Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A More Proactive Approach to Addressing Gender-related Employment Disparities in the United States

Graham, Mary E. and Hotchkiss, Julie L. (2009): A More Proactive Approach to Addressing Gender-related Employment Disparities in the United States. Published in: Gender in Management: an International Journal , Vol. 24, No. 8 (2009): pp. 577-595.

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a proactive public policy approach to complement relatively reactive existing policies addressing gender-related employment disparities in the USA, and to provide an initial empirical illustration of the proposal. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a conceptual application of theories of total quality management (TQM) to the topic of gender-related employment disparities, followed by an empirical illustration using US Current Population Survey data and a gender equal employment opportunity (EEO) scorecard. Findings – Using the TQM framework, company outliers were conceptualized on the EEO scorecard as “special” causes of economy-wide equal employment variation and the industries in which companies are situated as “common” causes. The paper identifies two underperforming industries on gender-related employment outcomes: Mining and Construction, and Transportation, Communication and Utilities. Research limitations/implications – Further conceptual work on the application of TQM to gender disparities in employment is recommended. Also, the study considered broad industry categories; future research should refine these categories further. Practical implications – It is recommended that US enforcement agencies incorporate industry considerations more explicitly into their activities. Employer insights may be beneficial to improving equal employment opportunity performance at the industry level. Originality/value – The application of TQM theory to the topic of gender-related employment disparities is a novel approach that may motivate new public policies.

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