Research in Higher Education

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 202–211 | Cite as

Occupational sex segregation and job satisfaction of women

  • John C. Smart
  • Corinna A. Ethington
AIR Forum Issue


The results of this study indicate wide variation in the effect of occupational sex segregation on the job satisfaction of women college graduates employed in public and private organizations. Women employed in sex-balanced and male- and female-dominated occupations in the public sector have comparable levels of job satisfaction. In private firms, however, women college graduates employed in sex-balanced careers are more satisfied with theintrinsic andoverall nature of their jobs than those employed in female-dominated occupations, and those in female-dominated jobs are more satisfied with theextrinsic nature of their careers than women in male-dominated jobs. The implications of these findings for those who conduct research on the career consequences of women employed in sex-dominated career fields and for college officials responsible for the educational and professional development of women college students are discussed.


College Student Public Sector Professional Development Education Research College Graduate 
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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Smart
    • 1
  • Corinna A. Ethington
    • 2
  1. 1.College of EducationVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityBlacksburg
  2. 2.College of EducationUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoUSA

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