. Although growth in women's share of professional jobs presumably creates a larger pool of female employees that can be tapped for promotions to administrative positions, perhaps placing some women in a position to break the glass ceiling, we think the relationship between glass walls and glass ceilings may vary from agency to agency and may reflect policy missions. For agencies that are likely to emphasize recruitment at the bottom, low lateral entry, and internal promotion to top positions rather than high lateral entry, we think that if glass walls are shattered at the level of professional workforces, glass ceilings at the administrative level can be broken by large numbers of women. This pattern is likely to occur in agencies with redistributive policy commitments. By contrast, police and fire agencies tend to promote employees through the ranks and emphasize low lateral entry. Unlike the findings for redistributive agencies, however, our empirical analysis indicates that in police and fire agencies, women often do not advance beyond the professional or mid-management ranks. On the other hand, in agencies that emphasize the hiring of subject and technical specialists and frequently hire laterally into top positions (for instance, typical distributive agencies that often hire engineers and scientists as well as agencies that regulate business such as utilities and transportation), there may be little correlation between the erosion of glass walls at the level of professional workforces and erosion of the (administrative) glass ceiling. In sum, the variance in the relationship between glass walls and glass ceilings is likely to be affected by characteristics internal to the agency and/or the influence of external stakeholder groups. Agency missions are likely to reflect both the internal and external values and considerations of organizations. Missions represent an organization's direction and purpose and are invariably tied to expectations regarding employee behavior. Although we do not observe or measure organizational culture in this analysis, the empirical results suggest that organizational culture and agency missions are related. Agencies with predominantly technical missions are likely to recruit managerial personnel with professional orientations, behavioral standards, and other socializing agents predominant in their professions. The result may be work-places in which (1) there is a lack of training, awareness, and/or sensitivity to due process and other administrative norms and ethics; and (2) gender and ethnic stereotyping occurs. If such workplaces employ few females or ethnic minorities, this probably tells us more about the internal agency culture than its official mission. Moreover, if small numbers of female administrators are hired in fields where sufficient numbers of professionals exist, and if such employment patterns persist over time, it seems clear that these agencies are not making the effort necessary to change the prevailing culture in their agencies. In order to clarify the relationship over time between glass walls and glass ceilings, we believe additional empirical research into the nature of these relationships is needed.
Finally, what are the implications of gendered bureaucracy for the practice and study of public administration? Establishing that women are underrepresented in administrative positions in regulatory and distributive agencies is a relatively straightforward empirical exercise; however, getting agencies to recognize and identify rules, procedures, and organizational norms and customs that are invidious to women is an altogether different matter. This is likely to be a highly conflictual, political process because it may open up or expose a number of threatening prospects. Clearly, agreement and acceptance among administrative personnel that such barriers exist must precede any discussion of conceptualizing goals and strategies aimed at increasing workplace diversity in sex-segregated organizations. If commitment to these strategies results in success, changes in management and leadership styles and policy outputs are likely to occur, but the organizational learning curve will be much longer and more complex in the most segregated organizations. Furthermore, in these organizations, it may be far easier to attract female managers than to retain them. If women can be systematically retained in sex-segregated agencies that serve a large female clientele, such as police, fire, and natural resources and parks, the legitimacy of such agencies will be enhanced (Stivers 1993). However, because the clientele served by such agencies is diffuse, it is unlikely that demands and pressures for change will come from such constituents. Consequently, leadership commitment at either the administrative or elective level--or ideally, both--may be a necessary precondition for systematically identifying and addressing internal practices as well as external relationships that pose barriers to the employment and promotion prospects of women. The clientele of other highly sex-segregated organizations, such as highways and utilities and transportation, are far less likely to have high percentages of women among their ranks, in part, because most of the clientele that work directly with agency personnel hail from sectors of the economy that are overwhelmingly male--civil engineering, petroleum engineering, and the pipeline industry. In addition, these individuals share similar professional training and norms. The most likely avenue for reform in these types of agencies may come from the large numbers of women entering the legal profession, along with, in some cases, a broadening of agency focus to include greater emphasis on diversity and legal issues. Such a shift would need to be complimented by leaders (1) who are committed to changing, in many cases, the direction of agency policy outputs, and (2) who are more supportive of those who enter public service through the traditional administrative service. These observations are roughly consistent with the arguments made by Hale and Kelly (1989) and Stivers (1993), who maintain that presumably neutral ideas such as efficiency, businesslike methods, and the science of administration disguise gender biases and dilemmas faced by women. These biases cannot be addressed unless public administration is reconstructed from the ground up.
Appendix Functional Areas on EEOC Form 164
Financial Administration and General Control. Tax assessing, tax billing and collection, budgeting, purchasing, central accounting, and similar financial administration carried on by a treasurer s, auditor's, or comptroller's office; duties usually performed by boards of supervisors or commissioners, central administrative offices and agencies, central personnel or planning agencies, all judicial offices, and employees (judges, magistrates,bailiffs, etc.).
Highways and Streets. Maintenance, repair, construction, and administration of streets, alleys, sidewalks, roads, highways, and bridges.
Public Welfare. Maintenance of homes and other institutions for the needy; administration of public assistance. (Hospitals and sanatoriums should be reported as item 7.)
Police Protection. Duties of a police department sheriff's, constable's, coroner's office, etc., including technical and clerical employees engaged in police activities.
Fire Protection. Duties of the uniformed fire force and clerical employees. (Report any forest fire protection activities as item 6.)
Natural Resources/Parks and Recreation. Agriculture, forestry, forest fire protection, irrigation drainage, flood control; Operation of parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, auditoriums, museums, marinas, zoo, etc.
Hospitals and Sanatoriums. Operation of institutions for inpatient medical care.
Health. Provision of public health services, outpatient clinics, visiting nurses, food and sanitary inspections, mental health, alcohol rehabilitation service, etc.
Housing. Code enforcement, low-rent public housing, fair housing ordinance enforcement, housing for elderly, housing rehabilitation, and rent control.
Community Development. Planning, zoning, land development, open space, beautification, and preservation.
Corrections. Jails, reformatories, detention homes, halfway houses, prisons, parole, and probation activities.
Utilities and Transportation. Includes water supply, electric power, transit, gas, airport, water transportation, and terminals.
Employment Security. No description.
Table 1 Indicators of Sex-Based Occupational Segregation by Year and Functional Area: Officials and Administrators Distributive 1987 1989 Highways-total states 48 49 Mixed/all male 85% 15% 90% 10% Wall goal/median 4% 6% 4% 6% Natural resources-total states 49 50 Mixed/all male 96% 4% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 6% 10% 2% 12% Community development-total states 33 32 Mixed/all male 88% 9% 94% 3% Wall goal/median 52% 31% 50% 30% Regulatory 1987 1989 Police-total states 46 48 Mixed/all male 65% 35% 67% 33% Wall goal/median 9% 6% 4% 8% Fire-total states 13 9 Mixed/all male 23% 69% 22% 78% Wall goal/median 15% 0% 11% 0% Utility/transportation-total states 30 33 Mixed/all male 87% 13% 85% 16% Wall goal/median 20% 16% 30% 20% Corrections-total states 49 50 Mixed/all male 96% 4% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 8% 15% 8% 16% Redistributive 1987 1989 Welfare-total states 46 46 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 74% 42% 78% 44% Hospitals-total states 43 43 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 58% 37% 67% 39% Health-total states 43 47 Mixed/all male 95% 2% 98% 0% Wall goal/median 58% 32% 74% 39% Housing-total states 20 19 Mixed/all male 80% 20% 84% 16% Wall goal/median 30% 19% 21% 25% Employment-total states 48 48 Mixed/all male 94% 6% 96% 4% Wall goal/median 31% 24% 52% 31% Indeterminate 1987 1989 Financial admin. and general control-total states 48 50 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 27% 25% 34% 24% Distributive 1991 1993 Highways-total states 49 47 Mixed/all male 92% 8% 91% 9% Wall goal/median 4% 8% 2% 12% Natural resources-total states 49 48 Mixed/all male 96% 4% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 4% 13% 4% 15% Community development-total states 34 32 Mixed/all male 88% 9% 91% 3% Wall goal/median 53% 32% 44% 29% Regulatory 1991 1993 Police-total states 48 46 Mixed/all male 77% 23% 83% 17% Wall goal/median 10% 9% 7% 11% Fire-total states 12 9 Mixed/all male 25% 75% 22% 78% Wall goal/median 10% 0% 0% 0% Utility/transportation-total states 32 32 Mixed/all male 84% 16% 88% 13% Wall goal/median 28% 14% 19% 20% Corrections-total states 50 48 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 14% 20% 21% 22% Redistributive 1991 1993 Welfare-total states 47 46 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 89% 47% 91% 46% Hospitals-total states 41 37 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 73% 38% 76% 44% Health-total states 48 47 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 79% 40% 83% 42% Housing-total states 19 21 Mixed/all male 89% 11% 81% 19% Wall goal/median 42% 30% 43% 29% Employment-total states 48 45 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 50% 31% 62% 33% Indeterminate 1991 1993 Financial admin. and general control-total states 50 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 44% 28% 44% 29% Distributive 1995 1997 Highways-total states 48 47 Mixed/all male 94% 6% 96% 4% Wall goal/median 2% 12% 6% 14% Natural resources-total states 49 49 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 0% 15% 14% 17% Community development-total states 31 33 Mixed/all male 90% 3% 91% 6% Wall goal/median 65% 33% 64% 34% Regulatory 1995 1997 Police-total states 47 48 Mixed/all male 81% 19% 85% 13% Wall goal/median 11% 11% 8% 15% Fire-total states 9 10 Mixed/all male 22% 78% 40% 60% Wall goal/median 0% 0% 10% 0% Utility/transportation-total states 35 34 Mixed/all male 86% 14% 82% 18% Wall goal/median 23% 20% 21% 22% Corrections-total states 49 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 20% 23% 17% 24% Redistributive 1995 1997 Welfare-total states 48 48 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 92% 46% 96% 47% Hospitals-total states 38 39 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 84% 39% 82% 45% Health-total states 49 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 90% 43% 88% 46% Housing-total states 21 21 Mixed/all male 81% 19% 86% 14% Wall goal/median 43% 26% 52% 31% Employment-total states 46 45 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 65% 35% 71% 38% Indeterminate 1995 1997 Financial admin. and general control-total states 48 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 66% 33% 73% 35% Goal for "wall" is 30 percent female employees. The wall goal statistic is the percentage of states that reach the goal Table 2 Indicators of Sex-Based Occupational Segregation by Year and Functional Area: Professionals Distributive 1987 1989 Highways-total states 48 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 0% 12% 4% 14% Natural resources-total states 49 50 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 96% 2% Wall goal/median 8% 17% 8% 19% Community development-total states 34 34 Mixed/all male 94% 6% 91% 2% Wall goal/median 16% 38% 82% 42% Regulatory 1987 1989 Police-total states 46 48 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 11% 22% 21% 23% Fire-total states 13 9 Mixed/all male 54% 46% 56% 44% Wall goal/median 8% 3% 11% 3% Utility/transportation-total states 31 33 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 48% 29% 52% 31% Corrections-total states 49 50 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 73% 35% 82% 37% Redistributive 1987 1989 Welfare-total states 47 47 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 65% 100% 66% Hospitals-total states 44 44 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 66% 100% 67% Health-total states 44 47 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 95% 58% 100% 63% Housing-total states 22 22 Mixed/all male 91% 5% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 86% 50% 91% 51% Employment-total states 48 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 92% 51% 98% 53% Indeterminate 1987 1989 Financial admin. and general control- total states 48 50 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 90% 39% 94% 42% Distributive 1991 1993 Highways-total states 49 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 8% 16% 10% 18% Natural resources-total states 50 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 16% 21% 23% 23% Community development-total states 35 32 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 91% 42% 81% 42% Regulatory 1991 1993 Police-total states 48 47 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 98% 2% Wall goal/median 35% 27% 47% 27% Fire-total states 12 10 Mixed/all male 67% 33% 80% 10% Wall goal/median 25% 10% 30% 22% Utility/transportation-total states 33 31 Mixed/all male 97% 3% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 45% 30% 48% 30% Corrections-total states 50 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 88% 39% 90% 40% Redistributive 1991 1993 Welfare-total states 48 46 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 67% 100% 67% Hospitals-total states 42 37 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 67% 100% 67% Health-total states 48 47 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 64% 98% 66% Housing-total states 21 22 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 90% 50% 91% 54% Employment-total states 49 46 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 98% 53% 98% 54% Indeterminate 1991 1993 Financial admin. and general control- total states 50 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 98% 43% 100% 44% Distributive 1995 1997 Highways-total states 48 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 6% 19% 10% 21% Natural resources-total states 49 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 33% 26% 31% 29% Community development-total states 31 33 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 90% 44% 94% 45% Regulatory 1995 1997 Police-total states 48 48 Mixed/all male 98% 2% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 58% 32% 67% 34% Fire-total states 11 11 Mixed/all male 82% 18% 91% 9% Wall goal/median 27% 22% 27% 20% Utility/transportation-total states 35 34 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 57% 33% 59% 33% Corrections-total states 49 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 96% 41% 94% 42% Redistributive 1995 1997 Welfare-total states 48 48 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 69% 100% 71% Hospitals-total states 38 39 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 68% 100% 68% Health-total states 49 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 67% 98% 67% Housing-total states 21 21 Mixed/all male 95% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 90% 56% 90% 59% Employment-total states 46 46 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 54% 100% 55% Indeterminate 1995 1997 Financial admin. and general control- total states 48 49 Mixed/all male 100% 0% 100% 0% Wall goal/median 100% 46% 100% 49% Goal for "wall" is 30 percent female employees. The wall goal statistic is the percentage of states that reach the goal.
The authors wish to thank the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Research, Information, and Planning, for providing the data for this study. We also thank Ronald Edwards, Kimberly A. McCabe, Barbara Palmer, and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. This research was supported by the Center for the Study of Representation, Department of Political Science, University of Arkansas. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association, March 2000, Galveston, TX.
(1.) In order to guarantee the confidentiality of data reported by individual units of government, this publication combines all state and local government employees into a single state-level pools, thereby making it impossible to isolate discrete levels of government for analysis.
(2.) The corrections function has a distributive component. Policies in this function address issues such as where to locate prisons and detention homes. The fact that Lowi's categories are not mutually exclusive in this regard does not affect our expectations about sex-based job segregation because we expect to find glass walls in both regulatory and distributive agencies.
(3.) These data were obtained subject to the provisions of an Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreement authorized by the federal government. The terms of the agreement explicitly prohibit (1) the sharing of data, and (2) discussion or publication of empirical analysis that permits individual states to be identified (only summary statistics may be reported or discussed).
(4.) Elementary and secondary public school systems and districts file EEO-5 reports. Institutions of higher education (postsecondary) file EEO-6 reports.
(5.) We do not report results for sanitation and sewage because only a few states report employees in this area. We also do not examine the :function on the EEO-4 form labeled "other" because we cannot even begin to hypothesize about our expectations for such a diverse category.
(6.) Some researchers use a dissimilarity statistic to assess gender-based employment patterns (Lewis and Nice 1994). If applied to our data, the statistic would measure the proportion of women and men who would have to switch departments in order to achieve an equal distribution across all departments. Assuming such a switch, the index of dissimilarity would tell us that as long as women make up, for instance, 3 percent of the total workforce, there is no dissimilarity if 3 percent of the employees in each department within the specified job category are women. As long as women are equally distributed, the index of dissimilarity finds no dissimilarity. In contrast, our questions are, (1) how well are women represented in each department compared to their numbers in society; and (2) which departments (or functions) are doing better or worse? Assuming an even 3 percent distribution misses the point of our question altogether because dissimilarity indexes do not tell us about representation. Furthermore, these indexes are based on a questionable empirical assumption--that women and men could readily switch jobs across departments. In other words, a nurse could become a police officer and a police officer, a nurse. This is possible, but not likely.
(7.) We classify utilities and transportation as regulatory rather than distributive because, at the state level, the description of this function, "water supply, electric power, transit, gas, airports, water transportation and terminals," suggests that most state employees in this function are employed in public utilities and similar agencies.
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Brinck Kerr is an associate professor of political science and coordinator of the Center for the Study of Representation at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. His research focuses on legislative and bureaucratic representation and has been published in a number of journals including Public Administration Review, American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies, Social Science Quarterly, Women and Politics, and Urban Affairs Review. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Miller is an associate professor of political science and director of the Public Policy PhD Program at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. His research focuses on political and economic minorities and political economies. His work has been published in Public Administration Review, American Journal of Political Science, American Review of Public Administration, State and Local Government Review, Urban Affairs Review, Women and Politics, and elsewhere. Email: email@example.com.
Margaret Reid is an associate professor of political science and a member of the Center for the Study of Representation at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Her research centers on transformations of urban areas, with special emphasis on female employment conditions in the public and nonprofit sectors. Her work has been published in Public Administration Review, Women and Politics, Urban Affairs Review, State and Local Government Review, and International Journal of Public Administration, and in numerous edited works. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brinck Kerr Will Miller Margaret Reid University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
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|Date:||Jul 1, 2002|
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