Engendering Inequality: Processes of Sex-Segregation on Wall Street

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Abstract

Women's numbers in high-paying, male-dominated occupations have risen in the past three decades, but they disproportionately hold lower-paying jobs within those occupations. A cohort sample of Wall Street securities professionals shows how sex segregation occurs over time, as men's and women's different experiences lead them to change functions, to change firms, or to leave the securities industry. While seemingly similar processes impinge on the careers of everyone in this exceptionally high-paid occupation, family constraints and gender discrimination produce differential results for similarly qualified men and women. Over time men disproportionately gain the very highest paying Wall Street jobs.

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