Equal Employment Opportunity and the Bridging of Job Ladders

  • Thomas A. DiPrete
Part of the Springer Studies in Work and Industry book series (SSWI)


Many personnel practices of public and private organizations have come under legal scrutiny for their potential discriminatory impact in recent years. Discriminatory practices in testing, in recruitment, in the provision of training opportunities, and in promotion practices have all been the subject of litigation (Wallace 1976; O’Farrell and Harlan 1984; Burstein 1985). Scholars have done several studies of the impact of the equal employment opportunity movement (EEO) on gender and racial inequality (Butler and Heckman 1977; Lazear 1979; Northrup and Larson 1979; Beller 1980, 1982b; Welch 1981; Borjas 1982; Abbott and Smith 1984; Leonard 1984; Smith and Welch 1984a; Burstein 1985; Smith and Welch 1986). The overall impact of EEO is still a matter of dispute. But policies that benefited women and minorities held the promise of widening the mobility bridge between the lower and the upper tier, even if these policies did not eliminate the tier boundaries that had formed. The reason for the connection between EEO and the structure of job ladders is obvious. Women and blacks were overrepresented in precisely the occupations that now form a recognizable lower white-collar tier in bureaucratized organizations.


Target Position Program Participant Upward Mobility Senior Executive Professional Position 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. DiPrete
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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