Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Who rides the glass escalator? Gender, race and nationality in the national nursing assistant study

an article by Kim Price-Glynn (University of Connecticut, USA) and Carter Rakovski (California State University, USA) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 26 Number 5 (October 2012)


Evidence for Christine Williams’s ‘glass escalator’ effect documents how professional men entering female-dominated occupations may advance more quickly toward authority positions and higher salaries.

However, studies of men’s benefits from occupational segregation have neglected low-wage and diverse groups of workers.

Using the representative US National Nursing Assistant Study (NNAS), the article examines organisational measures of inequality and discrimination – wages, benefits and working conditions – to understand whether a glass escalator exists among nursing assistants and how it is affected by gender, race, citizenship and facility characteristics.

Though gender inequalities were present, citizenship, race, facility type and size emerged as the most important factors in determining advantages for workers, suggesting a revision of the glass escalator metaphor may be in order.

NNAS results imply that identity characteristics like nationality and contextual factors like workplace matter and underscore the importance of using an intersectional approach to examine inequality.

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