Women Computer Professionals. Controlled Progress in a Male Occupation

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This research evaluates women's relative progress in the occupation of computer work, focusing on mobility and turnover, segregation, and earnings. The evaluation is made in the context of theories of human capital and gender socialization, resegregation and ghettoization, Blalock's male resistance, Kanter's strength in numbers, Jacobs's revolving doors and social control, and a hybrid theory of controlled progress combining the last two. By trend analysis and regression, this work contrasts the career moves, locations, and rewards of men and women in computer programming, systems analysis, computer and systems engineering, and other computer specialties. This study bridges both sociological and management literatures.


"Rosemary Wright has written one of the best case studies of women's entry into a male-dominated occupation. Her research draws on data on several thousand computer professionals who were followed for most of a decade. . . . Her book should be of interest to students of work, occupations, gender inequality, career mobility, organizational theory and public policy." - Jerry A. Jacobs

". . . provides significant new empirical evidence, which it locates in a thorough and readable review of the current theoretical debates and empirical results in the field. The book's sophisticated quantitative analysis is balanced by its discussion of related qualitative findings. In short, it is well written and of interest to a broad range of sociologists." - Judith A. Perrolle

"Wright's work makes an important contribution to the burgeoning study of gender, work, and technology. . . . Wright's explanatory approach makes sense out of the apparently disparate findings of many voices in the ongoing and lively debates of the condition of women's employment a generation after the second wave of feminist activism." - Laura Kramer

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