Discuss how gender affects the type of employment? a person will have. Gender refers to cultural classifications of people as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. Societies set down expectations for males and females, and people are encouraged to think, feel and act in the manner ‘appropriate’ to their sex.

(Hearn and Morgan, 1990). Gender refers to socially leaned behaviour and expectations that distinguish between masculinity and femininity.Gender is the basis for relations of inequality between men and women. Gender shapes not only how we identify ourselves and view the world but also how others identify and relate to us and how we are positioned within social structures. This essay using different literatures will discuss how a person’s gender affects the type of employment that person will have. (V.

Spike Peterson 1999)In Kumar’s account, the industrial Revolution is associated with ‘‘major and continuing changes in material technology, so that work is predominantly done by machines rather than by hand, and human labour power is replaced or supplemented by inanimate sources of energy, the marketing of men’s labour, the concentration of workers in single enterprises, the existence of a specific social type, the entrepreneur’’ (Kumar, 1978:65). In the pre-industrial era, there was no sharp distinction between the urban and rural spheres and between urban life and rural life.Then with the Industrial Revolution the two became increasingly polarised as rural communities’ left agricultural production behind and moved into the hovels and the factories of the city. Perhaps, instead of increasing opportunities for women, urbanisation and industrialisation simply enhanced the polarisation of gender roles along the axis of a public (work)/place (home) dichotomy which is itself a consequence of industrialisation.

Grint highlights evidence which suggest that women ‘‘undertook a much greater variety of jobs before, rather than after the Industrial Revolution, though there were few areas where some degree of gender related inequality or segregation did not exist’’ (Grint, 2001:64) For the vast majority of the population in pre industrial societies, productive activities and the activities of the household were not separate. Production was carried on either in the home or nearby, and all member of the family participated in work on the land or in handicrafts.‘‘Families owned, or at least had rights to, small amounts of land on which they worked as well running low-intensity cottage industries within the home, such as spinning and weaving. Families worked together as self-employed members of this economic unit. ’’(Watson, 1987:123) With the industrial revolution, the family as the basic unit of economic production was replaced by the large, capital intensive factories.

Work was done at the machine’s pace by individuals hired specifically for the tasks in question, so employers gradually began to contract workers as individual rather than families.The idea of separate spheres became entrenched in popular attitudes. Men, by merit of their employment became more involved in local affairs, politics and the market. Women came to be associated with ‘domestic’ values and were responsible for childcare, maintaining the home and preparing food for the family. Grint concluded from the sparse evidence available pre 18th century work that industrial capitalism ‘‘facilitated the decline of the family as a collective and polarized the work opportunities of men and women.

’’ (Grint, 2001:66).Occupational sex segregation existed earlier than the Industrial Revolution and laid out a pattern that was reproduced and remoulded rather than shattered by the rise of industrial capitalism…’’ (Grint, 2001:67) Since then, women’s participation in the paid labour force has risen more or less continuously. One major influence was the labour shortage experienced during world War One. During the war years, women carried out many jobs previously regarded as the province of men.

On returning from the war, men again took over most of these jobs, but the re- established pattern had been broken. In the years since World War Two, the gender division of labour has changed dramatically. Women accounted for only 29 per cent of the labour force in 1945, that figure had now reached 45 per cent. In 1997 more than 75 per cent of women in Britain aged twenty five to forty four were economically active, meaning that they were either paid work or were looking for work, in 1971 only half of women were economically active. (Giddens:2001)There are a number of reasons why the gap in economic activity rates between men and women have been closing in recent decades. First, there have been changes in the scope and nature of the tasks that have traditionally been associated with women and the ‘domestic sphere’.

As the birth rate has declined and the average age of child birth has increased, many women now take on paid work when young and return to work after having children. The mechanization of many domestic tasks has also helped to cut down the amount of time that needs to be spent to maintain the home.It is also important to note that many women have chosen to enter the labour market out of desire for personal fulfilment. ‘‘Work is important for a person’s identity and sense of self-worth’’ (Peter Stringer: 1993:56) In response to the drive for equality propelled forward by the women’s movement of the 11960s and 1970s. Having gained legal equality with men, many women have seized on opportunities to realise these rights in their own lives.

In recent decades women have made great strides towards parity with men, increased economic activity has been central to this process (Crompton: 1997)Furthermore, the Industrial Revolution has long been seen as the great historical turning point in the nature of women's working lives. For with it came a reorganisation of the production process which separated the household from the workplace. A debate has raged among both feminists and historians since the early years of this century over the positive and negative impact of industrialisation on women's workforce participation and status. Optimists have argued that industrialisation and the factory brought gains in employment and higher wages which improved women's status within the family.Pessimists feel however women's jobs were narrowed to less skilled and less valued work, and that women's social position was degraded by the decline of the household economy. It is important to note that more women, in absolute numbers, were occupied in agriculture and domestic service during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries than in any other income-earning activity.

Patrick Colquhoun estimated that there were 910,000 domestic servants in England and Wales in 1806. 800,000 of these were female.Researchers have argued that there are certain tasks which are universally allocated to either males or females. They see this division of labour as reflecting biological differences between the sexes. (Taylor:2002).

Others, however, see it as based on cultural assumptions about the roles and abilities of each sex. Talcott Parsons, for example, suggested that within the modern nuclear family it was essential that one parent, the father, performed the instrumental role of leader and provider while the other, the mother, performed the expressive role of giving sychological support and taking responsibility for socialising children.This made sense because the women give birth to nurse children. The study of occupational structure ‘‘involves classifying occupations horizontally, vertically or in a way which mixes both of these’’ (Watson, 1987:128).

But such typologies don’t tell us much about who ends up in specific occupational roles and why: they ignore women and the work women do, particularly unpaid work done in the home. Domestic and childcare duties don’t feature; meaning that such work is delegitimised as sociologically insignificant.Yet the burden of such work has fallen disproportionately on women and continues to do so. N the post war years the ‘proper’ place for women was seen as being in the home. The influence of what Catherine Hall refers to as a Victorian domestic ideology is evident in societal norms and values which depict women as primarily responsible for domestic and childcare duties as ‘women’s work’. In the 1950s the media portrayed such roles as fulfilling and satisfying to the extent that women shouldn’t want or need to be employed outside the home.

Betty Friedan refers to this ideology as the ‘feminine mystique’ The 1960s sexual revolution and changes in reproductive technologies widened women’s choice beyond marriage and childbirth. Women could take a long term view of their future; increasing numbers entered higher education and raised the proportion of graduates from around one quarter in the late 1960s to over half by 2007. Consequentially women have increased their presence in professional and managerial work and cracked the glass ceiling by occupying positions of power and responsibility in the public and private spheres.Whether for intrinsic or instrumental reasons these moves were facilitated by the institutionalisation of some second wave feminist demands in the equal opportunities and equal pay legislation and since 1998 by enhanced childcare provision with the National Childcare Strategy. (www. employment-studies.

co. uk) Despite possessing formal equality with men, women still experience a number of inequalities in the labour market. Women workers have traditionally been concentrated in poorly paid, routine occupations. Many of these jobs are highly gendered, that is they are commonly seen as ‘women’s work’.

‘‘For instance in the UK in 2000, 25 per cent of women’s work was in the clerical and secretarial occupations, while only 8 per cent of men’s work was in that area (Macionis: 2008). Women now makeup up nearly half the labour force, but this is not to suggest that they have the same occupational role. The types of occupations which are more likely to be carried out by women for example care work, cleaning retail to name a few, are clearly disproportionately represented at the lower end of Goldthorpe’s occupational typology.Whilst women make up around 60% of the workforce in retail they’re more likely to be found in sales/customer service than in upper management.

Furthermore gender affects how much you will gain finically. Women are more likely to be paid lower than males. In 1991 6. 53 million women were low paid therefore earning less than two thirds of median male earning (Peter Stringer:1993). Likewise the most common man’s employment in London pays ? 17. 30 an hour but the most common women’s pays ? 5.

38 an hour In the year 1992, women’s average gross hourly earnings including overtime were 8 per cent of men’s (Oppenheim:1993).Women’s share of professional and managerial occupations has increased but even within these spheres finer level job segregation leads to continuing gender inequality. For example a longitudinal study of graduates found significant pay gaps of 14. 9 per cent within three and a half years of graduation, and 18.

5 per cent after seven. The gap was linked to working hours, public or private status but industry sector, workplace job segregation and degree subject were also important, Women and Gender Equity in Employment with 8 per cent left unexplained.This example illustrates that qualifications and different forms of work are gendered and valued differently with those subjects and occupations where women predominate valued less highly, so graduate qualifications alone are not sufficient to bring about gender equality in employment outcomes (Purcell et al, 2005). Furthermore an example that proves females do not get paid the same as males was found in the guardian newspaper. ‘Female graduates earn thousands of pounds less than their male counterparts, according to a report.’The pay gap persists even between men and women from the same types of university who studied the same subjects, suggests the study.

Researchers for the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (Hecsu) analysed how much students who applied to higher education in 2006, earned last year. Jane Artess, of Hecsu, said pay distribution was "strikingly uneven". This was despite laws designed to ensure equal access to jobs and pay, said Ms Artess, The researchers analysed data from a longitudinal study of 17,000 recent graduates called Futuretrack. They found that the take-home pay of more than half of female graduates ranged between ? 15,000 and ? 23,999.Men were more likely to take home ? 24,000 and above, they found.

Gender massively affects what type of employment you have. For instance women are more likely than men to be employed in temporary or casual work. In early 1990’s women made up about 63 per cent of temporary work. (Taylor: 2002).

The 1991 Labour Force Survey reported that 40 per cent of female employees and 48 per cent of married women employees worked part time, compared with only 4 per cent of male employees. Witerspoon, (1988 as cited in Stringer: 1993;234) has warned that ‘‘part time work is not the ideal solution for women that many would assume it to be.It is accompanied by low pay, poor prospects and lack of employment protection. She points out, in addition that the absence of provision of childcare limits women’s choice of employment’’ (Witerspoon, 1988:232) A majority, both of men and of women believe that a woman’s right to work is conditional on her first discharging her responsibilities to her children. This ‘circle is squared’ through the majority of mothers working short part? time hours fitted around domestic work and their children’s care (Himmel and Sigala 2004:455).

Women still provide 75 per cent of housework within the family, alongside 38 per cent of hours of paid work, while men’s paid and domestic work has remained largely unchanged over the last decade (Harkness: 2008). Although men express aspirations for being more involved in childcare and have become more involved over the years, supplementing their traditional breadwinning role with nurturing, though the working hours of men, especially among fathers are among the highest in Europe. (Harkness: 2008) To conclude women’s presence in the labour market in Northern Ireland is not contested.Rising levels of participation by women in paid work are accompanied by a set of social attitudes that acknowledges there more limited opportunities, lower pay, and poor promotion prospects, and a wide acceptance of importance of legal sanctions to ensure equal treatment for women at work. Whist the notions that ‘men’s work’ and ‘women’s work’ still exist, and indeed, whilst the patterns of vocational study that prepare people for work are still strongly separated on the basis of gender, few people would claim that women are not suitable to carry out those jobs that attract the highest pay and prestige.Despite greater equality of opportunity for women in education and employment, inequality remains this is evident in differential pay levels, the types of employment and also the positions within occupational categories.

In other words, ‘‘within occupations there is a further division of labour whereby the higher the status of the position, the more likely it is to be occupied by a man’’