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Atlanta Fed Working Papers


Which Industries Are the Best Employers for Women? An Application of a New Equal Employment Opportunity Index

Mary E. Graham and Julie Hotchkiss
Working Paper 2003-11
July 2003

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This paper introduces and proposes a policy application for a new Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Index. The index is comprised of multiple measures of employers? human resource management outcomes and is designed to reflect employers? systemic EEO efforts. The index is applied to industry data from the Current Population Survey, and the tenets of Total Quality Management (TQM) theory are used for interpretation of results. It is found that the mining/construction industry provides a relatively inhospitable climate for women in the form, primarily, of a high degree of gender-related occupational segregation. The financial industry demonstrated the overall greatest gains for women during the 1990s. Closer examination of these industries with very good and very poor outcomes highlights the importance of addressing ?special causes? of industry performance on the index.

JEL classification: J71, J78, J31, M11

Keywords: discrimination, Total Quality Management, glass ceiling, occupational segregation, gender wage differentials


The authors gratefully acknowledge Robert E. Moore for helpful comments. The views expressed here are the authors' and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors' responsibility.

Please address questions regarding content to Julie Hotchkiss, Georgia State University and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309-4470, 404-498-8198, jhotchkiss@gsu.edu, or Mary E. Graham, School of Business, Clarkson University, P.O. Box 5790, Potsdam, New York 13699, 315-268-6431, graham@clarkson.edu.

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