Still in the Ghetto? Secretarial work in the 21st century

Truss, Catherine, Alfes, Kerstin, Shantz, Amanda and Rosewarne, Amanda (2013) Still in the Ghetto? Secretarial work in the 21st century. Gender, Work & Organization, 20 (4). pp. 349-363. ISSN 0968-6673

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Secretarial work has been described as one of the most persistently gendered of all occupations. Historically, it has been characterized as a ghetto occupation with three key features: low status and poor pay, narrow and feminized job content and poor promotion prospects. Twenty years ago, when a major study last took place in the UK, it was thought that new office technologies might transform the role, leading to a newly defined occupation equally appealing to both men and women. In this article, we report on the findings of a questionnaire survey involving 1011 secretaries. We found evidence of continuity and change. Secretaries are now better qualified and generally well-paid. A minority is undertaking complex managerial tasks. However, most secretaries continue to perform traditional tasks and career prospects for all remain bleak. We conclude that processes of role gender-typing are deeply entrenched and that secretarial work remains largely a ghetto occupation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: secretarial work, horizontal segregation, ghetto occupations
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Joy Blake
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2012 14:04
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2014 08:57
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