Blue-Collar Women at Work with Men: Negotiating the Hostile Environment

Blue-Collar Women at Work with Men: Negotiating the Hostile Environment

by Jeanie Ahearn Greene

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Overview

Title VII of the 1963 Civil Rights Act specifically prohibits gender-based discrimination, and over the past 40 years women have made astounding progress in breaking down barriers in the workplace. Nevertheless, discrimination is still widely practiced in both overt and subtle ways, denying women access and opportunity, particularly in blue-collar occupations that have long been dominated by men. In Blue-Collar Women at Work with Men, Jeanie Ahearn Greene brings the experiences of blue-collar women vividly to life through interviews and analysis that expose the challenges they face on a daily basis. From Peg the police officer to Angela the trade union president, these women describe the negative situations they encounter in every facet of their work lives—from the hiring process to socializing with co-workers to relationships with supervisors—and discuss the coping mechanisms they have developed for navigating in an often-hostile environment. Greene then takes the discussion to the next level, exploring the social, political, and economic implications of enduring gender discrimation. She concludes with a series of recommendations for employers, policymakers, social workers, lawyers and other advocates, human resource professionals, and women themselves, designed to promote workplace equality in both spirit and practice.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act specifically prohibits gender-based discrimination, and over the past 40 years women have made astounding progress in breaking down barriers in the workplace—from the shop floor to the corner office. Nevertheless, discrimination is still widely practiced, in both overt and subtle ways, denying women access and opportunity, particularly in blue-collar occupations that have long been dominated by men. In Blue-Collar Women at Work with Men, Jeanie Ahearn Greene brings the experiences of blue-collar women vividly to life through interviews and analysis that expose the challenges they face on a daily basis. From Peg the police officer to Gretchen the carpenter, Mary the auto assembly line worker and Angela the trade union president, these women describe the negative situations they encounter in every facet of their work lives—from the hiring process to socializing with co-workers to relationships with supervisors—and discuss the coping mechanisms they have developed for navigating in an often hostile environment. Surprisingly, they do not see themselves as pioneers, mavericks, or martyrs, but more simply as people with bills to pay, families to raise, and modest career aspirations to fulfil.

After telling these women's stories, Greene takes the discussion to the next level, exploring the social, political, and economic implications of enduring gender discrimination. She argues that despite formal protections under the law, women are still routinely harassed and discriminated against, to the detriment not only of individual growth and development, but of workplace productivity and social welfare. She concludes with a series of recommendations for employers, policymakers, social workers, lawyers and other advocates, human resource professionals, and women themselves. Ultimately, she contends that in order to have equal employment opportunity, employment policies and practices must exceed the standing protections provided by equal rights legislation and policy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275977368
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/30/2006
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jeanie Ahearn Greene is founder of Ahearn Greene Associates, a social science research and consulting firm, specializing in social welfare issues, policy, and advocacy. Previously serving as a process evaluator for the Montgomery County Homeless Families Initiative and as a Faculty Research Associate at the University of Maryland's Bureau of Governmental Research, she has conducted numerous studies and promoted programs in substance abuse treatment and health care policy, with a particular emphasis on disenfranchised groups, including women and children. She has published her research in a wide variety of reports and journals.

Table of Contents

Preface

Equal Employment Opportunity for Women: An Introduction and Overview

Seventeen Blue-Collar Women: The Collective Voice

United States Employment Discrimination Law: A Social Policy Analysis

Pathways to Employment: Early Preparation for Traditionally Male Blue-Collar Jobs

The Hiring Process: Women's Entry into Traditionally Male Blue-Collar Occupations

On the Job, Doing the Job: Reconsidering Job Descriptions, Performance and Evaluations

Walls and Doorways: Employers' Barriers and Supports to Job Performance

Gatekeepers to Opportunity and Protectors Against Discrimination: Management, Supervisors and Unions

Good Guys/Bad Guys: How to Determine What Is Reasonable

How Men Treat Women: "Working" Relationships Between the Sexes

Negotiating the Hostile Work Environment: Strategies for Women to Alleviate Employment Discrimination and Sex-Based Harassment

Mitigating the Hostile Work Environment: Conclusions & Recommendations

Appendix 1: Nontraditional Occupations for Women in 2001

Bibliography

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